The local IPA scene lately has been littered with cloudy, New England or Eastern Style IPA’s, which has been a real treat for a while but it can be a bit overwhelming at times with all the fruit and lack of bitterness in the hopped up beers. Because of this, I’ve been craving more West Coast style bitter IPA’s, and go figure it takes a beer from the East to satisfy those West Coast cravings. This is one of a few free sample beers sent to me by Beau’s, and after opening this one I felt it was worth reviewing right away before I opened the others.
Full Time IPA is a perfect name for this year round, 6.7% abv beer that’s loaded with organic Simcoe, Citra, Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. Every beer they make is certified organic, using organic hops, organic barley and local spring water in every one of them. They are a certified B-Corp, which means they consider the environment in all internal decision making (and have third party verification of this), and all round they are committed to the local community and ethical practices. What I’m trying to say is that they are a pretty damn cool company and, above and beyond that, they make beer which is so far pretty good stuff!
Aroma and Appearance: Full Time IPA pours a gold colour with two fingers of foam and medium carbonation made up of slow rising bubbles that make their way through bits of chunky haze in the glass. The aroma is papaya, pineapple, pine resin and sweet caramel.
Flavour: Up front it’s quite rindy, featuring a mix of grapefruit and orange rinds over some light bread malts and pine tree notes. Mid palate, there’s a bed of forest floor in the medium bodied beer that’s accompanied by grapefruit juice before it moves into a dry lemon and floral finish. On the aftertaste, there’s nuances of herbal Ricola cough drops that I often detect from Lemon Drop hops, that alas, were not in the ingredients list.
Overall Impression: I’ve had a lot IPA’s, so it takes a lot to impress me and yet this one did. It’s a good representation of the west coast style IPA with dry and lingering bitter finish that leaves you wanting for more without destroying your palate.
Rating: If you see it here it means I’m pretty happy with it because I think it’s worth writing about, but I still won’t give a number rating because I feel it’s way too hard to remove bias in a free sample to give a true numbered rating.
Food Pairing: Pair with a homemade chicken stir fry with some pepper flakes thrown in there for some heat, but not too many otherwise your mouth will burn forever.
One thing I was super thrilled to see was their bottle date and freshness presentation, which is probably the best I’ve seen as it gives the bottle date so I can judge freshness for myself and a freshness guide for the average consumer who might not be so familiar with stylistic freshness.