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Iron Hops

Iron Hops: 18th Street Brewing Jade APA

18th Street Brewing Jade American Pale Ale (5.5% ABV)

Pour: 12oz can into a snifter

Appearance: Pours a lovely dark gold with about an inch of fizzy, persistent head. Not much lacing to speak Aroma: Very hoppy – juicy citrus, almost like orange juice.

Taste: Much like the nose – very juicy up front, with a sweetly bitter aftertaste. Not very complex, but very well-balanced and drinkable. A bit of alcohol in the finish as well, which is surprising considering the low ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated. Definitely coats the teeth and tongue.

So this week we’ve got another offering from Hammond/Gary, Indiana’s 18th Street Brewing, and this one is a little bit different. Brewed with oats, crystal rye, and Pacific Jade hops, Jade APA is on the sweeter, juicier side of the APA spectrum instead of the hop bomb side.

Now, I don’t generally get into discussions of the various types of hops or other ingredients in this column, but with so many different hop varieties out there, and with so many new ones being used due to shortages in some of the more prevalent varieties, I think it might be worth starting to do so. Pacific Jade hops were originally cultivated in New Zealand, and tend to have strong aromas of both oranges and black pepper. The crystal rye malt tends to have a licorice or toffee flavor to it, while the oats will primarily affect the Mouthfeel by making the beer thicker and give it an oilier texture.

There’s not a whole lot of pepper or licorice in Jade’s flavor profile. Instead, the orange from the hops tends to dominate both the nose and the taste. There’s a bit of the toffee malts to add balance in the finish, plus a bit of bitterness from somewhere as well. On the whole, this is a very good, very drinkable APA that I’d highly recommend.

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