Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Ah, I remember my first PROVING GROUND IPA from San Francisco’s MAGNOLIA PUB & BREWERY like it was yesterday – a robust, juicy, west coast-style IPA just bursting with hops, improved exponentially by Magnolia’s proclivity to serve only in giant “imperial pint” glasses. Whoa. We gave it an 8/10 last year. I happened upon the pub again recently and darted in for a little tastin’-and-comparin’, this time giving their SPUD BOY IPA a try. Here’s how they describe said beer:

Our English-style India Pale Ale, with just a shade of restraint on the hops, more balance from the malt, and a moderate alcohol level. Deep golden/pale copper in color with a fruity hop aroma and clean, sharp bitterness enhanced by the Burtonized water. The touch of Cascade hops thrown in mid-boil finds an unlikely place among the otherwise English ingredients.

Malts: Floor-malted Maris Otter; crystal malt; caramalt; wheat Hops: Challenger; East Kent Goldings, Cascade Food Pairings: fried fish & calamari, spicy food, cajun/creole food

I had it straight-up in the imperial pint glass, no creole food for me this time – but thank god for those Floor-Malted Maris Otters, hunh? It may be a decided preference for the hop-centric IPAs of my locale, but this one didn’t quite fare as well on the HBJometer. It was fairly dry, with malt flavors predominating. Rather than a sweeter citrus taste, this one was closer to grapefruit, and maybe a tad astringent as well. I still liked it – and I’d probably have it again – but not if Proving Ground’s on the tap next to it. I say 6/10 – what about you?

1 comment:

Loren said...

The Burtonized water is probably causing the astringency. Try it on cask maybe? Challenger is a bit more American than your typical English hop that may be the culprit.

LOVE Magnolia.