There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
RIP CURRENT BREWING CO: DOUBLE IMPACT ZONE
Style: Double IPA
Pair with: margarita pizza
This dangerously drinkable, dank double IPA offers an upfront fruit-kick of grape and mango notes, with a smooth yet hoppy finish. It pours golden orange like a tropical treat and it tastes like one, too.
This beer comes to us from Paul Sangster, co-owner and brewmaster at Rip Current Brewing. Sangster was a home-brewer back in the day who had a knack for making specific styles of IPAs, eventually leading to the creation of this awesome brew.
"Back in 2010 when I was a homebrewer, I always enjoyed making both a true American (all Pacific Northwest hopped) IPA inspired by Russian River's Pliny the Elder and having an IPA that used only Southern Hemisphere hops inspired by Alpine's Nelson IPA," Sangster said.
Impact Zone, which is Double Impact Zone's predecessor, was a recipe of Sangster's once called Southern Hemisphere IPA because it uses Galaxy hops from Australia and New Zealand hops like Nelson and a few other types. The soil and climate of these countries causes the hops to grow fruitier than they would in America, which brings out a ton of flavor that you might not usually taste here. We're used to drinking citrus-y IPAs in San Diego specifically, but this brew brings out more nontraditional flavors, like grape and passion fruit.
Double Impact Zone looks similar in appearance to the orange, light blonde look of Impact Zone, but has nearly double the ABV. The beer is dry-hopped in three different sessions to improve and enhance the flavor profile and hop aroma of the brew.
The interesting part about this beer is how smooth it is. You don't feel like you're drinking at 10-percent brew at all. The bitterness to this brew is not what you'd expect because it doesn't oversaturate your taste buds. It just kisses your tongue slightly, then goes away.
"Patrons have been loving having it during Pliny the Younger season," Sangster said. "Double Impact Zone is a bit higher in ABV than Younger, and of course, has a different flavor profile (tropical fruit versus citrus), but both are similar in color and finish dry and refreshing, and so they are fun to try together."
The current batch of this brew was just released in mid-February, so get it while it's cold! This beer is available on tap at Rip Current Brewing for a limited time.
Rip Current Brewing, 4101 30th St., North Park or 1325 Grand Ave., San Marcos. ripcurrentbrewing.com