In the style’s early days, IPAs of the Pacific Northwest tended toward the piney, resiny, malty side. However, as new school hop varieties like Citra, Mosaic, and others have come onto the scene, Northwest IPAs have become lighter-bodied and more citrusy. Oregon-based pFriem Family Brewers’ version stands out as an example that balances the best parts of both the past and present, combining the expected piney aromas and big hop flavor with tons of citrus.
Appearance and Aroma
In a world of hazy IPAs, it’s hard to not notice how beautifully clear this particular IPA is. Clarity purists would be proud. Out of the can, the beer pours a penny copper color that complements its crystal complexion. The beer’s aroma is an undeniable fruit punch of peach, papaya, berry, and subtle citrus.
Hands down, this is a solid, well-balanced IPA that should make just about any hophead happy.”
pFriem’s IPA starts out with rich caramel and biscuity notes. Then, much to my surprise, it takes an interesting turn on the palate. In contrast to the beer’s tropical nose, prominent hop flavors of pine and citrus show up in full force to balance out the brew’s malty underpinning. It finishes dry with a resiny, dank aftertaste.
This is a clean, crisp, and wonderfully hoppy rendition of the Northwest IPA style. But that’s not surprising coming from pFriem, a brewery that—in my experience—pretty much excels at any beer style it takes on. Hands down, this is a solid, well-balanced IPA that should make just about any hophead happy.