May 2, 2014

Flying Dog Easy IPA

Not too many years ago, we were in the age of the super-hoppy, massive Imperial IPAs. The bigger and badder and bitter-er (?) it was, the better it was. Now it appears as though we have entered a new era — at almost the opposite end of the spectrum. The Session IPA isn’t anything new, but for some reason it’s gained a tremendous head of steam in the craft beer world. And even though a vast majority of them aren’t quite “sessionable” in terms of the ABV, that hasn’t stopped companies from brewing them.

The latest addition is Flying Dog Brewing’s Easy IPA. This 4.7% ABV (50 IBU) IPA was first released as part of the company’s Brewhouse Rarities in May of last year. It’s also the first beer in this limited run to make the move to year-round status.

This beer is low in alcohol, but it doesn’t quite match the recognized level of a “sessionable” beer. Does that really matter? Especially when you’re sitting at a ball game, hot dog in one hand and a tasty, low-weight thirst quencher in the other? I think not.

Easy IPA is an assertive little brew that delivers a welcome splash of hop notes without agitating the senses. Instead of the two glasses of the company’s The Truth I sipped at a recent Orioles game, I could have certainly gone for a few more of pulls of Easy IPA.


A frothy stack of white foam falls slowly to a sparse ring around the surface of the clear, golden brew.

Flying Dog Easy IPA photo


Citrusy, floral hops with a peppery note lead the way for hints of grass, grain and lightly toasted bread.


The flavor follows the aroma nicely with a zesty, peppery hop character and a moderate amount of bitterness. Grapefruit, lemon peel and pine mingle with grain and crackers. A short-lived, but lively burst of carbonation gives way to a slightly drying finish. The brew is light bodied.


This is certainly a one-sided beer in terms of flavor, but the brewery isn’t punching you in the palate with just hops, hops and more hops. There is a measure of balance here that makes Easy IPA a beer enjoyable over a long period. Yes, it doesn’t quite match the required ABV by definition, but you can surely enjoy a few glasses after working hard out in the yard or just kicking back at the ball field with some friends.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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