BREWERY: Anchor Brewing
BEER: GO WEST! IPA
Malts: 2-row pale
Hops: Apollo and Bravo (Brew);
Citra, Equinox, Calypso, Eureka! (Dry Hop)
FROM THE BREWERY:
“Fast-forward to Go West! IPA™, made with 2-row pale barley malt and dry-hopped with a unique blend of 4 American hops. Its mouthwateringly complex aromas of citrus, pine, and the tropics; spiky bitterness; gleaming golden color; and clean finish unite to create this singular 24-karat IPA. Go West!, where the impossible is possible.
This brew pours bright, clear golden color with light tan head, has strong tropical and citrus fruit aromas balanced by the spiky freshness of pine needles. You get bitterness up front followed by subtly sweet maltiness, a light body and very smooth finish. You get hop bitterness, clean and fresh, and a hint of sweetness creates a complexity that leaves you wanting more”
My eyes lit up at my local Morton Williams when I saw a six pack with the word ‘NEW’ in a bright red banner (let alone actually printed on the box). In the mood for an IPA, I grabbed the six pack and headed (West) to Central Park for some day drinking. I was careful to save two to complete this review (which was tough, because the beer was going down easy). Here’s to GO WEST! IPA by Anchor Brewing.
Right after the first pop of the top, the aromatics of the hops are quite pronounced. Once the beer is poured, the hops really shine and give a great appetizer for the pallet. The beer has a slight haze to it, while also seeming to glow in the best shade of hazely fire yellow. A nice white, foamy head keeps enough of the hop aroma trapped to make the first drink like sniffing a bag of Citra. The beer is liberally hopped, but not overly bitter – at least at first.
What first appear as bright aroma hops give way to a deceptively pallet wrecking collection of hops that seems to wear you down. The bitterness and tendency to linger on the tongue is a little undesirable, in my opinion. Its certainly an IPA, and they make that abundently clear. I’m just not certain what the GO WEST! aspect of the name is supposed to mean. The beer uses a blend of 2 hops in the brew, and 4 more dry hopped. What some may interpret as highly complex and layered I taste as muddled and a bit too over the top. The citrus notes are certainly there, but are competing with a piney taste that seems like its trying to do too much.
CLOSING THOUGHTS and WHERE TO BUY
Overall, this beer was a bit of a disappointment for me. It’s not that it isn’t a good beer – its just that its just a good beer. I’ve been the type to really take a liking to the trend of making single-hop IPAs to really accentuate the flavor profile of a single hop. This beer takes the opposite approach, attempting to build a complex and layered hop taste that is only achievable by the right proportions and lineage of hops they use. The result misses the boat a bit, and comes across as a hoppy IPA without a real driving taste. This beer is a relatively new offering by Anchor Brewing using a new proprietary tank for dry hopping. It should be widely availabe in the near future, so keep an eye out for it!
RATING: 73 out of 100 (first beer on the new system!)
And a bonus nod to Shawnee Craft Brewing Company for the sweet glass!