I am from the West Coast, land of all things hoppy, hoppier and then triple hopped and dry hopped. Those crazy left coasters love their IPA’s so much that West Coat IPA became a style unto itself to accurately encompass the floral, citrus and resin full-frontal assault you would be subjected to when you raised a pint.
During my time in BC I was admittedly a slow convert to hop camp. I started off with a vocal distaste for beers I described as tasting like soap and/or perfume but as time went on and my taste buds wore down I began to appreciate these hoppy beers for what they were. In fact, in time I would say I even grew to like IPA’s (not love, like) proactively seeking out Pliny the Elder, smuggling Green Flash Double IPA and Deschutes Chain Breaker across the border, stocking my fridge with Dogfish Head 90minute and giving a fair shake to pretty much any local IPA making its way down the tap line.
But like all great love affairs this one was to burn bright and brief. Eventually I once again grew weary of beers whose name added descriptors like destroyer, wrecker, palooza, bomb, triple alongside the word hop. I like to call this phenomenon hop fatigue and it is an affliction common amongst beer geeks -perhaps it is merely a side effect of our neurotic need to jump on style band wagon after style band wagon but that is a post for another time. Needless to say I found myself taking a holiday from hops.
Then I moved East.
Here in the centre of our country the IPA’s are a little more, dare I say it, balanced. Cracking the top off an Ontario IPA does not de facto mean you will no longer be able to discern any taste in your second beer of the evening. I jest of course but sampling a few IPA’s from Ontario has reminded me that IPA’s and I can find a middle ground.
This takes me full circle, or back on the road after a detour if you will, to Detour IPA from Muskoka Brewery a subtly hopped not to strong India Pale Ale that allows you to taste some malts alongside the citrus and floral hops. A 4.3% ABV makes this a sessionable easy to drink while it still brings a fair amount of complex flavours to the table. Pouring a clear dark gold colour with lots of airy white head, Detour has a nice citrus/tropical fruit nose, light body, slightly sweet malt flavour and a bitter finish that is pretty subtle. Overall very clean to drink and I would say approachable like IPA’s are welcoming me back into the fold. It’s nice to be back.