The latest trend of brut IPA has been a bit hit or miss for me. I have had a few examples of the style that have been great and many more that were tough to finish a pour of. Many of them end up thin and flabby and some have been so dry that they absolutely disappear into mouth drying oblivion the moment you swallow a sip. With that being said, I still find myself seeking out interpretations of the style and was excited to see a can on the shelf from Paradox Beer Co. with the word brut on it during a recent trip to Colorado.
I am generally a big fan of most offerings I have had from Paradox and the fact it is known for its excellent sour beers I was even more eager to pick up a four pack. The concept of a tart brut IPA seemed odd at first glance and almost a gimmicky mashing of styles. After putting thought into it I started buying into the concept more and more. After all, I am a sucker for the combo of hops and sour plus generally most mixed fermentation beers tend to finish pretty dry as is.
“Mixed fermentation India pale inspired ale brewed with mosaic lupulin powder,” reads the sharp-looking matte black label on the 16-ounce can.
So basically, it is a dry-hopped dry sour beer. I can’t blame Paradox for slapping the word brut on it since that is something that is moving off of shelves at the moment.
The beer pours a straw yellow and hazy to the point I cannot see through the glass at all. A finger of fluffy white head that dissipates after a minute or so. It looks like a hazy IPA and it smells like one as well. Of note, this can was the last of the four pack I have slowly drank over the last month and it is almost three-months-old at this point. The hop aroma has faded a bit from the earlier cans but it is still very enjoyable. There is a big, bright lemon note right up front with a slight funk and that familiar twang of sour beer. Hints of tropical fruit and a floral character round out a pleasant hop aroma.
As I mentioned before the combo of tart and hoppy is right in my wheelhouse and this beer nails the pairing. There is a very noticeable tartness, but not to the level where it is offputtingly sour, and just a touch of cracker malts with zero bitterness. The mosaic lupulin was a great choice bringing strong notes of lemon, lime, grapefruit and pineapple. Generally, when I see a solely mosaic beer I get a bit nervous that the hop will come off a bit onion-like but not the case with this one. As expected, the beer finishes very dry but not to the extent it is mouth drying and off-putting. The tart lemon-lime flavor lingers for just a second the lively carbonation cleans the palate with each sip.