Feb 2, 2017

3 Stars Brewing #ultrafresh

I’ve been drinking micro/craft beer for quite some time now and have seen many trends come and go. I honestly don’t mind the latest trend of the ultra-fruity and low-bitterness IPAs that are taking over shelves as of late. Some of them are damn good. Thing is, these beers aren’t the IPAs, or in this case double IPAs, with which many of us grew as beer drinkers. 3 Stars Brewing #ultrafresh falls in this category. It’s a pretty darn good beer, but there is nothing “double IPA” about it.

#ultrafresh falls in with many other beers striving for the “New England” style of IPA. It’s hazy, looking more like Main Beer’s Lunch than say Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA (a favorite in Barley Blog HQ) and has an aroma/flavor combination that makes it one of the most subtle and delicate of any double IPAs I’ve ever encountered. Yes, 3 Stars’ product is fruity and citrusy with a long lasting, satisfying finish, but it’s missing much of what makes a good double IPA. There’s no hop bite, very little carbonation, no malt sweetness or that in-your-face persona I personally want in the style.

#ultrafresh isn’t a bad beer and I’m not trying to rail against it or 3 Stars Brewing. Calling this beer a double IPA, however, is like calling a 5% ABV IPA sessionable. I’m not so stuck in my ways that I can’t change or adapt with the ever-changing beer environment, but let’s also not continue mis-labeling beers (sessionable, double, whatever) as anything more than what it may actually be.