is a re-review of a beer I thought was solid when I first had it back
in 2013. Upstate Brewing’s I.P.W. is a hybrid IPA/pale wheat ale brew.
In its original incarnation is leaned more toward the wheat side, but
this time it’s more of a traditional IPA with focus on the hop aroma and
flavor and less on the raw bitterness and wheaty body. It’s sweet this
time as well, making it more well-balanced and more of a complete beer
I poured a 16oz can into a weizen glass. It was canned on 3/4/15 and a 4-pack cost $9.99 ($2.50 per can or $0.16 per ounce).
Appearance: Slightly darker than last time; more of a true orange/copper
color rather than a golden/maize. Mostly clear with slight haziness and
some sediment and carbonation visible. Pours to an average-size, white,
frothy head which laces and retains very well.
Smell: Clean, bright, floral and citrus aroma. Some underlying wheat scent is noticeable, albeit subtle.
Taste: This is the kind of palette you want and expect out of an
American IPA. More in the West Coast style with citrusy hops; plenty of
ruby red grapefruit raw bitterness but a slightly juicy flavor
underneath. I detect a caramel malty sweetness, but not so strong that I
would consider this a sweet beer per se. The base palette is actually
quite dry due to the wheat, which is mild but impossible to completely
overlook. It has a bit of a cracker flavor, actually. Biting bitterness
at the apex with continued hoppy flavor on the finish with a touch of
orangepeel. It might still be a little strong in the IBUs, but this is
still a solid IPA-ish beer.
Drinkability: You can throw wheat into pretty much any style of beer to
thicken up the mouthfeel and create for better head retention. Hey,
there’s nothing wrong with that when done right, and Upstate Brewing
I.P.W. is a good example of this. Medium-bodied at most, though still
consistently crisp with a bit of a bite on every swig between the hops
and the wheat. It doesn’t seem to be quite as big as its 6.5% ABV
weight, though. I would say it’s strong enough to stand up to a
flavorful meal, but too big to session. A standalone 16oz can is an
ideal serving size.