Two of my favorite beer producers within The Golden State are Firestone Walker and Alpine. Northern California has a bounty of amazing beer, so I thought it only fitting to compare two India Pale Ales from elsewhere in the state. Pitting Central versus Southern seemed a reasonable task. Both of these breweries epitomize quality. I personally feel as though they're comparable to one another, strongly representing west coast style IPA's. Remember, craft beer is never a contest, but rather a cooperation of like minded innovators, aiming to enrich their communities. Union Jack vs. Duet...
Pouring this gem, you instantly notice the grapefruit and spice bullying your nose. Duet possesses good clarity with soft carbonation. The color resembles sunlight beaming through liquid pine sap. Initial dankness hits your palate, finishing bitter with the aforementioned spiciness. I'm amazed by the bite of this ale considering the subdued bittering units. Simcoe hops help to push the taste, while Amarillo hops mesh in harmony to create an exquisite IPA—West Coast Style. 7% | 45 IBUs
Hops: Simcoe & Amarillo
As the bottle emptied into the glass, an off-white foam sat atop the whiskey-kettle coppery ale. Union Jack holds your nose, clean with hops. Nestled alongside the distinct citrus is a slight bitter kick. There's nice gravity without too much sweetness considering the softened blend of four different malts. Multiple stages of hopping help to define this West Coast IPA. This is the favorite. 7.5% | 70 IBUs
Hops: Magnum (bittering), Cascade and Centennial (late kettle), Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Citra & Simcoe (dry hops).