Should you find yourself with the occasion to mow through a few brews while simultaneously needing to keep your wits about you, session IPAs are a logical choice. The style’s low alcohol content and restrained hoppiness make it highly drinkable, but with enough flavor to keep things semi-interesting on the palate.
But when ABV isn’t a chief concern, a session IPA's lack of flavor tends to sink its appeal. One beer in which that is certainly not the case is Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack IPA. Weighing in at 4.5% ABV, Easy Jack boasts the complexity and flavor of a much stronger beer.
Right off the pour, Easy Jack’s carbonation is what stands out. A huge foamy head quickly forms and tons of active bubbles line the glass. All that carbonation obscures a good-looking beer with a totally transparent body and lightly copper-hued yellow color. The clarity is stunning compared to most current IPAs. Looking through the glass is like looking through a lightly tinted sunglass lens with everything visible on the other side.
Firestone Walker made an interesting choice when hopping Easy Jack, merging hops from Europe, New Zealand, and America that are rarely used in combination. You have to lean over the glass to really catch it, but Easy Jack’s aroma is dominated by juicy grapefruit. It is rounded out by other bright, rindy citrus that pairs with deep herbal and pine notes.
It takes experience to use these hops together effectively. With Easy Jack, the result speaks for itself.”
That bright, juicy citrus carries through to the flavor, but this time backed up by plenty of malt character. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange mix with sappy pine and honey-like malt to create a complex balance between sweet, bitter, bright, and deep. Easy Jack has way more flavor and complexity than any 4.5% ABV beer should be able to achieve, striking the perfect compromise between flavor punch and drinkability.
It takes experience to use these hops together effectively. With Easy Jack, the result speaks for itself. It’s a session IPA with all the complex flavor and aromas you could want from a full-bodied version. Whether it's your only beer of the night or far from it, it’s worth raising a pint of Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack anytime.