Beer Name: New England-style IPA: Citralush
Brewery: Epic Brewing
Serving Style: 22-oz. bomber
It appears that the slightly more chilly days have arrived. We thought about just snagging a pumpkin beer or a nice stout for this month’s review, but we said to hell with that nonsense—we will not retreat so easily into the winter months. So, in bucking the trend for seasonality (in which craft beer seems to follow the large retail-shopping calendar), we decided to grab one last hoppy brew and brave this light-jacket weather.
Epic Brewing recently launched a new series of IPAs. These are based around one of the current most popular beer styles in the beer community, a New England India Pale Ale. They have deemed this series of juicy brews Praise the Haze. If you are not fully familiar with the style, it reflects on the dense, juicy, hazy appearance on the beer. The great news is that Epic has decided to release several different versions, displaying many of the different techniques used to give these beers their unique, fresh aroma while limiting much of the bitter bite associated with a traditional IPA. We believe this will help ease even the most hop-adverse beer drinkers into this refreshing style. Take Epic’s first New England–style version, Citralush. It’s a crowd pleaser.
Description: As with most craft beer, we always recommend getting it out of its original container for a complete sensory overload. By doing so, it allows all of your senses to fully experience and explore what is happening while enjoying the beverage. For us, Citralush went from the bottle into a large-base tulip glass. Pouring a burnt-caramel orange, the air wafts with a fruity aroma of island fruit and lemon. This beverage leaves a white collar that sustains atop its clouded, carbonated body. The clean burst of citrus under the nose is where the New England style truly wins over its legions of fanatical followers. It has a smell you can taste with a punch of hop flavors, mixed with citrus zest pulsing from the Citra and Mosaic hops. There is the complete absence of a traditional-style IPA. Here is the fun part about this style of beer: Its mouth feel is smooth as silk for a hoppy brew, and the bitterness almost immediately ends, if you taste it at all. Very nicely done.
Overview: If you have always been a general hater of the IPA style, we recommend giving this East Coast version a try. If you’re a more casual beer drinker who has avoided NE-style in fear of the bitterness, you are in for a wonderful surprise. We were in the same boat a few years ago—hating the bitter beer face. However, keeping our minds open, at our own pace, we each developed a true love for the style, which eventually turned us into bonafide hopheads.
Epic Brewing has promised to deliver a series of New England IPAs with rotating hop bills over the next few months. Plans are to have these beers available everywhere Epic is distributed, packaged in a beautifully designed, 12-ounce can. Citralush is the first commitment from Epic to have this style of beer available to their customers. It is exciting to see our local breweries are doing what they can to allow us the chance to try these fun and innovative styles of beer. We look forward to the seeing just how great the rest of the series turn out.