Monday, September 21, 2015

NY State 6 IPA Chase

Drinking Gremlin here to chat about the 'work' and experiences I had last week.  As some of you know I have been working on the road a lot more this year, and this current assignment requires a lot of time in upstate New York.  So I've decided to do some taste testing as a way to enjoy my time here a little bit without busting the bank.  This past week I decided to study India Pale Ales available at the grocery store.  The one caveat is that they must be from the state of New York.  So I acquired a mixed six pack; with one beer each.  This means everyone has one shot to impress me.  So here are the contenders, they are ranked in order of consumption, mind you they were enjoyed over the course of the week.  My scoring is on a 1 to 10 scale (10 being the best).  So here are the scores and reviews.  Brewery is in bold, beer in italics.

Ithaca Beer Co. - Cascazilla, Red IPA [7%].  A smooth beer that goes down quickly and has most of its hops and bitterness hitting your tongue in the after taste.  Not the most bitter beer out there, but it seems to be lacking a punch of flavor that an IPA usually has.  Might be a good day time beer.  Overall I usually am a big fan of Red IPAs so, this might need to get a bunch more tries.  5/10

Saranac - Legacy IPA [6.5%].  Wow, a beer that hits you tongue like a hammer made out of citrus.  The hoppy flavors follows, but its hard to not get past the strong and delicious citrus flavor.  I believe this beer is the kind you would love to drink on a hot day.  Soak up the sunshine and crack one open, then relax on the porch.  6.5/10

CB - Caged Alpha Monkey IPA [6.5%].  Having been to this brewery before I was interested in trying one I had not tried there, and it is their flagship brand.  It is easy to describe this beer; big hops and big taste.  However, it lacks some of the crispness that some IPAs really throw at me.  5/10

Brooklyn - East IPA [6.9%].  This is an IPA drinkers IPA.  It has the crispness, the citrus flavor, and the bitterness that follows.  However, it is not too much of any of the above.  The key is the balance between those qualities, these guys nailed it.  8/10

Southern Tier - IPA [7.3%].  Smooth is the best adjective here.  Overall I wish it had a little more citrus or exotic flavor that my favorite IPAs carry.  It feels like a good late night beer, pair it with some chips / dip and a good game on TV.  To be honest though, feels like so much was put into it, but the extra effort diminishes the finesse sometimes required.  6/10

Southern Tier - 2X IPA [8.2%].  I only had so many options in getting single regular sized bottles, so I ended up with two from Southern Tier.  Still this IPA attempt is excellent.  It has a ton of punch in its percentage, but it is smooth to a drop.  Its crispness goes along with a citrus set of notes that sits on the tongue the way I like.  I would recommend this beer with a steak, fish, pizza, or a hangout session anytime!  9/10

As I am editing this I am beginning another set, my individual write up was done last week.  My current 'work' is a new theme and its harder to keep with the theme due to the amount of variety that is available.  Note these, as with all other reviews, are my opinions.  I recommend you try these or as many types as possible to find out what you like.  Or if you are really awesome, make your own! 

- Gremlin
PS: many of these in various reviews will be hard to get outside of regional areas.  In this case Saranac, Brooklyn and Southern Tier are widely available in the Mid-Atlantic of the USA.


  1. Sure would like to try some of those brews you mention. I have been brewing my own beer for a few years. Mostly, for fun and experimentation and I always can appreciate the craft beers that are out there. Need to bring some of these brews out west. I was in Oregon and Washington a few weeks ago and tried a few local brews. A little too bitter for my liking but still great to try.

    1. DivHut,
      That is awesome. I really want to do that as well, but I do not have the equipment nor a place to condition it with proper temperatures. Like yo said, I always appreciate new flavors and takes on beer. A lot of the good western breweries have made it out here, but I think not as many have traveled back. Oregon and Washington have some great places, Deschutes comes to mind immediately for instance, but you're right they love their bitter beers and IPAs. That being said I will try anything, but I usually head first to pale ales, IPAs, Belgian styles, and brown ales.
      - Gremlin