MadTree Galaxy High Imperial IPA

Brewed with Topaz and Galaxy hops from New Zealand. 120 IBUs, 10.2% ABV.

Galaxy High

Limited year-round brew from MadTree Brewing, Cincinnati, OH.

The old adage was that the midwest was 5 years behind the coasts, at least when it came to fashion. Having lived in southwest Ohio for a couple of decades and watched the craft beer explosion on both coasts with longing and some measure of envy, I’d say it’s more like 15 years when it comes to brewing. At least in this part of Ohio. Sure, Cleveland came around early enough with Great Lakes Brewing, and it was good to have an Ohio craft brewer making tasty lagers and ales. But in Dayton and Cincinnati? Oh, there were a few attempts to open brewpubs and craft breweries in this part of the state, but they just didn’t stick for whatever reasons.

Thankfully, I think it’s safe to say now that the seemingly endless wait for local breweries is truly over. There has been a veritable explosion of craft breweries in recent years, with more coming. MadTree has only been in business for a little over a year, yet has already built quite a reputation with their quality and flavorful brews, and continues to expand their brewing operation. Their beers can be found in the greater Cincinnati and surrounding areas on tap and in cans; last year they were also available at Great American Ballpark during Reds games. Local craft beer at the ballgame – as it should be.

Oh, and as to the brewery name – I was told that one of the owner’s wives came up with the name, and they all felt it just seemed to fit. So there you go.

I sampled Galaxy High at Django Western Taco in Northside, not far from downtown Cincinnati. Check them out if you’re in the area.

Served in a 10 oz snifter, Galaxy High was a deep orange hue with some hop haze and a generous, dense bright white head.

The aroma showcased pine, pineapple, and grapefruit notes.

Full-bodied beer with a creamy-smooth texture.

Hoppy as you’d expect, with tropical and piney, resiny notes, but didn’t come across as too bitter (even with the colossal IBU rating). The caramel malt base maintained a steady presence underneath, and carried the ABV quite well. Big, bold, and a good one to slowly sip and savor. Lengthy finish left a pleasant bitterness and hop tang on my tongue.

I paired this with a fried shrimp taco with spinach, goat cheese, and sweet chili sauce. Win.

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