My brain works in weird ways, so when I opened my fridge last night and reached for a bottle of Schlafly American IPA it didn't surprise me in the least that the Hulk Hogan "I Am a Real American" theme song popped in my head. I channeled my inner Hulkster as I ripped the cap off and prepared myself, sans bandana, to enjoy my beer. With the Independence Day holiday weekend coming up, this review might want to make you do the same.
It poured with a great, golden color and a delicious, citrusy aroma. The one finger head dissipated fairly quickly, but any apprehension I had about that faded away as I took my first sip. This is a delectable summer beer, and for someone like myself who isn't a super big hop head, it was delightfully well-balanced. This beer drinks so smoothly, with the hop bitterness hitting you on the back of your tongue, but by that time you're already prepared for another sip. The Schlafly American IPA is the type of beer that you can picture yourself enjoying at a cookout or hanging out with your friends on the lake; it transports you mentally to these summertime activities.
Beeradvocate.com recommends pairing the American IPA with peppery or sharp cheeses such as Monterey, Pepper Jack, Blue Cheese, or Cheddar, and with meats like poultry, fish, or shellfish. It clocks in at 7.2% ABV and 65 IBUs, but drinks so much lighter you can be deceived. This brew ranks right up there with the Three Floyds Gumballhead as one of the more well-balanced, hoppier beers that I can picture drinking on a hot day. As far as rankings go, if you want to put stock into those types of things, Ratebeer.com gives the American IPA a strong 98 and Beeradvocate.com chimes in with an A-. This beer is flavored with the American hops Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe, from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and will surely make you proud to be an American as well; enjoy one this Fourth of July and maybe you too will find yourself thinking of the Hulkster's theme song...I'll help by putting the tune in your head. You're welcome.