A few weeks back, I received a package of products from Hangar 24, a California-based microbrewery that began selling its beers in Nevada in April. Our office got samples of the following: Orange Wheat, Amarillo Pale Ale, Alt-Bier Ale, Chocolate Porter, Columbus IPA and Belgian Summer Ale.
I quickly reviewed the majority of them during a summer barbecue at my house. The pale ale was my favorite, although all of them had their own merits. The only one I thought was a bit lacking was the IPA. Like many of you Booze Blog readers, I’ve become a big IPA fan, and I’ve had many that set a very high bar. This fell just a bit short of the truly great ones, with a disappointing lack of that crackling hoppy bitterness IPA devotees have come to know and love.
One beer not included with my pack was the Double IPA. I didn’t think much of it at the time, assuming it would be much like the regular IPA offering. A few days later, one of my co-workers told me he had found a bottle of the Double IPA, and declared it to be the best Hangar 24 product he'd tried.
Intrigued, I headed over to Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits (but really, you can now get Hangar 24 anywhere in town, including Total Wine and Lee’s Discount Liquor) and grabbed a 22-ounce bottle. I went home, fired up a video game and poured a glass, expecting to be underwhelmed.
Was I wrong. This 9 percent ABV monster is worlds apart from its regular counterpart. Back is that intense hoppiness I love in the best IPAs, but this one adds in subtle fruit flavors as well—including grapefruit! It’s ridiculously drinkable; despite its strength, I gulped this one down as if it were a summer ale, and the next day went back for another two bottles.
Hangar 24, as I’ve since learned, is a lot like Stone, always experimenting and coming out with new products. I look forward to trying as many of them as possible, but for now, the Double IPA is my drink of choice this summer … and possibly beyond.