From the Beer Writer: In a world rife with wide-ranging variations on the India pale ale, it’s easy to long for the good old days when one could rely on an IPA to be bold, bitter, aromatic and clear as day. Many are those who consider that the only “legitimate” form of IPA. A notable devotee to the classic American IPA is Jeff Bagby, the world-famous fermentationist at the helm of Oceanside brewpub, Bagby Beer Co. He’s never afraid to speak his mind, but for his namesake interest’s anniversary, he decided to let his brewing do the talking, creating What a Time to Be Alive! This American IPA harkens back to the late-nineties and early aughts, utilizing durable, dependable hop varietals known as much for their IBUs (international bittering units) as their piney, citrusy flavors and aromas. Flavorful with a tacky, resinous finish, it’s like sipping in a simpler, satisfying moment in time. But it’s not just a history lesson. This West Coast benchmark also tells a lucid tale of IPAs in modern-day San Diego. What may have been an amber-hued, Crystal-malt-fortified beer back in the day is golden and far crisper than anything I was ordering then. This beer provides the best of two worlds in a region I believe is still tops where it comes to IPAs. What a wonderful time (and place) to be alive!
From the Brewer: “For our fifth anniversary, we wanted to brew an IPA that showcased what we are and how we brew IPAs. In what seems to be a sea of hazy, fruited, lactose-filled, weakly bittered ‘IPA’, we wanted to show what we feel IPA really is and should always be. Because we do not have a canning line and transporting beer would be extremely risky and difficult, we decided to ask our good friends at Port Brewing if they would let us brew something and can it at their facility. After all, what better like-minded IPA brewery and people could we choose? The beer is brewed with five hops: Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook. All hops that we love and use regularly; one for each great year of Bagby Beer. Our brewer Brandon Barclay and I went over to Port Brewing to brew the beer, dry-hop and package it. The label was completely designed and created by [my wife and brewpub co-owner] Dande. The two ‘kids’ on the tricycle…well, you can guess who they might be. This beer is bright, bitter, aromatic and absolutely delicious. For those who have lost their way with IPA, What a Time to Be Alive will bring you back!”—Jeff Bagby, Co-owner & Head Brewer, Bagby Beer Co.