North Peak Wanderer Session IPA

4.2% ABV, 45 IBUs     “Brewed Up North”

North Peak Wanderer

North Peak Brewing Co., Traverse City, MI

By Bill Lau

Posted December 27th, 2014

I checked the map, and Traverse City is definitely up north in Michigan. Not quite UP north, but close. (Growing up in Milwaukee, WI, “up north” to us typically meant at roughly Wausau’s latitude or beyond, and Traverse City is right around that latitude. I had friends whose families would take their summer vacation “up north” and go camping, whether in tents or in a camper trailer. Never got to do that, but I did have the opportunity to fly a solo cross-country to Rhinelander when working on my private pilot’s license. Now that is truly getting “up north” in Wisconsin, and (at the time at least) very, very beautiful country, indeed. Never been to northern Michigan, but I have to believe it’s also lovely.)

But I digress. I’m back after a prolonged squawk (buying a house and moving are not conducive to maintaining a blog), and as you can see, still digging the session IPAs. (Fear not, lovers of big beers! I shall soon delve into an imperial stout or two and likely a double IPA or two as well. Hang in there!) In case you’re wondering, the North Peak website lists the hop varieties in Wanderer as: Centennial, Citra, and Simcoe.

Appearance (4.5/5): Wanderer poured out a copper-amber color with a slight haze. The pale beige head started out about half an inch thick and slowly faded to a thin layer.

Aroma (9/10): Loads of hops in the aroma – generous citrus over some caramel malt. Grapefruit, orange, and a hint of tropical fruit all present. Luscious!

Palate (3.5/5): Body on the lighter side of medium (or fuller side of light?), light carbonation, smooth texture with a bit of hop oiliness.

Flavor (9/10): Hops up front with citrus, pine, and resin, followed by hops, some honeyish malt, more hops, emphatic bitterness, a bit of toasted caramel, more hops and lingering bitterness. Did I mention hops? Glorious, floral-citric-piney hops. Great hop complexity with enough malt to prop it up. Great, lengthy aftertaste. Left some lacing on the glass, too.

Overall (17.3/20): Darn flavorful stuff. Nothing harsh or catty – very pleasant bitterness.

Did I mention hops?

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