Commonwealth Brewing Papi Chulo
Back in January earlier this year, I was at a favorite local shop looking for a handful of rich, malty beers to review for the Winter months. I wasn’t planning on picking up anything hoppy, let alone any fruity IPAs. As fate would have it, however, I spied the purple, nebulous designs of Commonwealth Brewing’s Papi Chulo. I was drawn to the tall cans instantly, intrigued by what they held.
I don’t know the exact blend of hops that have gone into this 6.5% ABV IPA, but I can tell you Papi Chulo carries a wonderful blend of tropical fruit flavors of mango, apricot, light melon, grapefruit and more. The brewery, however, hasn’t forgotten about what makes an IPA an IPA — the bitterness. At 54 IBU, the brew brings a solid hop bite to keep all of that fruitiness in check and reminder you this isn’t a fruit juice you’ve got in your glass.
Not only is Papi Chulo and excellent IPA with well-rounded flavors, it also served as an excellent introduction to the Virginia brewery. The beer certainly has that modern, tropical lean to it, but the company hasn’t forgotten to bring the bite to the party. Without that hop bitterness the IPA would still be pretty tasty,
but not nearly as refreshing or tasty. I may have originally been on a mission to pick up some malt-forward brews, but am glad I found this tasty IPA, as well.
The IPA pours a vibrant and clear dark amber in color. The large cap of off-white foam falls slowly to a full crown around the surface as sparse lacing clings to the glass.