Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cold Spring IPA Review

Name: Cold Spring IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%

Cold Spring Brewing brings back memories of visiting my friends at St. Cloud State University in Central Minnesota for one particular reason: Hackstein Light, the cheapest and probably the nastiest beer I have ever had. Hackstein was the staple of every kid at SCSU who drank beer and you could buy a 24 pack for literally $6.59 up in St. Cloud just 8 Years Ago. We in the Twin Cities had Natty Ice but my friends in St. Cloud had Hackstein, or "Hacks" as they called it. It was the lifeblood of Frat Boys and beer drinkers at SCSU and Cold Spring Brewing was to thank for that.

Hey Brah, let's shotgun some Hacks and order some Domino's!

From what I understand, Hackstein was discontinued a few years ago and their main focus has been Third Street Brewhouse, a "state-of-the-art" brewing facility which was formed after the owner of Cold Spring Brewing wanted to revitalize their business and become a prominent player in the Craft Beer Industry. You know they want to change for the better when the owner of the brewery, Doug DeGeest, openly admits that their beers have not been up to par with what they want thanks to the outdated equipment they have been using. So far, I think Third Street Brewhouse has worked out surprisingly well for them and I'm glad to see that it paid off. The beers they've released under the Third Street brand have also been really tasty, especially their Rise to the Top Cream Ale; Check it out if you haven't already!

Aside from that, their other focus has been contract brewing for 21st Amendment & starting soon Alpine Brewing, which I understand has a pretty high reputation on the West Coast so I'll have to keep my eyes on that.

For the time being, we're going to be looking at one of Cold Spring Brewing's own products, their Cold Spring IPA. On the label, it proudly states that it is Dry Hopped and Double Hopped and it also comes in a Double Pint Can, which is a quart of beer or 32 oz. In fact, it's probably the largest can of beer I probably will ever come across. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, refer to the picture below...

As you can see, it's a pretty damn big can and I only picked it up for $2.59, not a bad deal. I did mention earlier, however, that the owner was not satisfied with the quality of his product so let's take a look at the actual beer.

It pours a dark hazy orange with a yellow tinge on the bottom. Head pours around 1 finger in width and has some pretty good retention and the lacing isn't half bad either.

The nose has some strong dry floral hops, yeasts and malty notes. I use the term "strong" not in a powerful sort of sense, but because dry hops used here give the aroma an almost chalky-like quality to it. The flavor's hop profile is very mild and has a pine-like taste to it, and there are some mild citrus, yeast and malty notes to go along with it. There's also a chalk & rust-like quality to the flavor that hard to put my finger on; Aftertaste is a bitter dry hop finish.

The body is moderate in weight and the carbonation is light so you won't have a hard time drinking this and it actually feels pretty crisp.

I can totally understand why Mr. DeGeest admitted his beer quality was poor, because this is not a great IPA. The dry hops used give it a chalky taste and the flavor overall is too mild and metallic for my liking. In Cold Spring's defense, they are changing the way they're doing business and it has worked out very well for them so far. I expect good things for Cold Spring Brewing/Third Street Brewhouse in the future.

Cold Spring IPA - 4.5/10

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