Today I have what is said to be a shining example of a West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing Company out of Vista, California. Founded in 2002 by former pub owners Green Flash has earned a reputation for utilizing theÂ abundantÂ hopsÂ convenientlyÂ found in their region to make delicious hoppy brews as well as a variety of Belgian inspired Ales that I was previously unaware of. I was lucky enough to get a few bottles of this brew as well as a bottle of their Hop Head Red Ale from anÂ acquaintanceÂ in Oregon. While not available in any states immediately around Minnesota, you can find plenty on the coasts as well as a few states in the Midwest (Ohio, Illinois & Colorado).
Pours a lovely orange red hue that brightens greatly when brought to light. A clean two fingers of off white head is produced and clings steadily creating a very attractive pour. After many minutes you are left with a few millimeters of residual head and a good amount of lacing. Aroma is full of bright, rich citrus with notable grapefruit, orange and lemon dancing about your nose backed up by rich malts, nice bitterness and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is very hop forward with massive orange and grapefruit citrus hitting the tongue followed by intense bitterness finishing with enough malt sweetness to cleanse the palate a bit with out making you forget you are drinking aÂ sincerelyÂ bitter brew. Citrus esters are beautifully fruity and complex, even with serious grapefruit esters this brew avoids the almost tart acidic esters that sometimes come from over use of Centennial and Cascade hops that I feel plague some “West Coast” India Pale Ales. While malts play a supporting role in this Ale it is a very important one with soft caramel and grain esters complimenting the fruity, bitterÂ bouquetÂ of hops in a way any hop head is sure to appreciate. Body is medium-light and the mouthfeel is smooth and clean, making this 7% ABV brewÂ exceptionallyÂ quaff able, provided you like bitterness. While this may not be appreciated by people who prefer classic English examples of the style the brilliantÂ bitternessÂ and overall hop profile is exactly what I am looking for in a seriously hoppy IPA. If you’re lucky enough to get some of this brew fresh you will be a happy person. Give it a shot and ride your bike.