Hard to believe, but it's only been a few months since Flyer's Brewing from Oak Harbor, went portable with their 22oz 'bombers'. Starting with their Afterburner India Pale Ale the brewery has been making strides to release as many of their regularly available beers as possible. Unfortunately due to the laws of reality, your choices currently are Afterburner or Pacemaker Porter. If you don't like it, you are more than welcome to head up to Oak Harbor, duck from the low flying naval aircraft, and belly up the bar.
Getting back to the topic at hand we decided to see if the beer that puckers our mouth with hops, was matched out of the bottle. But first, the history lesson.
Not centric to the Northwest or the West Coast, the India Pale Ale get’s its influences from the United Kingdom and far off India, during a time when beer was as valued as water itself. Known for their English Pale Ales, the British Troops would expect ships carrying this ale to the shores of the Indian Colonies. Unfortunately beer was hard to transport and often did not last the trip, until the discovery of hops as a preservative. Today what you have in front of you is decades of American modification which results in an IPA style which is unique to the region.
Or for those of you that subscribe to homebrewing, here are some suggested guidelines from the Brewers Association.
American-style India pale ales are perceived to have medium-high to intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol content. The style is further characterized by fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character. Note that fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. The use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer. This pale gold to deep copper-colored ale has a full, flowery hop aroma and may have a strong hop flavor (in addition to the perception of hop bitterness). India pale ales possess medium maltiness which contributes to a medium body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels. Chill and/or hop haze is allowable at cold temperatures. (English and citrus-like American hops are considered enough of a distinction justifying separate American-style IPA and English-style IPA categories or subcategories. Hops of other origins may be used for bitterness or approximating traditional American or English
Flyers Afterburner India Pale Ale is one that pours orange (almost peach) but with a definite clarity. Resting in the glass a medium, khaki-colored, head forms; but doesn't stick around long enough to be enjoyed, leaving only a shredded wreath of lace inside the glass.
The aroma that is given off is both earthy (green grass, rich earth) along with notes of biscuit breadiness, and a bit of orange citrus.
As one takes a sip, the initial sensation of dry, grapefruit-citrus, is first detected; before elements of pine (like evergreen needles) are found midway, In the end this beer finishes with same earthiness that was in the nose, along with the biscuit breadiness. Overall, Flyers Afterburner IPA produces a light to medium heaviness as it rests on the tongue along with some stickiness.
Afterburner I.P.A.6.0% abv A hop lover's delight! Our I.P.A. is loaded from start to finish with five hop additions and balanced by English and German malts.
You Should Try It. Despite what your colleagues might say this beer is a welcome addition to the Northwest India Pale Ale family. If you find yourself at the grocery store, consider picking up a bottle to take home. This beer would definitely work well with a plate of hand shucked oysters, a savory BLT sandwich or served next to a plate of parmesan, or sharp cheddar.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review