Green Man Brewery: India Pale Ale (USA: IPA:6% ABV)

Visual: Pale amber with a dash of off white head.

Nose: Light pineapple and grapefruit. Hop prickle with a nettle style and moderate apricot.

Body: Solid bitterness and greenery. Pineapple and cream. Jelly babies. Pumpkin. Touch of gooseberries. Toffee and honey.

Finish: Cream and hops. Pineapple. Very drying and growling hops. Gooseberries. Apricot and honey.

Conclusion: Over the years, if I’ve learned one thing it that if there is one beer America does well it’s IPAs. This is a big example of the style with a huge range of flavour and aromas from the hops used.

Fresh gooseberry hops seem slightly NZ in style, the apricot and cream is closer to the expected USA style and the growling bitter kick has a dose of greenery that I associate with the UK style. This really is a good example of what IPAs should do. The apricot flavours amongst cream give a great sweetness to cut through the big hop balance without compromising them. The beer isn’t quite up with Racer 5 or Wipeout IPA but it is only a spit distance away and is crafted with enough difference from those two to make it worthwhile. A very fresh beer but with a texture that is thicker than a lot of the USA IPAs I’ve tried this trip which gives the hops a good base to grip and work against.

In fact for a USA beer it really does have a surprisingly thick texture and it is used to great effect. A lot of draft beers I’ve tried so far can seem slightly too thin but this one kicks. The honey sweetness also seems unusual, giving a twist on the style and another level to enjoy.

Frankly a great IPA, my hats off to Green Man for this one, just behind my all time favourites and still one of the top IPA’s I’ve had

Background: Apparently a English style IPA is what they were aiming for with lots of English malts, Target and Kent Golding hops and then honey malt from Canada (or so the description on ratebeer says). I knew none of this at the time of review, glancing at the beer menu photographed above afterwards. Instead this was beer tried at Asheville at the great Jack Of The Wood pub (The pub of legendary lambic sauce dessert). At the same pub during the road trip of awesome one of my travelling companions joined in a bluegrass jam with his harmonica for more fun memories. I find , having returned to the UK, that my photos were all pretty much out of focus. Sorry. Green man is just one of the many breweries that make their home in the beerville that is Ashville. A very nice place for a wandering beer geek to visit.