We love beer. That's why we're devoting an entire year to discovering (and drinking) cold ones from near and far. Know of a beer worth shouting out? Send us a note.
When it comes to the beer scene, the West Coast is known for one thing: Hops. There is nothing West Coast brewers can’t and won’t hop to obscene levels. All that hopping is best showcased, of course, in the American-style IPA, a style West Coast brewers both invented and perfected. And Bear Republic’s much-lauded Racer 5 is among the very best. If you don’t like bitter, keep on walking, because this is a beer that will scrub your palate clean and leave you unable to taste anything afterward. Hopped to the breaking point with the big “C” hops (Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Chinook), the bold citrus and grapefruit character of the nose is merely a prelude to the juicy tongue-scrubbing you’ll get when you take your first sip. What makes beer world class, however, is that all that bitterness is offset by a subtle, cracker-like malt body that just manages to rein it all in. This is one of the definitive West Coast IPAs. Racer 5 is sometimes on draft at Monk’s Café, Growler’s and Bar 31.
PW's Year of Beer: Victory Helios