Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Harriet West SIde IPA Review

Name: Harriet West Side IPA
Style: Belgian IPA
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 40

Harriet Brewing. I recall this being the first "local" brewery that popped up in South Minneapolis when I lived there a few years back. I remember Harriet having the "Coming Soon" signage out in front when I was driving from my (former) humble abode to my undergraduate classes on a daily basis.

Then a couple of months before I departed for Chicago, they had their taproom grand opening, which I was unable to attend that day due to the high amount of projects I had going on at that time. Plus with graduation looming a little over a month away, I had to prioritize. However I did manage to try out a couple of their beers prior to their taproom opening, which bring us to the beer at hand.

Today's beer, the West Side IPA holds a special place in my heart. It's the first beer I ever had from Harriet Brewing, on tap at the Rail Station in South Minneapolis, which was amongst the very first places to actually carry anything from Harriet Brewing. I didn't take any notes or anything of the sort while I was there so today marks the first time I've done a proper review of a Harriet Brewing beer. And no, my visit to the food truck rally last year at Harriet does not count.

Appearance - Mildly hazy golden color with a light amount of visible carbonation. The head is nice and foamy with a good amount of retention but the lacing is more on the sparse side.

Aroma - Belgian yeasts and clove notes. I am picking on some floral hop and grapefruit sweetness in here as well. Aside from that, it's pretty yeast forward for an IPA

Taste - Very Belgian yeast forward but the cloves aren't exactly what I would call prominent. I'm getting some bitter hoppiness and grapefruit notes, along with some light citrus and floral hop notes; All in that order. There's also a candied caramel malt backbone that has an almost cotton candy/bubblegum-like quality to it.

Having this beer again makes me feel nostalgic, but not for the reasons you may think. I'm not talking about wishing to be an undergraduate student working part-time again nor am I talking about how things were "simpler" back then (though that wouldn't hurt.) I'm talking about wanting to live in the neighborhood of Howe/Minnehaha once again. One day, perhaps.....

As for the beer itself, it feels more like a Belgian Pale Ale than a Belgian IPA, but it's a really good beer either way you look at it. Right now, the availability is very limited, which is mostly just the Minneapolis-area for the time being. I'm hoping that sooner or later the availability is much wider and in bottles in the near future. Right now, if you ever find yourself in the Minneapolis-area, it's worth seeking out amongst the other offerings from them.

Harriet West Side IPA Review - 8.5/10

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