Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fort George Brewery - The Optimist IPA

Is that can half empty...or half full?
Some breweries never disappointment me. Take for example Fort George Brewery in beautiful Astoria, Oregon. They make some mighty tasty beer and their taproom is top notch. Seriously, if you're ever even close to Astoria, you owe it to yourself to stop at Fort George. Fun times, nice people and fantastic beer. That's a winning combo, right there.

The most recent Fort George beer to hit the cold case of my local supermarket is The Optimist IPA. I found it in a six pack of 12 oz. cans. Now, I'm often reluctant to invest almost 9 bucks in a sixer of an unknown beer. You know...because what if it sucks? Then I have to save it for a party or something. Pass it off to unsuspecting house guests. However, that has never been the case with Fort George. I had no problem plunking down my hard-earned cash for a six pack of The Optimist. So, how was it, you ask?

The beer poured into my IPA glass a slightly hazy, light golden orange color. The white head rose up to a full finger thick and dissipated slowly. Loads of webby, sudsy lacing was left behind.

Aroma was citrus hops and tropical fruit. Pleasant grassy, floral notes on top of sweet, pale malt. Interesting lavender-like aroma.

Taste followed the nose. Not a hop bomb, this beer, but with plenty of juicy, fruity flavor. Orange, melon and stone fruit. Light, biscuity malt. Not too sweet. The mildly bitter hops flavor lingered throughout the entire drink, balancing the sweet floral and tropical fruitiness quite nicely.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. No alcohol detected in this 6.2% ABV brew. Mild, semi-dry finish.

Overall, this is an exceedingly drinkable IPA. The 12 oz. can six pack is the appropriate packaging, in my opinion, because you can easily knock back several of these while manning the BBQ.

I am a big-time hophead. I crave the big, bitter pucker of an outrageously hoppy IPA...but not always. Sometimes, it's nice to have a solid IPA that you can enjoy out on the deck. Something that delivers the hops but doesn't coat your tonsils or significantly sting your taste buds. Something you can share with your non-hophead friends that won't leave them running for a Bud Light. The Optimist fills that bill quite nicely.

I'm giving The Optimist a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4. Good stuff that will always be welcome in my weekend cooler.


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