By Gail Oberst and Will Oberst-Cairns
Just a few days before Medford Beer Week’s festivities last month, the Oregon Beer Growler gathered up a collection of IPAs made in breweries between Eugene and Medford, and brought them to the patrons at Beerworks, Medford’s bottle shop and bar. Following are their choices and comments.
Southern Oregon Brewing Nice Rack, Medford 65 IBUs, 5.5% ABV
Commercial Description: This IPA available in bottles and cans has a malty backbone – Rahr 2-row, Crisp Maris Otter, Dextrin, Weyermann Munich and Caramunich grains with citrus/floral hop finish thanks to Centennial, Summit and Amarillo hops.
Consumer Comments: “Sweet, light, easy-drinking.” “Good beer.” ”Comforting!” Tasty!” “One classy glass of IPA.”
McMenamins Roseburg’s Diamond IPA 62 IBUs, 6.5% ABV
Commercial Description: An American style IPA brewed with Pale Ale and Caramel Vienna malts for the malt backbone, followed by aggressive hopping – Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Sterling and Crystal hops — an emphasis on hop flavors and aromas.
Consumer Comments: “Big and silky.” “Carmel? Licorice?” “Feels good and tricks my mind into being energized.” “Roasted chocolate drops. Yum!” “Great smell.” “Nice dark color, like root beer, and not too hoppy.”
BricktownE HopJaw, Medford 90+ IBUs, 7% ABV
Commercial Description: This Pacific Northwest IPA is brewed with Cascade and Zythos hops. We brew it with Munich malts and just a touch of corn sugar for a dry and refreshing, yet malty backbone to balance the hops. ENJOY!
Consumer Comments: “Sweet smell.” “Smooth as a baby’s bottom on a silk slide into a bed of flower petals!” “Like an amazing night running nude on the beach!” “Hops on High! I love it!”
Ninkasi Total Domination, Eugene 65 IBUs, 6.7% ABV
Commercial Description: This IPA has a citrusy, floral hop aroma, and big hop flavor balanced with a richness imparted by Carahell and Munich malts.
Consumer Comments: “A smooth beer with a bite, just like a silk tiger!” “Tangy!” “Blackberry Yum.” “A bright star.” “I really like it. I could drink it every day!” “Super summer beer.”
Two Shy Ignition Double IPA, Roseburg 105 IBUs, 7.5% ABV
Commercial Description: Ignition is a double IPA with a balance of bitterness, aroma and flavor. The ale uses Nugget, Simcoe, Cascade and Citra hops with 2 row, Crystal and Munich malts.
Consumer Comments: “Tangy!” “Extra strong and extra good!” “Tastes good, feels good.” “Flowers in your face and your mouth, yum!” “Great choice but it’s a heavy hitter. Be careful!”
Hop Valley Citrus Mistress, Springfield 80 IBUs, 6.5% ABV
Commercial Description: This seasonal IPA features four different hops and grapefruit peel. Smells of citrus, peach, and tropical fruits with enough Munich malt to produce a classic burnt orange color.
Consumer Comments: “Enjoy!” “Summer nights in the orchard. Take a deep breath and drink deep!” “Hop-olicious! My favorite!” “Pow-tastic! Punched in the face with awesome!”
Opposition Sixth Seal IPA, Medford 86 IBUs, 6.3% ABV
Commercial Description: This Northwest pale ale is our flagship brew. A strong malt profile and hop presence with Centennial, Magnum, Zythos hops.
Consumer Comments: “Enjoyed the maltiness!” “It felt like I just got home to a ton of girls in thongs!” “Easy to drink.” “Great flavor!”
Oregon Beer Growler each month invites consumers to “blind” taste a different style or group of beers at various locations across the state.