Beer Journal

A quasi-daily examination of beer and things related to beer.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Belgium's Ranger India Pale Ale

A Brief Overview:

After reading my old buddy's review of New Belgium’s Explore Series Trippel, I couldn’t help but notice another of the Explore Series, Ranger India Pale Ale, while passing through the supermarket. Ranger IPA is New Belgium’s “hoppy beer.” It was brewed for the employees of the company that push New Belgium products over 26 states. Apparently, a demand for more hops was consistent from their crew and in response, Ranger IPA was born. “Ranger” is the name used by the company to describe these beer advocates, it was included in the name to honor their service (or something like that).

Some Thought on Design:

I do love the stripped down label, a departure from the light-hearted paintings of bicycles (Fat Tire) and canoes (Blue Paddle) that typically adorn the brewery’s selections. This is for explorers, damnit! No fancy paintings. Drink the unknown.

My Experience:

I know Monty is big into pairing his beers and searching for the perfect combo, but I tend to drink beer as it comes to me and Ranger IPA was no exception. The wife and I picked up some sandwiches from Subway, finished off with some Golden Oreos, and I settled into the tasting chair to sip this beer.

Ranger IPA poured a nice light amber topped with a thick two finger head, slightly offwhite. I was pleased to see that head hold for a while, lingering on the surface of the brew throughout the tasting. The smell has a slight sweetness to it, a fresh citrus smell with hints of floral. I think the one word to sum up the smell would be “fresh.” It smells like the summer wind through a distant orchard (ok, maybe that is going too far, but it has a very nice aroma).

The taste of the beer matches well to the smell, starting the tongue with that combination of citrus and floral flavors and wrapping it up with a distinctly hoppy finish. This beer has a slight dry bite on the tongue that elicited a slight cringe from me, your malt beer loving taster. This is an IPA for drinkers who want a slight bite, rather than a tongue destroyer.

(pictured above, an EXPLORER!)

Final Thoughts:

It’s a smooth beer, very summery, with all the fruit undertones, but still a manly IPA. I would heartily recommend this beer. I’ve never been one to pair beers, as beer seems to go with everything fantastically. My suggestion, drink some great beer and explore New Belgium’s Ranger IPA.

Rating: 7.3


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