Odell Five Barrel IPA
Check out anything you can get from them – they’re a great brewery from Fort Collins, Colorado and their Five Barrel Pale Ale is a cross between and American and an English pale ale. It’s got some nice citrus notes, but it’s also floral with a good malt balance to it. It’s a pub beer – I’d want to drink five or six pints of it during a session. The difference between and IPA and an American Pale Ale is that there’s a lot more intense citrus notes in an American. There can be hints of orange and grapefruit; you’ll find some pungency and pine characters in the newer ones. APAs tend to be slightly drier and bitter. An English IPA tends to be maltier and a little more balanced on the hop side. Five Barrel blends both.
Firestone Walker Pevo Pilsner
When talking about beers that carry some of the brewery traditions, while putting an American stamp on them, this is a great example. It’s very traditional pilsner with a great American influence. It has a good dry hop character to it, and it’s a little more hop forward (beer with a heavy hop flavour and aroma); it uses some less traditional elements like Saphir hops (clean, sweet, spicy) that you wouldn’t see so much in a traditional pilsner.
This is incredible. It’s a world class Belgian Witbier and it’s one of the most beautiful ones you can come across, which is really crazy because it’s brewed in the States. They have a bourbon barrel-aged beer too. Allagash is a very technically-sound brewery. They’ve been making great beer for a long time and they do a fantastic job of taking those Belgian influences and putting an American twist on them to push it to the next level.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
It’s the quintessential American pale ale and it’s made from Cascade hops, which are very grapefruit and citrus-driven. Quality-wise you would be hard pushed to find a brewery with higher standards than Sierra Nevada. If you’re getting it in England it will taste as good as it tastes here in the States. Their product is very stable. Every great brewer looks to them to see how they can make their beer hold up as well as Sierra Nevada does, and it’s a good representation of what started the whole American hop forward beer movement.
Another great American craft beer and at this point it’s probably one of the original (brewing) groups still standing. This is a unique beer because Anchor Steam were working with (the equipment) available to them. They were trying to make lager beers but they didn’t have the same refrigeration technology. Instead they developed a beer with a unique flavour profile. It’s hoppy, but it’s more nuanced than that. It has a yeast character that you don’t find in a lot of beers. It’s unique.