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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

2009 Beer Bracket

Check out beer columnist Bob Townsend’s 2009 Beer Bracket — a sweet sixteen competition of American-style India Pale Ales in honor of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. He pitted 8 from the West against 8 from the East in a blind tasting.

Townsend asked me to be one of the judges — not that I have any expertise, but I like to taste new things and says words like “grapefruity.”

I don’t think I’d have been a good judge for Belgian ales — many of which I find too sweet. (A waitress recently talked me into a Saison Dupont, which tasted like a mouthful of cloves — not my thing.)

But I’ve learned to love big American IPAs, with their citrus aromas and flavors and their full-tilt-boogie bitterness on the finish.

In fact, the beer pictured here — the Titan IPA from Great Divide Brewing in Denver — has become my go-to draft beer at the new Leon’s Full Service in Decatur. It makes for a fantastic after-work pint and is a great friend to food.

If you love IPAs, you can vote for your favorite online here.

2 comments Add your comment

Darin

March 20th, 2009
2:27 pm

Aww, you didn’t like Saison Dupont? That’s one of my favorites. I really prefer the way the beers like this that aren’t as hop-heavy go with food, rather than the monster hoppy things that have become so popular in recent years. I tried the Smuttynose IPA a couple of weeks ago and it was so intensely bitter I felt like my tongue was being assaulted.

It looks like I’m in the minority within the world of beer geekdom, where hop-forward brews are definitely the most popular. I’m more impressed with the bright, slightly tart, citrus flavors of saisons and wheat beers and they way they match a variety of food types from sweet to spicy.

Darin

March 20th, 2009
2:52 pm

Aww, you didn’t like Saison Dupont? That’s one of my favorites. I really prefer the way that the bright, slightly tart, citrus flavors of saisons, wheat beers and some others go with foods rather than the hop-heavy brews like IPAs.

I know I’m in the minorty with my beer tastes, though, especially now with the mega hoppy beers being so popular.

I agree with you, though, that many of the very malty belgian ales are too sweet.