Up The Creek Extreme IPAMay 1, 2010 Greenville, SC
Thomas Creek Brewery
Available: SC, NC, GA, TN, VA
Up The Creek Extreme IPA is mashed in at a low temperature to increase the amount of fermentable sugars while reducing residual sweetness. Along with a triple dry-hop, this creates a hoppy behemoth of a beer with its alcohol well hidden.
Original gravity: 1112
Up the creek—without a paddle. Sorry, guys, but there’s no way this is an IPA. The color is russet and the aroma is rich with burnt fruits—raisins and sultanas. The style is called IPA because the original beers really were pale, brewed with just pale malt and brewing sugar. Some English brewers used imported lager malts. This beer is dark by English bitter standards, let alone IPA. Bitter hops come through powerfully in the mouth, with rich roasted malt and vinous fruit. The finish is malty sweet and fruity: the hops fail to carry through from the palate. It’s a drinkable and well-made beer but way off beam stylistically.
- Roger Protz
The label says “Extreme IPA” and I ready my tongue scraper. To my surprise, the beer isn’t even vaguely pale—in fact, it has a very nice, dark mahogany brown color. The tan head stands firm. The nose is bright with hops, oranges and sherry. The dark color gives away the flavor—sweet caramel first, followed by a big smack of bitterness and a burst of fruit. The whole thing floats out on a big raft of hops. Okay, two things: (1) this beer has absolutely nothing to do with IPA, and (2) it’s nicely brewed and pretty tasty. Pork tacos, with lots of cilantro and enough chilies to make you think twice.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
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.
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