Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Elevated IPA the GABF Gold Medal Winner 2011

Elevated IPA is an American IPA from La Cumbre Brewing Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This blog is usually focused on beers that are either brewed or can be bought in Northern California. To my knowledge, La Cumbre does not distribute in California.

However, another author of this blog was on his 3rd wedding anniversary trip with through the Southwest, with his wife of course. One of their destinations was the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. While there they came across La Cumbre and Elevated IPA which won Gold for American IPA at the Great American Beer Festival. They loved it so much, they bought a growler, put it in a cooler and brought in back to California.

He's going to write a long post about the brewery and a few other beers they had.

The beer pours a bright, light amber color, with a thin white head that leaves little lacings. The aroma has strong citrus and pine hops with notes of earth hops and sweet malts. The flavor starts with some earthy hops and caramel malts followed by a big burst of citrus, pine and spicy hops. The finish is clean and leaves the citrus and pine hops lingering around. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, a bit dry, but smooth all around.

I love this beer. It's probably the best IPA I've ever had. The kicker was the explosion of hop flavor without an overpowering bitter bite. The bitterness is there, but its well balanced. The brewer was able to elevate the flavor and downplay the bitterness with great results. Also, the body is smoother than other big hopped beers that tend to have a resinous or sticky finish. This beer is a Must Have It.

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