David Sapsis's picture

Judge's Review: 90 Rating - Citrus Zest IPA by pFriem Family Brewers

February, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Citrus Zest IPA by pFriem Family Brewers was judged as BJCP Category  21A, American IPA.  Served at 41 °F.

The beer comes to me in a large snifter and presents a medium-gold color with a dense off-white head that is lush and thick with an excellent foam stand. Clarity is almost bright, dulled by a modest and faint haze. Outgassing is relatively reserved.

The aroma is sharp and pungent with strong citrus (grapefruit, pomelo) notes dominating above a nice honey and cracker malt backdrop, with an interesting white pepper spice angle. The beer is both rich and fruity-acidic, giving it an almost sweettart character that is inviting.

The flavor profile starts with strong grapefruit flavors almost oily in their nature, and reminiscent of peel/zest. Bitterness is very firm, but not coarse in any way. The mid-palate is dominated by citrus hop notes and some diesel-pine over a nice honey malt sweetness. Body and mouthfeel are medium-full, accentuated by relatively low CO2 levels, but the beer is still snappy due to the acidity and hop flavors that last into the aftertaste. The finish is dry with lingering bitterness, citrus oil, acidity and mineral tones. 

While the beer is both dry and quite bitter, the hop aroma/flavor components give it a bright citrus character that dominates from beginning to end. While the bitterness is strong and there are some harsh and astringent elements likely due to high hop dosage, the beer is still both drinkable and rather filling. With respect to food pairings, do not go mild. I am thinking some spicy east-African stews and injera would fit the bill well.