Today I have a beer I am very excited to sample. Ninkasi Brewing out of Eugene, Oregon is a rather new brewery with their first batch of beer, in fact this beer, brewed on June of 2006 in a leased restaurant space. I have been wanting to sample their brews for some time as they get good reviews but unfortunately their beers are unavailable in the Minnesota market.
Upon pouring carbonation quickly cascades from the middle of the glass creating a lovely two fingers of tight white bubbles. After fading a millimeter or so of carbonation persists with clouds of carbonation sitting on the surface of the brew. The very cloudy apricot hue along with the almost creamy looking head creates a very nice presentation. Aroma is fantastically hoppy with strong esters of orange, mango, followed by other citrus’ particularly grapefruit, rounded off with enjoyable malt sweetness and some nice bitterness. Flavor is ripe with fruity hops, bright mango and orange upfront followed by intense, but fantastic bitterness. Lemon and grapefruit are apparent mid palate and malty sweetness is noticed just after helping balance the sincere bitterness as you continue to drink. As it continues to warm esters of passion fruit start to appear and the fruity esters continue to to shine with the bitterness lessening a bit. Though not particularly balanced this is one beautifully hoppy, bitter brew that I would happily drink all day long. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is surprisingly clean for such a resinous brew. With a reasonable 6.7% ABV this would definitely be a go to beer if I could get it in my market. With the delicious bright fruits and intense bitterness this beer would pair perfectly with a spicy meal. If you enjoy a solid IPA and aren’t afraid of bitterness this brew is definitely worth your time. Give it a shot and ride your bike.