The IPA is arguably the most popular beer style amongst beer connoiseurs and brewers alike. Considering the widespread popularity of this hoppy style, Otter Creek Brewing almost seems like the odd man out in the Vermont craft beer scene, a state that’s known for its progressive interpretation of the IPA. The brewery’s limited selection of more hop forward picks often steer clear of the traditional style guidelines— at least outside of its organic Wolaver’s label.
Kind Ryed IPA is closer to what you might expect from a more standard IPA, but there’s a surprising twist thanks in large part to the use of rye-malt. Taking third place in the IPA category of this year’s Great International Beer & Cider Competition, and landing on Paste’s Best 20 Beers of 2013 list, this unique American IPA delivers a mouthwatering adventure.
Pouring a light hazy-orange hue with a generous head, Kind Ryed beckons the taste buds with an aromatic lasso of fruit and pine. On the first sip, citrus and a hop-propelled bitterness offer a quick, “Hey dude, how’s it going?” before the beer settles into a sweet groove propped up by a firm malty backbone. That residual sweetness gradually fades to the background as the rye takes hold in the finish, offering a peppery spiciness that lingers without being overpowering. The use of rye adds a layer of complexity, mingling nicely with the bitter and sweet notes, while providing a tasty final kick that gives this otherwise traditional IPA a hint of whimsy.
The result is like a stool—three legs perfectly balanced. Kind Ryed is well worth a few pints of your time.
Brewery: Otter Creek Brewing
City: Middlebury, VT
Style: Rye IPA
Hop Varieties: Apollo, Simcoe, Chinook and Centennial