It seems somewhat disingenuous to only be celebrating the third anniversary of PORT BREWING; after all, this outfit (also tangentially responsible for the incredible LOST ABBEY series of beers) was well-known to Southern California beer lovers as PIZZA PORT for many years before that. One of their stocks-in-trade has been the India Pale Ale, or what some people down there call “San Diego-style” IPAs. I reckon this style of IPA is characterized by loads of hops, a general freshness, and a big citrus taste – yeah, exactly like any other good IPA, whether it’s from Encinitas, La Jolla, King of Prussia or Burton-on-Trent.
PORT BREWING 3RD ANNIVERSARY ALE is a nice correction after my experience with the last two highly-touted IPAs these guys came up with. I didn’t dig the 2ND ANNIVERSARY ALE; I thought HOP 15 was pretty foul as well. I’ve been waiting for a PORT BREWING India Pale Ale that could hit the lofty heights established by a beer I got to try twice three years ago called HOP SUEY. This, my friends, is very nearly that beer. This is creamy, delicious IPA, clocking in at 10% alcohol and therefore a "double". Fantastic mouthfeel, and very, very loaded with hops, which tend to be on the piney side of the equation. Wonderful aroma all around, and the overarching theme of this excellent beer is “fresh”. This is the sort of taste I’m after when I blindly grab IPAs from the shelf, and I love it when it delivers this well. 8/10.