Sunday, May 18, 2014

StormBreaker Brewing - Cloud Ripper IPA

Is it a hole in one?
I had a blast volunteering as a scorekeeper for the 2nd Annual Brewvana Drink Drink Putt event here in Portland yesterday. Basically, it's a pub crawl, where-in different breweries across town build their own diabolical mini-golf holes for the imbibing contestants to embarrass and/or humiliate themselves upon. Hilarity ensues. Much delicious craft beer is consumed. Good times for all.

I was stationed at StormBreaker Brewing, one of the newer upstarts in town--which is actually a reincarnation of Amnesia Brewing that was located at the same NE Portland location for many years. What a fun time! Yes, there were a few unfortunate incidences: the ramp on the hole was smashed twice and one very impaired fellow had to have his putting privileges revoked when he winged a ball across the beer garden. Still, everybody had a safe, enjoyable day.

Brewvana, which is a super-fun Portland craft beer tour and event company, organized the event and was kind enough to reward me for my volunteering gig with a mug and two taster tokens. Awesome. I'll never turn down free beer. Never.

They are brewing up some pretty good beer at StormBreaker. Yes, indeed! I had a mug of the Mississippi Red and their Cloud Ripper IPA. I liked the IPA so much, I got a second pint of it. Let's review it, shall we?

The beer was presented in a shaker pint--I'm not faulting anybody for serving their brews in shakers, by the way. Shakers are cheap, stack-able and virtually indestructible. If I ever own a bar or taproom, I'm going to use shakers as the primary glassware. Just sayin'. Anyway, I digress. Back to the beer.

Cloud Ripper was a deep, golden orange color with a bright white head. The head was about a 1/2 inch tall and dissipated quickly to a thin cap of lacing. Thin, webby suds were left behind on the glass throughout the drink.

Aroma was indistinct citrus with some pine notes. Tropical fruit. Pleasant, light malt in the background.

Taste provided an excellent citrus medley: orange, tangerine, some grapefruit. Orange mostly. They got some IBU's in there, too. Appropriate bitter hops zing with just the right amount of dankness in the mix. Light tropical fruit flavor hung around on the palate at the end. Mango and melon. Nice.

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a chew to it. A little touch of oiliness. Smooth, clean finish. No alcohol taste to this 6% IPA. It's very drinkable. Surprisingly sessionable. I'd have no problem if somebody brought a pitcher of it over to my table. (Why didn't that happen?)

Overall, this is a practically perfect Northwest IPA. I could find no flaws and it hit every taste bud tidbit my palate prefers. My wife brought Merry the Wonder Beagle by and, yes, she drooled up a storm--bad pun intended. I'm giving Cloud Ripper a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie.


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