Beer Name: More Brown than Black IPA
Breweries: The Alchemist/Ninkasi/Stone
Beer style: Black IPA
Size: 12oz bottle
Beer Advocate Score: 91
Rate Beer Score: 98
Collaboration: n. A celebration of the community and culture of craft brewing.
The above definition may not be one that would be found on M-W.com but it’s the one on the neck of More Brown than Black IPA. All of this week we have been and will continue to talk about collaboration beers and the culture of craft brewing, but I can’t think of a story that more summarizes the helpful nature of the craft community than that of the More Brown than Black IPA. The story of this beerdates back to late August 2012, when Hurricane Irene was soaking the entire U.S. eastern seaboard. Hurricane Irene completely destroyed The Alchemist Brewpub and much of the area around it in Waterbury, Vermont. Upon hearing this, Ninkasi in Eugene, Oregon, and Stone of San Diego, California, decided to get together with The Alchemist to help the best way they knew how: by brewing beer. So with all of his equipment floating around in his basement brewery, John Kimmich of The Alchemist traveled to the west coast to brew a beer whose proceeds would go to help those impacted by Irene in his home town. To read a much more detailed account from The Weather Channel, click here.
The second best thing about this beer is that it is very, very good. The beer lives up to its name and pours a very dark brown color with about a finger of head. The nose finds a toasty malt sweetness with a beautiful bouquet of hop aromas, including pine, citrus, grass, and flowers. Upon sipping the tongue finds the perfect level of carbonation, giving this beer a very light feel. The taste starts off very sweet, but ends with end with a nice amount pithy hoppy bitterness that leaves you needing to take another sip. This need of another sip upon setting the glass down is one of the things I always seem to find in great IPAs.
This is a beer you probably won’t be able to find in the stores sadly, as it was released in December of 2011 and I haven’t heard of any plans to brew it again in the future. I normally wouldn’t review a beer you would have a very hard time finding,but I was saving one for a special occasion and the story was just too “craft beer” not to include in our collaboration week.
Sessionability: I give it a 5-pack. Even at 7%, this beer is so good and makes you feel so good that I would drink it until I passed out if I could.
Overall: I give it a 6-pack. I loved this beer the first time I had it on draft, I loved it the every time I have had it since, and I am sad I probably won’t ever have it again.
Would be best consumed: By itself while relishing every sip until the last drop of the last bottle is gone.