Whenever summer weather starts to hit northern California, people start talking about going to Santa Cruz. Located roughly an hour and a half south of San Francisco, the beach town has some of the best waves around for surfers, a boardwalk complete with amusement park rides and games, and of course, delicious beer.
On the Santa Cruz boardwalk most of your beer options are things like Budweiser’s Straw-ber-ita, 25 oz. Modelos, and massive cans of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. If you look around, however, you can also find (amongst a handful of other craft options) Santa Cruz Brewing’s Giant DIPA.
The beer is named after the Giant Dipper, the oldest roller coaster in California. The historic wooden roller coaster has been operating on the Santa Cruz boardwalk since 1924, and as of 2012, had been ridden by a whopping 60 million people in its lifetime.
On the boardwalk, Giant DIPA is served in 16oz cans. The cans mean it can easily go with you to your beach blanket or be toted around in your hand while you explore the boardwalk and play games, or try your hand at mini golf in the arcade.
Admittedly, I was a bit reluctant to try this one at first. Clocking in at 8.9%, this is a heavy one to walk around with. And let’s be honest, sipping on a big can of DIPA doesn’t sound like the best idea on a hot summer day, except that it is.
From my first sip of Giant, I was hooked. It has a medium mouthfeel and clean finish. Malt plays a huge role, more so than other California DIPAs, but there are just enough aromatic hops to balance that out and make it a well-rounded DIPA.
In addition to being available on the Boardwalk (it was made specifically to be served there), it’s also available in 22 oz. bottles. If you see one out and are in the mood for an easy-drinking DIPA, I definitely recommend giving it a try.
Brewery: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
City: Santa Cruz, CA.
Availability: Limited, 16-ounce cans, 22oz bottles