I’ve been a fan of Upslope for their no-frills approach towards classic beers (as evidenced by their simple take on beer names, like “Craft Lager” and “Pale Ale”). Now they’re taking a departure from simplicity with the new Thai Style White IPA, a light-bodied ale that’s packed with a medley of Asian-influenced spices, the most apparent are the basil and lemongrass that hit your nose when you crack a can.
It starts out spicy and light, with the basil and lemongrass on the nose joined by hints of ginger and Upslope’s Asian spices, but they quickly bow out to the rising citrus hops. The lemongrass makes for a great transition from the spicy start to the hoppy finish, and the carbonation emphasizes every aspect of the flavors.
As a whole, though, the spices can be overwhelming. The real appeal with this beer is when you pair it with spicy food like Pad Thai (appropriately) or even a peppery marinara. The spices in the food don’t neutralize the Thai Style’s kick, but they take the edge off and highlight both the beer and the food. Once you’ve hit your palate with the first beer, the edge comes off the spices and the beer goes down much smoother.
In other words, yeah, you can session it, but at 6.5% it’s a session you’ll probably have to walk home from.
Brewery: Upslope Brewery
City: Boulder, Colo.
Availability: Late Summer/Fall