Firestone Easy Jack IPA

Firestone-Walker Brewing Company Easy Jack Summer Session IPA: The hopheads are taking over craft brewing, which makes bitter-beer lovers smile yet leaves in the dust the many other ale addicts who don’t dig on skunky perfume and lip-puckering pungency.

No fear, Easy Jack IPA is here, revealing that you can find a strategic middle ground where hops show off their stuff but do not completely overwhelm a lighter beer. On this golden chardonnay-colored “session” ale — a nod to the relatively low 4.5% alcohol, meaning you can have a few without going cross-eyed — the aromas boast a vibrant pine character (thanks to the globetrotting mix of Bavarian Mandarina, Hallertau Melon, a New Zealand blend, and American Mosaic hops), and there is brief bitterness once sipped, but that fades fast into a crisp finish, demanding another sip.

It’s the beach beer of 2014.


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