When people think of the best Kansas-based brewers, many land on Kansas City craft giant Boulevard Brewing Company. But Boulevard actually resides on the Missouri side of the border in KC, calling the Show Me State home since its founding in 1989. So for my money, the best brews in Kansas actually come from Hays-based Defiance Brewing Company. The small town brewery’s flagship IPA, Twisted Logik, may be the best in a state that is becoming crowded with quality offerings.
Defiance’s Twisted Logik IPA pours a dark gold, almost copper, with just a hint of haze. It is capped by a nondescript cream-colored foam made of tightly grouped bubbles like the ones rising up the glass. The end result is rather dull-looking, catching none of the light in the room. Luckily, the aroma and flavor make up for the drab appearance.
The aroma won’t fill a room, but it is plenty strong enough with punches of citrus and stone fruit. There’s a touch of grassiness that brightens things up as well. A good hit of pine and lightly sweet and bready malt finish off an altogether balanced aroma, but it is the one-two punch of fruit that really shines through.
Twisted Logik tastes like orange-apricot jam on a biscuit, but with a dose of bitter, resinous pine.”
Defiance fleshes out those fruity aromas in the flavor with the stone fruit becoming distinctly apricot and the citrus a sweet orange. The malt quality in the aroma is now more biscuit than bread, with the sweet sensations coming from fruit rather than malt flavor. Twisted Logik tastes like orange-apricot jam on a biscuit, but with a dose of bitter, resinous pine. While that isn’t a combination I’d sign up for at breakfast, it works well in an IPA. The stone fruit flavor makes me wonder if Defiance uses a hefty dose of Mosaic hops in Twisted Logik, but whatever the hop blend, it makes for a tasty brew.
In a world dominated by IPAs—both hazy and clear—it can be hard to stand out, but when an IPA brings distinct and unique fruity flavor like Twisted Logik, it does just that. All well-known craft breweries once started as small, unknown operations that simply made damn good beer. Based on its flagship IPA, Defiance could be on that same path.