We have family and Chico and make it up there several times a year. On those trips, it is pretty much a given that we grab lunch, and more importantly, several brews at the brewery.
The most recent trip allowed me to have 4 different IPAs. Although I can get all of these IPAs in SF, it is always better to have them at the source.
Flipside Red IPA
First beer I tried was the Flipside Red IPA, mostly because I had not yet had it.
Flipside comes in at 6.2%, with 60 IBUs.
The pour is a dark, rusty red. Decent carbonation, especially since it was served in an IPA glass.
Fairly citrus forward nose, with some maltyness and limited hop.
Flavor was malty and citrusy, with hops coming in at the end. You definitely get an amber flavor as well, borderline caramel-y.
I would have it again, but not my first choice of the 4 I had this visit. Most likely would enjoy it after dinner sitting by the fire. Uniqueness did make it stand out though, as it is a nice change of pace.
Hoptimum was second, and my favorite for the day.
ABS is 10.2%, with 100 IBUs.
The SN website gives a great description: “Hoptimum is a hurricane of whole-cone hop flavor. Hopped, dry hopped and torpedoed for incredible hop flavor and complexity, Hoptimum is the pinnacle of whole-cone hoppiness and the biggest Imperial IPA we have ever produced.”
The words “biggest Imperial IPA we have ever produced” are welcome words for me.
Nice copper color, and a big nose of hops, grapefruit and pine.
First taste is hope forward with some nice bitterness. Pine and grapefruit flavors come through strong, with a hint of tropical fruit. Only downside is you can tell it is a big, boozy beer. Not overly so, but you can “feel” it. It was a hot day but I still greatly enjoyed this beer.
Beer Camp DIPA
The Beer Camp DIPA was third. 8.5% ABV, IBUs unknown but I would guess in the 90 range.
Fairly clear cold pour with limited head. Fairly citrus forward nose, with some dankness.
Bitter up front, with some balanced citrus flavor. Nothing about it stands out and blows you away, but nothing about it is “great” either. I enjoyed it, but it just did not stand up to the Hoptimum.
Torpedo Extra IPA
Finished up lunch with a Torpedo. Obviously have had before, but always best to have it at the source.
Torpedo comes in at 7.2% with 65 IBUs.
Torpedo pours darker than most IPAs, as you can see from the picture. Fairly creamy head that subsided relatively quickly.
Aroma is a nice mix of citrus and pine. Not overwhelming in any area.
Flavor can best be described as balanced. You get the hops, you get some grapefruit and citrus, bitterness throughout, and the finish even has a touch of maltyness and caramel. Just a great, clean beer.
One of the other huge bonuses with the Torpedo is you can get a 6er or 12er for a good price, and do not need to get a bomber.
I am really looking forward to trying this on cask, which apparently I can do over at the new Taproom in Berkeley.
Overall, a very successful trip to the brewery. The bro-in-law enjoyed the Session IPA they had on draft, so I will have to give that a whirl next time.
PS. The food at the brewery is pretty good too. The beer cheese and pretzels are a must have.