Over the past five years or so a countless number of breweries have opened up in Southern California. Some of them good and some of them not so good but, there was one brewery that piqued my interest more than the rest.

In 2014 I started hearing about a brewery opening up in Santa Ana that was going to be focusing on funky sours and farmhouse style beers, i.e., right up my alley. In 2015, The Good Beer Co. opened up and I could not make the short drive to Santa Ana fast enough.

I had high hopes and after my first visit, I realized that The Good Beer Co. was not an ironic name. Over the past five years, I have had more Good Beer bottles than I can count and many of them have been great.  My one gripe with The Good Beer Co. is that they didn’t offer a wide range of styles but that is starting to change. A few weeks back they put out a sour fruited IPA that was available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Tangerine Sour IPA is the creatively named IPA made with its house mixed fermentation culture with Citra hops, milk sugar and tangerines. I am generally a fan of the sour IPA subset and have even brewed a few on my own so I am excited to crack this one open.

I had to break out my favorite glassware which happens to be from The Good Beer Co.’s Stable membership program. Tangerine Sour IPA pours an opaque light gold with a thin head that dissipates to nothing within seconds. The aroma of the beer doesn’t jump out of the glass but I do get a distinct citrus character that comes off more as actual oranges rather than the typical citrus character you get from tropical hops. Other than the fruit I get a touch of a sweet candy-like note and not much else.

My first sip is a complete U-turn from the subdued aroma. A flavor punch filled with bright citrus, fruity candy, just the right amount of tartness and just enough lactose to add sweetness but not enough to be cloying. Part of this may be suggestive recognition but the citrus in this beer tasted just like biting into a mini tangerine. The acidity is spot on as it amps up the fruit character then is quickly met with the sweetness of the milk sugar. The finish lingers with a prickly tartness and sweetness that balance each other out well. I also get the taste of powdered vitamin C that pops up in the finish.

The Good Beer Tangerine Sour IPA
BREWERY: The Good Beer Co.
LOCATION: Santa Ana, Calif.
STYLE: Sour IPA
ABV: 6 Percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2019
AVAILABLE IN: 16-ounce cans
BEERS POURED: One
The old school beer nerd in me looks at a fruited sour IPA with milk sugar as a gimmicky beer but the new school hazy IPA loving side of me vehemently disagrees. The tartness, sweetness and the fruit all play together very well and each component keeps the others from being overpowering. Tangerine Sour IPA is not going to replace my go-to IPAs but it would be a welcome addition to the fridge that even new beer drinkers can enjoy. Hats off to Good Beer Co. for trying something out of its comfort zone and pulling it off well.
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