There Be Monsters is having a Japanese Beer Month so I thought I’d check it out.
But none of the beers from Japan are on tap right now. Instead I got Ruse’s Forever and a Day hazy IPA. What’re gonna do?
Grapefruit in the nose…grapefruit in the middle…grapefruit on the finish. I think we’ve firmly established that this IPA wants me to taste some grapefruit flavors.
To its credit, the Forever isn’t pushing a pithy bitterness hard, and it certainly isn’t too sweet. Nevertheless, I feel that this beer is a spotlight on the issues I have with this style: when it’s too sweet, it’s just soda pop. When it’s too bitter, it tastes like part of the fruit you shouldn’t eat. When it’s in the middle, it lacks complexity. Honestly, I’m getting more out of this beer because of the truly delightful scent of french fries in the air, than I am from the beer itself.
Now, I’m mostly of the opinion that great or even good beer should be something you can drink by itself. No additions, no excuses, just: can I have a glass of this?
However, occasionally I do come across beers that, while OK, would definitely be improved by a slice of pizza. Or a chocolate dipped strawberry. Or even blending in another beer.
I’m starting to wonder if this could be true of a style, at least as far as I’m concerned. That the baseline for hazy IPAs is that I should have some food, and it’s only the exceptional ones that can be drank by themselves. Perhaps I would be kinder to the style with this in mind.
Because this style isn’t going anywhere and this beer isn’t getting any better.
Glass two brings more of the same, except now the hop oils are coating my mouth. I can feel the oil scrape off my tongue as I roll it against the roof of my mouth.
So the pithy bitterness IS there…it just takes a little while to get going. The bubbly now becomes highly relevant, as it’s one of the ways this beer has to help clear my palate. But I still can’t escape it’s homogeneity.
Today’s second pint goes to Pawsitive Change.