I poured a 16oz can into a weizen glass. There was no freshness date. A four-pack costs $9.99 ($0.16 per ounce).
Appearance: A bright, but hazy shade of golden/orange. Some carbonation
visible. Pours to a small, white, frothy head which doesn’t evaporate
and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Spicy European-style hops with hint of citrus and a distinct wheat character (not Bavarian yeast, though).
Taste: Every American brewery is making an India Pale Ale. If you want
to set yourself apart from the pack you have a to be a little
innovative. I suppose that’s the notion behind Upstate Brewing I.P.W.
(India-style Pale Wheat Ale). Though using wheat in styles other than
weizens isn’t all that new, this beer is marketed as an IPA/pale wheat
ale hybrid. It also uses an unusual hop selection - opting for sheer
bitterness rather than true hoppy taste. But truth be told it’s actually
not a bad beer at all - just a good one with the potential to be great.
The first thing I notice about I.P.W. is the assertive bitterness. This
isn’t surprising considering its use of magnum hops which are high in
alpha acids. There’s a slightly spicy, cracker-like taste throughout the
palette, a bit reminiscent of a German or Czech pilsner rather than an
American IPA. The can indicates the beer is 70 IBUs and I definitely
believe it. There’s sharp, dry bitterness on the finish and a slightly
starchy aftertaste. It’s a fine taste to be sure, but a bit unbalanced
and simple. Up the wheat character and opt for citrusy hops and you’d
really have something I bet.
Drinkability: When I was pouring the beer into the glass (aggressively, I
might add), I was surprised to see how little foam formed. The
mouthfeel was also a bit thin and tepid - kind of like one of my
homebrews that didn’t carbonate fully. However, this helps make the
strong bitterness a little more palatable as the beer is comfortable in
the mouth and smooth going down. It’s easy to drink in larger gulps. At
6.5% ABV I could see this pairing well with a meal, but one can is