Joseph Formanek's picture

Better Life Choices IPA

September, 2017
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Better Life Choices IPA by Atwater Brewery is a great example of a well-crafted IPA that clearly bucks the trend against the typical “hop smackdown” IPA offerings.  This is a very flavorful IPA that still delivers great balance and drinkability, and should be a definite go to brew if available in your area. This is being evaluated as a Category 21A American IPA as per the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines.

The aroma is complex with evident dankness and melon along with a grapefruit citrus note that pulls it all together. There is also a residual malty sweetness along with floral esters from the fermentation in the background. The color is a dark golden with amber highlights, with fair clarity and an impressive long-lingering small bubble white head with enough lace to let you count how many times you’ve sipped from the glass.

The flavor features a very good balance of a subtle malt backbone, moderate hop bitterness and the moderate levels of citrus, grapefruit and dank hop flavors that were promised in the aroma.  The balance is toward the hop character in the middle, finish and aftertaste, but it never truly dominates, delivering a delightful quaffable overall flavor. The finish is very clean with enough bitterness to dry the palate for the next sip.The body is on the light side of medium, and the carbonation is at a moderate level.The carbonation does come off as being a little prickly, which is slightly distracting, but the rest of the characteristics in this brew certainly make up for this small quibble.

Better Life Choices IPA is a well-made and pleasant IPA that is well worth consideration as a daily driver if available. Cheers and enjoy!