The beer today is: Grapefruit Sting IPA, brewed by the Exile Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
The color is hazy, medium honey-amber. A finger of off-white, maybe cream-colored, head leaves a buttery, bubble-spotted, even skim and ring around the edge. The aroma is funky and sour from the yeast. Underneath the funk is toasted malt and hints of fruit and citrus; the funk and sourness are tinged with zest. There is no grapefruit, though. The flavor is not as funky or sour as the aroma led me to expect, thankfully. It is a pleasing funkiness, but it dominates the flavor. Citrus is noticeable but undefined except for a general zest. It may be grapefruit but it is far from the pleasing, sticky-sweet grapefruit prominent in many other IPAs. Perhaps this beer, too, is past its prime. It is hard to tell, though, because the “best by” months along the side of the label have not been notched. Not cool, Exile. (The brewery teased its release on Twitter in late-October, though, so it can’t be that old.) The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, and the flavor gains a bready wheat flavor, but the funk dominates. Citrus becomes more defined as the beer continues to warm, but it is kept in the background. This beer is more like a saison than IPA. The alcohol is completely masked.
Fun facts about Grapefruit Sting IPA:
• Style: Supposedly IPA.
• Price: $2.39 per 12-ounce bottle at the “Drug Town” on First Avenue in Iowa City.
• Alcohol content: 7.3 percent ABV.
The Quiet Man’s grade: C+.