Everyone knows craft giant Firestone Walker Brewing Company can make a mean session IPA. After all, the brewery’s Easy Jack IPA is among the best of the style, packing the flavor of a full-bodied IPA into a session IPA package. So when I saw the Northern California-based brewer was releasing Flyjack, a new IPA that matched Easy Jack’s 4% ABV while coming in under 100 calories and bringing the haze, let’s just say I was more excited than anyone should be for a session IPA.
Firestone Walker says Flyjack is “a full-flavored hazy IPA that flies under 100 calories,” and while I’m skeptical that any sub-100-calorie beer can be described as full-flavored, Flyjack at least looks the part of a hazy IPA in the glass. It’s got the bright, sunny appearance and plenty of haziness, even though I can still make out the number of fingers I’m holding up behind the glass. It smells the part as well, with a wave of tropical and citrus fruit aromas wafting from the glass. Flyjack may not have the strength of aroma that the best double dry-hopped juice bombs boast, but it certainly hits the right notes, even if it isn’t at the same volume.
Flyjack is much crisper than most hazy IPAs, with a strong carbonation that goes really well with the lighter, juicy flavors. A good hit of fruit is present in each sip, with enough bitterness to provide a foil. Flyjack can’t quite claim to bring everything you’d want in a more full-bodied hazy IPA, but that’s OK. It hints at the tropical fruit flavors that the style demands while reining in the calories and booze.
If you want a full-on juice bomb with enough hops to cure your insatiable lupulin lust, then look elsewhere. But if you want something you can throw down a few of that will tickle that itch without making you feel like you got hit by a train the next day, Flyjack just may be your beer.