IPA brewed with special Bavarian hops
3 Floyds Lazer Snake IPA
By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime
7% ABV, 55 IBU India(na) Pale Ale brewed with “special Bavarian hops”
3 Floyds Brewing, Muncie, IN
Well. Where to begin? I’d never heard of this one, though am familiar enough with 3 Floyds, having tried Alpha King, Gumballhead, and Dreadnaught in the past, among others (alas! have never managed to score any of the acclaimed and extremely rare Dark Lord). But the name. And the label. It got me to look, and once I read “India pale ale” and “Bavarian hops” I knew I simply had to try it. (Brief aside – the beer bio at the 3 Floyds website calls this an “Indiana Pale Ale” – clever, guys!)
One of my (I thought so, anyway) rather successful homebrew experiments some years back was named “Project X”, and it essentially was an attempt to brew a Czech-style pilsner without the benefit of refrigeration (or, you know, any real sort of temperature control other than relying on Mother Nature and a normally chilly garage space during winter). At any rate (and in spite of the surely-predictable unseasonably warm days interfering once I’d committed the yeast to the process of fermentation) I found it to be quite tasty and refreshing, especially during the warm summer months for which I’d brewed it. I suppose one could consider it a pseudo-lager, steam pils, or even a cross between pilsner and IPA. (Could have essentially achieved the same result using a neutral ale yeast and cool fermentation, but we homebrewers do love to experiment.)
But I digress. (Or do I? See, there is method to my madness…or is it madness to my method? Ha!) Returning to the intrepid Lazer Snake at hand. An IPA, but with German hops? Why, yes please! Yes, indeed!
Appearance is a lovely, warm-toned pale golden shading to deeper, sun-kissed gold in the wider portion of the glass. Head of white foam gradually subsides to a sustained layer and ring. Aroma is reminiscent of a good, crisp lager, with elegantly floral hops over light malt, and some additional floral-citrus tones riding through the maelstrom. First sip delivers – grapefruit, in a nice blast of IPA hoppiness. Body is on the lighter side of medium, carbonation crisp and fine. Generous hop flavors permeate the beer in an interesting juxtaposition of floral-spicy and uber-citrus, yet some mildly caramel and biscuity malt does manage to come through underneath all that sapidity. Bittering is firm and appropriate for an IPA, but not harsh. I rather fancy this! It’s smooth, akin to a lager, yet bursting with ale character. There’s some resiny hop lingering for quite awhile in the lengthy finish. Leaves behind some partial foam rings on the glass – always a nice sign.
In summary – hellz yeah, I’ll get this one again!
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone. Your mileage may vary. Some assembly required. And get that finger out of your ear – you don’t know where that finger’s been!