Beer of the Weekend #596: Foray Belgian Style IPA

This week had been hectic and I have decided to treat myself with a Thursday night beer. I need it. Plus, the annual maternal–maternal (is that right?) family reunion is this weekend so I am unsure whether or not I will have time to do the usual Friday night tasting.

The beer tonight is Foray Belgian Style IPA, brewed by the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon.

Coincidentally, Deschutes’ mobile beer tasting barrel, affectionately known as Woody, was in town today and Foray was among the beers being offered.

Serving type: 22-ounce bomber. The “BEST BY” date is “10/15/14.”

Appearance: Pours a bright, cloudy straw into a tulip glass. Two fingers of white head dissipates slowly, leaving a bubbly skim and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: A very inviting combination of Belgian yeast, spice, and IPA-like citrus. The most prominent aromas are grapefruit, mango, pine, a little cattiness, yeast spice, and a touch of funk. There is a little fruit, mostly apple and pear. Pale and wheat malts are also present.

Taste: The bitterness and funk are front and center on the first sip. The alcohol is also very noticeable at first, too, but it thankfully fades into the background. There is a lot of spice and funk. Grapefruit, mango, lemon, pine, Belgian yeast spice, funk, and black pepper. There may also be some coriander spice mixed in. A little fruit is present as well, though it is mostly an afterthought compared to the citrus, spice, and bitterness.

Drinkability: Good stuff! However, I am kind of torn between wishing it were a full Belgian or a straight-up IPA. These hybrid beers sometimes make me wish it were one or the other. (I think I am leaning IPA with this one.)

Fun facts about Foray:

-Style: Belgian-style IPA. Whatever that means, really.

-Price: $5.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City. Much like Hop in the Dark, though, it rang up at a much higher price — $15.99 — than the one listed on the shelf. But this time, thankfully, I caught it before paying. I have no clue what the hell is going on at the Co-op, but be warned if you buy beer there; keep the listed shelf price in mind just in case the price in the computer system does not match.

-Alcohol content: 6.4 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: Recommended on the beer’s webpage are, “Spicy Grilled Tuna With Garden Salsa, Braised Lamb With Horseradish and Parsley, Apple Pie With Cheddar Crust.” Apple pie with cheddar crust? That…does…not…sound…appetizing.

-IBUs: 60.

-Foray is available from June to September.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A-.

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