Finally! An English-style IPA

Jim Lundstrom

For years now I’ve been railing against the awfulness of the American IPA trend while simultaneously pining for an English IPA. It’s almost impossible to find British imports in these parts, and American craft brewers seem to prefer to punch you in the face with their hopped up IPAs, instead of finding the right balance between malt and hops, which is the hallmark of an English IPA.

With the mid-January opening of Clyde Brewing, not far from my house, my search for an English-style India Pale Ale is now over. Brewmaster Dale Kleinschmidt, formerly of Lake Superior Brewing, is a proud brewer of traditional beer styles, and lucky for me and anyone else who loves English IPAs, he has one of those in his arsenal. He calls it Stiff Leg IPA.

After taking my first sip, I knew I was in good hands, but I had to ask the very busy bartender if she ever gets complaints about the IPA. “All the time,” she said. “They say it’s not hoppy enough.”

That’s all she had time for in the busy bar, but if she had more time, I would have explained that anyone who says that is an uneducated beer drinker. The literature clearly states that this is an English-style IPA, and it is a perfect representation of that, and a fine-drinking beer as well.

I had to stop between sips and reflect on how special it is to find a brewer who goes to the roots of this beer style instead of trying to reinvent it. But guaranteed it will taste foreign to dedicated IPA hopheads who don’t know any better. We must forgive them their ignorance.

In addition to the IPA, you can also get:

Cream Ale – a soft and smooth American ale, and the brewery’s most popular offering

Empire Kolsch – A blonde German-style ale that originated in Cologne, Germany. It is as close as you will find to a lager in a top-fermenting beer

McGiffert Logger – a Graf Vienna-style dark lager (think of the Mexican beer Modelo Negra)

Steam Skidder Stout – an oatmeal stout with coffee and chocolate notes

Whirley Wheat – a traditional Bavarian-style hefeweizen

Operator’s Root Beer – A hint of wintergreen sets this root beer apart Currently you can only get Clyde beers on tap, but crowler takeout is coming soon. Stay tuned.    

Crowlers coming soon.