At the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, East Coast-style “Hazy” IPAs dominated the roster with over 391 entries in that category alone. While this style of beer is certainly trending, anyone in attendance at the festival did themselves a disservice if they missed the latest West Coast-style filtered IPAs. Innovative, complex and flavorful beers are being created in this category as well.
But now there is a new rival to both the East and the West Coasts: The Steep Coast.
Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery's Steep Coast IPAs are the latest hop-heavy ale style that any skier will appreciate. Aiming to combine the best of the West and the East while adding some mountain uniqueness all their own, the brewery’s first swing at this new category is about as hoppy as a beer can be. The Steep Coast Strata Double IPA uses 5.5 pounds of hops per barrel, an astounding amount that makes the brew detonate like a pipe bomb of dankness in your mouth.
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The cloudy DIPA features experimental hops called Strata, developed by the Oregon State University’s renown hop breeding program. The beer’s aroma smells like a big ol’ whiff of hops with green cannabis notes, and the plentiful strata hops will come at your tastebuds like a riot on your tongue.
Considering the especially heavy 8% ABV and 75 IBUs, the Steep Coast Strata DIPA is not for the casual lager-sipper. But if you crave a big, bold DIPA with heavy-duty hops after a day of spring skiing—and you don’t need to drive home—then bring a four-pack of 16-ounce cans on your next backcountry corn harvest and get ready for a proper Steep Coast adventure.
Something less hoppy: Patagonia Provision's Long Root Wit
Don't write off the Steep Coast category as a one-hit wonder, however, as Oskar Blues will continue to release new DIPA variations using Zappa, Southern Passion, and Enigma hop varietals. “We collaborate with breeding programs and with farmers, and we travel to visit hop fields and experience the aroma on the bines,” said Tim Matthews, Oskar Blues Head of Brewing Operations, in a press release. “Flavor is important, but so are sustainability and long-term viability.”
Oskar Blues Steep Coast Strata Double IPA
- Hops: Strata.
- Color: Cloudy, light gold.
- Aroma: Very hoppy with green cannabis notes.
- Palate: "At the first sip, Steep Coast Strata DIPA blasts off into a dank citrus stratosphere, through a far-out peach and stonefruit sky, then drifts via a passionfruit parachute back down to earth on sweet breezes." - Oskar Blues
- Special Ingredients: Strata Experimental Hops (almost 6 pounds per barrel).
- ABV: 8.0%
- Availability: Oskar Blues taprooms and in select markets. Use the OB Beerfinder to see if it's already on sale near you.
Find out more about the Steep Coast Strata Double IPA on Oskar Blues' website.