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...
CORONADO BREWING CO: NORTH ISLAND IIPA
STYLE: Double/Imperial IPA
Pair with: A roasted veggie pizza
There is one word that describes this beer best: juicy. This beer reminds us of the now popular, North East style IPA that we are seeing many breweries attempt across the country.
Brewing Co. did a commendable job on their rendition of the unfiltered, hazy IPA style, while keeping the brew extremely drinkable, hop-forward and full of delicious, tropical notes. It's one of the more unique brews we've seen come across Coronado's tap list in a while.
The North Island IIPA comes to us from Ryan Brooks, brewmaster at Coronado Brewing Co. It's pumped with Columbus, Mosaic, Centennial, Simcoe and Citra hops, giving it a nice, well-rounded hop profile and a strong aroma.
The awesome part about this beer is the successful attempt at a less familiar style. Here in San Diego, we are known for our West Coast IPAs that many breweries have recreated, even those on the East Coast. It's cool to see a San Diego brewery take a serious stab at a style whose origin is so far from our brew-centric city.
"We are a big fan of the style here at the brewery. We have a brewer friend at Half Door Brewing that was brewing a lot of hazy beers with an English yeast strain, and he gave us some yeast to experiment with," Brooks said. "We wanted to create an unfiltered, hazy IPA that was really juicy and bursting with hop aroma. The end result is North Island IIPA. We've brewed a few smaller test batches and the feedback has been great."
The brew is full of fresh fruit flavors, complimented by the English yeast strain and the lack of filtering throughout. North Island holds its own against most of the other beers on Coronado's tap list because of how insanely different it is, both in appearance and taste. It's more tropical, big and juicy... and you can't forget that color. It truly looks like you just poured yourself a glass of delicious, thick orange juice.
"Most of our beers are filtered to a very bright clarity and this beer is unfiltered, so the appearance [of North Island IIPA] is hazy and typical of what you see for this New England style of IPA. It's also the first time we've used this yeast strain. Since then, we've done a few other beers with this yeast and we've had great success with it," Brooks said.
This beer will be bottled for distribution sometime in January, according to Brooks. Before it's available nationwide to enjoy, go out and be one of the first to try it (and likely love it) at the tasting room.
This beer is currently available to try on tap at Coronado Brewing Company.
170 Orange Ave., Coronado or 205 Knoxville St., Bay Park. coronadobrewing.com