Sockeye Red IPAJanuary 1, 2004 Anchorage, AK
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Available: AK, OR, WA, CA, UT, MA
Sockeye Red IPA, named for a species of salmon, is a Northwest-style India pale ale, brewed with Cascade and Centennial hops, and dry-hopped with additional Cascade hops.
Alcohol by weight: 4.5
Pretty, dark “red” for an IPA, but in the land of midnight sun, darkness might be quite desirable. There’s a well-spun head, and the hops dominate, but the subtlety of the malt, with its touch of light roastiness, nicely balances the intensity of the Centennial-Cascade hop package. It’s almost a hophead’s homecoming, where bitterness is a way of life, and darkness absolutely necessary.
- Fred Eckhardt
True to its name, it pours hazy copper-red with a light tan head. The source of the haze is soon revealed—hop oils, leaping out of the glass, showing off the trademark pine, citrus and juicyfruit aromatics of American hops. Focused bitterness crackles across the front of the tongue and rides through the center on a thin rail of malt, flashing a hint of caramel. The finish is long, resinous and dry, with bitterness echoing for minutes. Not much malt here, but if you want a hop bomb, you’ll enjoy it with Alaskan crab cakes.
- Garrett Oliver
You’ve heard of blindfold tastings, but I once sampled this brewery’s range by candlelight, during a power outage in Alaska. Very good beers, and quite individualistic, I recall. This beer has a creamy, rocky—and well retained—head. For an India pale ale, this has a surprisingly dark color. The nose is very grapefruity, slightly smoky, extremely herbal, reminding me that the hop’s closest relative botanically is cannabis. The smoothness and dark, treacly, silky body of the beer offsets the intensity of the bitterness.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer and Sake (USA).
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.