Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl First Down: Dead Frog Citra IPA

I have to say, I like American football. It's brash and noisy and fast-paced and is probably what cavemen played before they discovered ice hockey. But I don't follow it regularly, so I have a hard time picking a team when it comes to Super Bowl time.

Picking a beer to quaff during the commercials, though, comes easier. Yes, it's another damn IPA (sorry Sports Andy).

I first had a glimpse of what Dead Frog brewing could put out after attending a CAMRA event at the now-defunct Dix's in Yaletown. There were something like six IPAs available that evening -the memory is hazy, and no wonder- but a standout for me was a heavily-hopped version of Dead Frog's Nut Brown Ale.

Since then, though, it's been pretty tame stuff: the most interesting thing about the Aldergrove-based Brewery was their silly name and the catchphrase, "Nothing goes down like a cold dead frog." That might be true if you're a Frenchman with a busted microwave, but for me, I'm picking a beer that's still capable of leaping off the lily-pad and onto my taste-buds.

However, here comes another big-beer series from a brewery not previously known for experimental stylings. It's Dead Frog's Citra IPA and it has a label that's about as subtle as T-Pain's dental work:
I mean, honestly. Liberace could wear that as a belt buckle.

But who cares? The last beer I drank with a silly label was Lighthouse's Deckhand, and it was agreed by all involved to be excellent, despite the cartoonish lady lumps. Speaking of lady lumps, that half-time show was the biggest outrage visited on music since Simon Cowell was spawned. I very nearly pulled a double Van Gogh with a butter-knife.

There are now more types of IPAs out there than there are versions of Wiz Khalif's "Black and Yellow"; so many that it's hard to remember what the original was like. This one is crammed with Citra hops: a hybrid variety consisting of 50% German Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, 25% U.S. Tettnanger and 25% East Kent Golding, German, Brewers Gold, and other unknown hops. If that sounds book-smart, I just copied-and-pasted it off of Left4Beer. Imitation, flattery, etc.

Anyways, this beer has a nose like Cyrano de Bergerac and an aftertaste as astringent as chewing partially cured leather (or as bitter as a Steelers fan, as it turns out). It's fantastic!

Dead Frog Citra IPA
Recommended if:
-you want a Dead Frog that still Hops
-you own a cubic zirconium tie pin
-you enjoy chewing black tea leaves

Not Recommended if:
-you like your beer to be like lager leftover from St. Patrick's day: flat, green and flavourless
-all your pimp chalices are in the dishwasher
-you're still a Black Eyed Peas Fan, because then you don't have any taste

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