Daredevil Brewing Co. Lift Off West Coast Style IPA (7.2% ABV)
Pour: 16oz can into a snifter
Appearance: Very pale for an IPA – it looks more like a wheat ale. Medium-gold with about an inch of soapy head that really lingers. Tons of lacing.
Aroma: Fruity – a lot of pineapple and mango, with something a bit yeasty in the back.
Taste: Not quite as juicy as I was expecting based on the aroma. Pine and floral notes up front, slightly sweeter in the middle, then an earthy bitterness in the finish. It’s a really well balanced IPA.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied – crisp and relatively clean, only lightly coating the tongue.
I may have mentioned this at some point before, but even though this site’s primary focus is Indianapolis, I actually live up in South Bend. It’s IMV huncho B who lives in Indy. That’s why I tend to write more about Michigan beers than I do Indy brewers – that’s what I most readily find at my local. I was pleasantly surprised, though, to run across a 4-pack of Daredevil’s Lift Off earlier this week. I’m not all that familiar with Daredevil—in fact, this is the first beer of theirs I’ve ever tried—but so few of the Indy breweries distribute this far north (Sun King and Flat 12 are the only ones I can readily find on the shelves up here), so I decided to take a chance and give it a try.
Lift Off is labeled as a West Coast IPA, which the way I understand it generally means that it’s going to be more one-dimensional than the styles brewed in the Midwest – less malt, a fairly dry finish, and more of a ‘juicy’ hop profile instead of the hop bombs the Midwest is becoming known for (esp. Three Floyds). Lift Off is definitely a subtler, more well-balanced IPA than something like Zombie Dust, but I don’t know that I would call it ‘juicy.’ There’s a ton of fruit in the nose, but not a lot of that carries over into the beer’s flavor. I’m not complaining, though – there’s a really nice mix of hops here that give the beer a surprising complexity while still being incredibly smooth and drinkable.
I definitely see a visit to their taproom some time in my near future…