Feb 1, 2019

North Coast Beachmaster Imperial IPA

You can call me a stubborn, old dog or a curmudgeon if you like, but I miss beers like North Coast’s Beachmaster Imperial IPA. This is a big and bold brew that skips on the fruit juice, the lactose, the mellow tropical flavors. It’s a beer that reminds me of the in-your-face IPAs of days gone by.

This 9% ABV (100 IBU) imperial IPA packs a pungent whallop of wonderfully hoppy goodness. It’s dank with an edge of cattiness that you can smell almost immediately upon cracking open the bottle. Pine, grapefruit, leafy notes and a latent hint of tropical fruits (off in the distance) quickly flood the senses as that pungent hop character lingers wonderfully after each sniff and each swallow from the glass.

While I, as a diehard beer fan, can appreciate all that brewers put into their modern interpretations of an IPA (imperial or otherwise), these new beers don’t have the attitude that I sorely miss. Beachmaster certainly isn’t a hop bomb that will leave your mouth a mess, but it presents that no-frills, somewhat confrontational hop character many IPAs lack today. It’s bold and leaves a solid impression long after the glass is empty.

I know that big IPAs like this latest from North Coast may be a thing of the past, or even a limited-run novelty. That’s cool by me, just as long as we don’t forget to whom our NE-style milkshake IPAs (brewed with marshmallows no less) owe a great deal of thanks.

Needless to say, the samples of Beachmaster that were graciously sent my way did not last long in the fridge.

This is a review of a promotional sample.