With the India Pale Ale IBU arms race coming to a close (for now), the craft beer industry has shifted its focus from Double / Triple IPAs to low alcohol versions that still pack a punch of hop flavor and aroma. This relatively new style is called Session IPA. The term describes a style of beer marketed for its hop dominant flavor profiles at “sessionable” alcohol levels. Typically these beers are in the 3.2-4.6% alcohol range, but some stretch this definition. It is differentiated from American Pale Ales by being lower in alcohol content and typically having more hop forward flavors.
Third Leap jumped on the band wagon after enjoying some of the widely distributed, commercially available session IPAs – Stone Go To IPA, Founders All Day IPA, and Uinta Hop Nosh. Our recipe was inspired from one of our all-time favorite IPAs, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder (technically a Double IPA), but scaled down in both ABV and IBU in an effort to craft a smooth, refreshing, summer sipping, Session IPA.
Day Tripper features our house Pale Ale Malt blend, a touch of carapils (for body), and some table sugar (to enhance drinkability). A blend of Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, and Summit hops were used at various time points throughout the boil and dry hopping process. A 30 minute whirlpool was utilized to enhance hoppy flavors and aromas while minimizing bitterness.Once in fermenters, our usual yeast strain, WLP090 was pitched.
Day Tripper went from grain to glass in 21 days and is drinking extremely well right now. Check out our tasting notes below:
Appearance – Pours a bright yellow hue with a nice frothy head. Similar in appearance to pineapple juice with moderate carbonation. Reminiscent of Stone Go To IPA.
Smell – Distinct tropical aromas consisting of peaches, mango, and grapefruit. Notes of pine and flowers are every-so-slightly present from the Cascade dry hops.
Taste – Pine rushes to the front of the palate, followed by the citrus/tropical fruits. Grapefruit is the overwhelming flavor but is accented well by the slight mango and tangerine notes from the Summit hops. Nice slightly sweet finish from the malt blend.
Mouthfeel – Very light bodied with nice dry finish due to better than expected attenuation from the recipe. Bitterness is present but not overpowering. Finish is smooth and enjoyable.
Overall – Great Session IPA for our first go round. The only changes for future batches would be increasing IBU by 5-10% and increasing dry hops 20-25%, but I’m being picky! Another revision would be decreasing the amount of table sugar or using a less attenuating yeast to keep this beer in the 1.007 FG range and at our anticipated ABV of 4.6%
Day Tripper is our ExperimentALE Batch #023 and definitely one of our favorite beers brewed in 2014. I would anticipate the two kegs not lasting very long, and who knows when the next time we brew this recipe again!