13 October 2011

Beer Diary #23 | Jim - A Tale of Two IPA's

Date: 10 October 2011
Location: Twenty Tap
Meridian-Kessler/South Broad Ripple

Autumn is here, and the warm weather is soon to depart. This means that at taps all over town, hoppy beers are starting to make way for malty beers. So on a recent visit to Twenty Tap for my monthly book club meeting, I decided to delve into a few hoppier ales before the beer menu there becomes dominated by hearty, maltier offerings.

A quick word about the book club -- it's composed of lit nerds who are also beer geeks. Therefore, we meet each month at a different craft-beer-centric establishment to discuss the book selection for that month. Beer consumption + lit discussion = a fun combination, especially when we talk about a book like The Sparrow, which was our latest selection. If you dig books that focus on the theme of "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People" and you don't mind weird and disturbing twists, you'll like The Sparrow. The book certainly generated some of the liveliest conversation the club has had to date.

Back to the beer. Twenty Tap has two great IPA's on at the moment (well, as of Monday 10/10), both from Indiana brewers, and both of which represent two ends of the IPA spectrum:

People's Space Cowboy: 9.5% ABV if I remember correctly, hopped with Galaxy among a few others. Copper/amber in color. This double IPA stands on the sweet end of the style, with a resinous mouthfeel and huge pineapple notes in the nose and flavor. The sweetness, however, was not cloying and balanced out the hops well. Heavy but amazingly drinkable.

New Albanian Yakima Rye IPA: 7.5% ABV, hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus. Golden in color. In contrast to Space Cowboy, Yakima is on the dry end of the IPA spectrum. The grapefruit and pine attributes present in the nose and flavor are striking. My notes say "angular" in reference to the flavor. That's the best adjective that I was able to conjure up at the time, but I'm not even sure now what "angular" means. I suppose "bitter" might have been better adjective. But yeah, Yakima carries a powerful hop bite and is delicious. If you miss this beer at Twenty Tap, bombers are still available in town.


  1. Jim, when I use the term "angular" it's because there are intense flavors that are not really well integrated. To some palates that is unpleasant. It depends on the person. It's like you can taste individual flavors on the front, middle and back of the mouth and they aren't harmonious.

  2. That's definitely not what I experienced with Yakima, Michael. I'm not normally one for drier IPAs, but the flavors in this beer were definitely harmonious and delicious together. I think "angular" came from the sharp characteristics of the hops. They were definitely prominent, but not overwhelming.

  3. I enjoyed the bottle of Yakima so much that I immediately went out and bought four more. The balance was really nice, especially considering the 100-something IBUs. It smelled and tasted great!

  4. I'm still seeing plenty of Yakima bombers around town. I'm definitely going to snatch a few before they're gone.

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