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Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Wake Zone by Pontoon Brewing

December, 2020

Wake Zone

Wake Zone

United States
Wake Zone, Pontoon Brewing

Make some waves with this refreshing, unfiltered IPA! This year round offering will showcase a rotating variety of hops ranging from the radical and experimental to the tried and true favorites; each hand picked by our brewers to rock your docks off! We used light and sweet Maris Otter base malts to let the hop flavors take the helm in this crisp, unfiltered IPA.

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
45º - 50º F
Maris Otter



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Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
5 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Wake Zone by Pontoon Brewing was judged as an American IPA, BJCP Category 21A.

The aroma opens with high levels of grassy hops, but they do drop out as a fresh pineapple character comes in. Lower levels of dankness and pine resin enter the picture and seem to elevate to the levels of diesel or fresh laid asphalt. The hoping is fresh and vibrant, which is what you want in an IPA. As it warms up the grapefruit citrus comes through with a very slight hint of sweet malt in the background. Other than the elevated levels of grassy hops, nothing is off or out of place. The beers is a light gold color with substantial haze. The white creamy head dropped out a little too quickly into a thin whispy cap, but that persisted throughout. 

The flavor provides more of the pineapple and dank qualities of the hops. There are rather high levels of pine resin qualities that read a little diesel like. Some orange zest mid-palate with a moderately high level of bitterness. The finish is medium dry as some sweet malt character makes its way through the hops, providing some balance to the bittering level. A touch of pithy citrus character shows up in the finish and into the aftertaste. Medium body but seems fuller than classic examples of the style. Somewhat creamy but there is a hop bite that combines with the higher carb levels and still manages to prickle the palate. A touch of alcohol warmth is noted.

This is a very nice American IPA. Lots of fresh American and New World hop character. The grassy hop levels in the aroma and the high levels of haze where a little out of place. The finish could have been a little dryer but that may have elevated some of the more aggressive qualities in the h bops, which also seemed a little distracting. Overall, a good beer but the plethora of IPA’s on the market have elevated expectations for the style to the point of almost being unattainable in the real world.