Posts Tagged ‘APA’

Before I started writing Microbrew Mondays, I was in love with all IPA style beers. The bitterness, the aftertaste, it all seemed like a beer revolution to me. Needless to say, when I first had Latitude 48 IPA from Sam Adams, I was in beer heaven. The first time I ever tried this beer with on a tour of the Sam Adams brewery tour. Latitude was still in its testing phase and our tour guide poured heavy sample glasses closer to 8oz probably because ours was a smaller group. I enjoyed this one so much that I stole my friends glass as well – more like traded him my next sample – whatever that might have been. Fast forward three years, a bottle of Latitude 48 was left at my house following a party and I thought now would be a good time to revisit an old friend.

Latitude 48 pours a deep copper color with a fare amount of dirty white foam. This was an easy beer to pour due to a smaller amount of carbonation that is pretty typical in most Sam Adams beers. The head immediately bursts of hoppy flavor indicating a potent IPA. My first sip was like going home. Sam Adams uses three different hops from three different countries whose regions all lie on the 48 latitude line. My first taste made a liar of my nose. There was not an overwhelming hop flavor making me question this as a traditional IPA. However, the definitive hop flavor, mild sweetness, the characteristic bitter finish, and the 60 IBU does place this in the range for American style IPA beers. The mouth feel is a little thin and I wish there was something just a little heavier given the rich color.

This is another fine example of the kind of microbrew that Sam Adams puts out year after year. Latitude 48 has only been mass produced and distributed for two years, so don’t be too surprised if you haven’t come across it. Latitude 48 is available year round in six packs for around $8 or for $13 for a 12 pack. The 6% ABV is on par than some other American IPA style beers available. Overall I find this to be a well crafted beer that has significant potential to be a fine everyday beer.

Grade: B-

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I think most anyone who enjoys beer has heard of an IPA (India Pale Ale) and can easily distinguish it from most beers by its ever present hoppy flavor. I recently stumbled across Three Floyd’s Alpha King, which is labeled as American Pale Ale (APA). The difference between IPA and APA is summed up well by this post from Thoughts on Beer.

I had my first bottle of Alpha King on a complete whim while eating at Fat Willy’s Rib Shack in northern Chicago (a must for BBQ fans). I hadn’t planned to order a drink, but my dining partners all ordered a spiked drink so I succumbed to peer pressure (Kids: don’t succumb to peer pressure, you’re better than that). While there were other microbrews available, I was pulled in by the Alpha King artwork and careful attention to detail. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a sucker for good packaging.

From the photo above, you can see that Alpha King pours a medium amber color and produces a lovely frothy head. The flavor profile contains the classic Pale Ale bitterness, but is not overwhelming like some IPAs I’ve had in the past. Quite a bit of citrus aroma emerges when poured into a glass (lemon and orange mostly), but much of the aroma never reaches your senses when consumed out of the bottle.

Three Floyd’s is a regional brewery located in Munster, Indiana, not too far from the Illinois border and is pretty difficult to find outside of the northern Midwest. It sells for around $11 per six pack and can be found on draft at establishments that appreciate good beer. While I myself would happily pick up this beer again, I don’t think it stands out as an exceptional Pale Ale in comparison to other microbrews.

Grade: B