An East Coast Brewery’s West Coast Beer
The West Coast has a reputation for making some of the best IPAs in the world. So this legendary East Coast brewery decided to make a drinkable West Coast-style IPA.
Sam Adams is one of the great success stories of American craft brewing. In the 80s, Jim Koch began brewing his grandfather's recipe for a lager in his kitchen. A Harvard grad, he was able to take that delicious Vienna lager (named, of course Boston Lager under the Sam Adams brand after the American patriot and Boston brewer) and turn Sam Adams into the massive force in beer that it has since become. Along with West Coast brethren Sierra Nevada and Anchor, Sam Adams is a major part of kickstarting what is now known as craft beer in the United States.
So, it only makes sense that they would pay attention to trends in the craft brewing world and enter the fore of IPAs: Rebel IPA. This isn't their first attempt at the style, but it's their version of a West Coast IPA.
Now, what separates a West Coast IPA from an East Coast IPA? To start things off, the West Coast style has a much stronger reliance on hoppiness in flavor. West Coast IPAs tend to have a simple malt foundation and rely on HUGE hop bite in the taste. Since the Pacific Northwest in particular has a TON of different hops to choose from, it makes sense. On the other hand, East Coast IPAs have a little more complexity in the malt, which results in a few more flavors kicking around along with the (still noticeable) hops. There tends to be a bit more sweetness balancing out the hops in an East Coast IPA.
Sam Adams Rebel IPA is brewed with Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, and Amarillo. That's FIVE different West Coast hop varieties. So, yeah, there's a ton of West Coast in this, but, being the East Coast brewery they are, they kept the bitterness down into the mid-40s IBU range. For reference, Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid ale is 102 IBU, Stone's IPA is 77 IBU. This one is about the same in bitterness as Rogue's Dead Guy Ale.
Go grab a growler for half-price and enjoy this incredibly drinkable IPA at Half Time!