Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stickin in my IPA

It seems only natural that NOFX, a punk band with a 1994 album named Punk in Drublic, would eventually collaborate with a brewer to produce an alcoholic beverage of some sort.  What one would not expect is that it would take more than twenty years for that collaboration to take place and for the beer to be released. And, when I saw a craft beer collaboration between Champion Brewing (from Charlottesville, Virginia) and NOFX (from Los Angeles, California), I knew I had to try it.

From the craft beer perspective, I have tried beers inspired by musicians.  I've even blogged about a couple, including Dogfish Head's Bitches Brew (a tribute to Miles Davis) and Hellhound on my Ale (a tribute to Robert Johnson).  The effort of brewers to brew beer to commemorate a musician, especially when it focuses on an artist or musical style that I love, such as jazz or blues. 

One musical style that I really love is punk music.  Bands like Bad Religion, Pennywise, Minor Threat and, yes, NOFX, constitute a large portion of my digital music.  I have several of NOFX's albums, including Punk in Drublic, The War on Errorism, and Wolves in Wolves Clothing.  Some of my favorite songs include The BrewsIdiots are Taking Over and Leaving Jesusland.  

However, it is a song off of NOFX's album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean that gives this beer its name.  The song is Stickin in my Eye, which the the basis for Sticking in my IPA.  The brewers at Champion gave a nod to NOFX's west coast roots by brewing this IPA in the "West Coast style."  This style means a heavy emphasis on the central features of the hops ... its bitter, piney notes.  The hops used in this beer are Simcoe and Falconer's Flight hops.  To round out the bitterness, the brewer use rye grains, which help to add a little "sweetness" and, in turn, a little complexity to the beer.  

The Stickin in my IPA pours a golden, amber color, with a small, thin foam that quickly recedes to the edges of the glass.  The hops work their magic in this beer.  The Falconer's Flight hops provide a wonderful aroma of piney notes, which are intermittently cut through with a sweetness from the rye and malts.  The Simcoe hops provide a strong, yet manageable bitterness to the taste of the beer.  The bitterness is shrouded in piney notes, with a sweetness that reveals itself after each sip.  As the sweetness greets the tongue, the bitterness holds on to the edges to serve as a reminder that this beer is an India Pale Ale with an IBU of 65 and an ABV of 7.5%. 

I found this beer at a local grocery store.  It sells for $8.99 a can.    It is definitely worth a try, even if you don't like or know about NOFX or punk music.


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