Nick Carr on November 19, 2018 0 Comments Photo Credit: Bridgeport Brewing Quick Characteristics Brewery Bridgeport Brewing Co. Location Portland, OR Style Hybrid – Spice, Herb, Vegetable IPA ABV 5.0% IBU ? Hops Mosaic, Citra & Meridian Malts Pale Ale and Honey Malt Other Ingredients Hibiscus Shelf Life 3 to 6 Months Suggested Glass Tulip or IPA Glass Serving Temp 46-50°F Availability Year Round Food Pairings Summer Steak Salad w/ Light Vinaigrette, Orange Chicken, Cheddar, Citrus Bars Trends come and go. In beer we find trending beer styles, year to year, but also trends within a certain style. There is no style where this is more evident than the IPA. The first trend I remember seeing with IPA was the “how bitter can we make this” craze. It was a long running trend, but eventually brewers got close enough to the answer, and they moved on. Last year, we had the fruity IPA trend thanks in large part to a turn in curiosity to aroma-type hops and the explosion of new aroma varieties this triggered. Here, IPAs were loaded down with citrus fruit mostly, to match, augment, and brighten fruity elements in the chosen hops. This year’s trend, the New England style hazy IPA, with its oftentimes strong stone fruit elements, could be said to have been the predictable follow-up to the fruity IPA. All of this begs the question: What comes next for IPA? Well, if we look at the main muse of any IPA — the hops — and what other elements you might enhance or expand upon, both spices and flowers could be reasonable guesses. Flowers have been used in beer throughout brewing history. But, they are not a common element in modern brewing and flowers tend to feature heavily in just a handful of styles, such as saisons and sours. Strangely, (I think anyway) flowers are not too often featured in IPAs. Maybe that will change. Maybe it’s time to broaden the IPA ingredient painting palette even further. With the earlier mentioned aroma hop boom, it would be interesting to see those floral elements expanded upon. Rosé: The New Trend? Bridgeport’s Rosé IPA uses Hibiscus flowers as an ingredient. But, Rosé is a trend within itself right now. Rosé wine has been trending upward since 2014. It has become so big in the last year that the rose colored hue has spilled into the beer and cider market. Firestone Walker has made Bretta Rosé and Crooked Stave brewed Sour Rosé. Angry Orchard, owned by Boston Beer Company, even made a Rosé Cider. But, as far as I can tell Bridgeport is the first to take an IPA and send it the Rosé way. So, here’s to trends; those that have passed, those that are in full swing, and those to come. It’s fitting to raise a beer that while having one foot firmly planted in a present trend may be a harbinger of another to come. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Bridgeport’s Rosé IPA. If you tasted this beer or have one in front of you as you read this review, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Photo Credit: Bridgeport Brewing The Pour: Color is a beautiful subtly pink color. Head builds quickly to a finger’s width of a tightly packed near-white cap. Retention is excellent with the foam descending only slightly within the first few minutes, then holding steady. Carbonation is medium and clarity superb. The Aroma: The aroma is a nuanced and subtle mix of floral and fruity elements. Citrus, with some sourness, may be the strongest single element, but there is also a slight floral spiciness against a background of cereal grains and low honey. The Mouthfeel: Body is quite light. Mouthfeel is slightly watery, with near immediate drying and astringency. The Taste: Just oh-so-slightly sweet at the front, before quickly drying out across the rest of the palate. Some lemon tartness there too. Lightly fruity and floral; soft notes of red berry, orange rind, tangerine, and grapefruit. It has a low herbal zing to the whole. Mid-palate the bitterness creeps in; not overly bitter but it does help speed the crispness along. The end is mildly wine-like; drying with whispers of fruit. A slightly bitter edge remains after the swallow. FINISHING THOUGHTS Well, I’d say this is certainly worth a try especially if you’re an IPA drinker on the lookout for new things to sample. Overall, it is pretty subtle in both the flavor and aroma arenas, but subtle can be good. It may be lacking in the mouthfeel and body department for some drinkers (it is pretty light, almost watery). You may enjoy it more if you go expecting more the body of a light summer wine than an IPA. It’s a nice session beer, one to while away the these last days of warmer weather. And like I said above, if you happen to have friends that drink white or rose wine try this out on them, they may love it. Cheers!