With both Shaun and I lacking in the posting area this year, it behooves me to start firing off some posts. I usually only write about a beer when there's an event surrounding it or if it really catches my attention, in a good or bad way. I went to the Twisted Spoke not too long ago and had a Green Flash West Coast IPA. I needed a reminder of the goodness that is San Diego brewing and that's this beer. The locals out there love it. They're proud of it. I can see why.
Green Flash West Coast is a no-frills beer in that it has no ostensibly unique features. It's not Belgian yeast inclusive. They don't ensure that it's sweet. There are no fruit flavors. It's just a straight ahead San Diego IPA, aggressively hopped, with a big hop cluster dominating the malts to a level to which many milder Midwestern counterparts can only pretend. But its hop dominance is hardly what sets it apart. What's truly great about this beer, though, is its distinctive flavor. I could identify this beer in a blind taste test the way that sommeliers can detect a Burgundy vintage. Its odor has some grapefruit, but its dominated by pine. You can always count on this to pour a gargantuan head; few glasses can contain it.
Its most distinctive feature, however, is its massive herbaceousness. I hated this beer the first time I tried it simply because I wasn't man enough to cope with that whopping heap of herbs. Now, dozens of weak-kneed, lily-livered beers later, I absolutely love that herby-grassiness that coats the palate and makes you ponder this beer. Unlike, say, Arrogant Bastard, I would have no problem drinking two or three of these without feeling exhausted by the hop assault. As my palate matures, I detect the malt complexities in a beer more and more, and the malts here service the remainder quite nicely, quelling the acidic hop burn.
This is a great workhorse beer. San Diego natives love it for being one of the first true local craft beers and embodying the local brewing traditions. I love it for standing out in an increasingly crowded field. There's nothing else quite like it.
3.9 of 5 stars.