Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Curmudgeony IPA

There are a lot of beers out there, and one will never find the time to consume all of them (though, I do try). When I see a particular style of beer, I have certain expectations and, if that style is one of my favourites, those expectations are particularly high.

If my expectations aren't met, I can get a bit surly. You might even say I act like a curmudgeon.

Take the IPA by Cambridge, Ontario, brewery, Grand River. The label drew my eye to it as I shopped the shelves at the LCBO. The name amused me and, as IPAs are among my favourite ales, I picked up a couple of bottles.

With an IPA, I expect some bitterness, nice, aromatic hops, some grapefruit or other citrus flavours, a full body, and a clean but bitter finish. Not too bitter, mind you, unless the bitterness is balanced with other flavours.

Let's see how this ale did.
Curmudgeon IPA (6.5% ABV)
Grand River Brewing
Cambridge ON
Appearance: a clear, deep amber with an off-white head that quickly settles to a thin but solid cap.

Nose: bitter hops and a touch of caramel.

Palate: my initial impression was that I had bitten into an orange peel--lots of bitterness but not the best part of citrus fruit. The flavours balance in the finish but I would have liked to have felt that balance while the ale was still in my mouth. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering: it lingers, however, in the finish.

As I continued to drink the IPA, the bitterness turned sour, and my appreciation for the ale waned.

Overall impression: this is a good beer but I felt the emphasis was placed on bitterness and booze, rather than an overall balanced flavour. With the vast number of great IPAs out there, I thing I would give this one a pass the next time I saw it on the shelf.

It simply didn't live up to my expectations.

Beer O'Clock rating: 2

Though this IPA left me feeling somewhat curmudgeony, I would still be interested in trying more beer from Grand River. I have already reviewed their Imperial stout (I didn't like) and their pumpkin ale (I liked), so I hope I can find something else to please my palate.



  1. I just bought one of these the other day... Guess I could have chosen better.

    1. What did you think of it?

      It's not that there's anything wrong with this beer: it is what it is. But, for me, there was no "wow, this is good stuff" reaction.