This week it's almost like I've been searching for buried treasure. I found a hidden gem from Indianapolis and a Treasure Chest in San Diego.
First up, Speedway, Indiana's own Daredevil Brewing.
Daredevil is a rather new brewery (opening in 2011) based in Speedway, Indiana which is right outside of Indianapolis...conveniently located right by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They love making "eclectic, aggressively fun" brews and, unfortunately, are currently only available in Indiana.
Lift Off is their West-Coast Style IPA, so it has a nice citrus aroma with plenty of hops lingering in the background. There is also a dim floral scent that can be picked up occasionally but, first and foremost, you get a nice grapefruit and citrus smell.
The clear, straw colored beer poured with limited head, just a nice dusting around the glass. On my first sip, my nose was correct. Up front you get a nice combination of grapefruit, mango, and tangerine flavors with some hop tingle. Even though this beer has an IBU rating of 72, the pale malts and hops work together well, making Lift Off not really bitter at all.
On the backend, the floral notes peak out a little more, as there is a slight pine and grassy taste that will loiter for just a brief moment on your palate. It's a slightly dryer beer with medium carbonation but somehow remains rather smooth to drink.
As the beer disappears with each sip, the small amount of head that originally just dusted the beer is now lacing the sides of my glass rather well - leaving a plethora of thin lines around the entire glass.
Lift Off will set you back $10.99 for a four-pack of 16 ounce cans, so it's not too expensive. Plus the 7.2% ABV it contains is hidden really, really well and it drinks more like a session IPA than a regular IPA.
This is a very solid, very smooth IPA whose only problem is that is just a bit hard to find outside of Indiana...which hurt the score a tad. But still, this is a really good beer. 8/10
Next, like I said, I found a Treasure Chest from San Diego's Green Flash. And this beer does more than just help you avoid sobriety...
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to spotlight this beer before the month ended. This is the fifth year Green Flash has done Treasure Chest. Their co-founder, Lisa Hinkley, is a breast cancer survivor and wanted to create a beer that helps others with breast cancer...enter Treasure Chest.
For every bottle or glass sold, they will donate money to breast cancer charities across the country. This year they are looking to raise $150,000. If you can't find Treasure Chest by you, you can also donate directly here!
The 2015 release of Treasure Chest features quite a cast of characters. This west coast IPA is made with mosaic hops, grapefruit juice, prickly pear juice, and hibiscus flowers. When poured from the bottle, it's a cloudy copper color, with a slight pink hue. Just about a finger of white head builds atop the beer.
You can really smell the grapefruit emitting out of this brew. The aroma is mostly grapefruit with a tiny bit of the prickly pear peaking out and the hibiscus mostly hidden.
Most of Green Flash's beers are quite hoppy and you can smell it...but not this one. You can tell the hops are there, but they really aren't prevalent or overpowering on the nose. The hops aren't even too bold in the flavor.
The grapefruit and pear steal the show and really cut the hoppy bitterness out of the taste (it has 65 IBU, but really doesn't taste like it).
Up front, the grapefruit is the main flavor but that fades into the prickly pear juice and a slight hop tingle on the back end. There is no real aftertaste or sticky feeling that lingers in your mouth between sips, which a lot of sweeter beers have.
As I continued to drink, the little amount of foam left big, thick lines around the glass with each sip. It was quite a lacing for such a little amount of head.
Occasionally you'll get a nice hibiscus note or two on the backend but, for the most part, it's almost more like a juice than a beer. The mosaic hops already have a citrus flavor to them so adding the pear and grapefruit juices really adds to the sweetness and turns this into an adult juicebox.
The 5.7% ABV won't hit you too bad, nor will the price - $7.99 for a 22 ounce bomber. Plus you're helping a good cause!
Overall Treasure Chest is a smooth, incredibly easy to dink IPA. It's quite sessionable, very tasty, and gives to those in need...how can you not love this beer!? 8.5/10