DEEP ELLUM IPA

I’m sure we all were tuned in to watch the trouncing of Michigan State at the hands of our beloved Crimson Tide recently in Dallas. It was an amazing display of pure athleticism and dominance. My in-laws were in attendance and were there to cheer on our boys, but Jeff and Leigh Ann are the ones who should get the applause in this situation. On New Year’s Day, I received a text that basically read, “We’re leaving Dallas, what kind of beer do you want?” Heaven sent. I fired back a couple of options, which were basically anything from Deep Ellum Brewing Co. and if that wasn’t an option, then Lone Star (duh). Later that day I was informed I had two six packs of Deep Ellum and a twelve pack of Lone Star in tow on the way back to Alabama, luckily my favorite, the IPA, was in the mix. I got them in my possession, chilled them, and cracked the first one tonight while making dinner, and it was just as good as I remember.
The first time I tried Deep Ellum beer was in a beer swap I did with a guy from Austin about two years ago. He included their IPA along with several other Texas highlights that I thoroughly enjoyed. After learning a little more about the brewery, my wife and I visited the taproom on our honeymoon about a year ago while waiting on a tattoo appointment. I had a coffee stout, a double IPA, and she had a blonde and a pale ale, but none compare to that glorious IPA offering that was my first introduction to the brand. One thing to note about Deep Ellum aside from their great beer is their awful can art. I can’t stand it, and that deeply saddens me. It just looks like a jumbled mess and it took me a while to get past it. Personally, I don’t think it represents the brewery or the neighborhood very well, but then again, I’m not from there and have only spent a little over a week there before. It’s the only major drawback I have for this company.
The beer pours a beautiful copper orange color with a fluffy head of foam, about two finger widths thick, that slowly fizzles out and leaves some great lacing on the sides of the glass. After settling, the beer has some splotches on top of the foam that make for a bit of head in each sip. There’s a slight haze to the beer, but nothing floating in it. Just shows you that there’s some serious body to it and that should excite you rather than turn you away. The smell is straight hops and malt; plain and simple. It’s hoppy but not overpowering, because it also gives off this nice clean, citrusy aroma that mixes with a bit of pine that really develops after the beer has warmed a bit. You can also pick up on some of the sweet, caramel malts that make up the backbone of this beer. There’s something wonderful about the way this beer smells that isn’t replicated very often.
Taste is where I fell in love with this beer, because the execution is perfect. I cannot stress that enough, and I know some people may say well, it’s a little too sweet or it’s not hoppy all the way through, but those are your opinions, and these are mine so listen up. It’s great. The taste almost mirrors the aroma with the citrusy hops blended with a bit of pine in the background all wrapped up by a wallop of caramel sweetness and malty smoothness. I will say the bitterness does tend to take over in the backend, but isn’t overpowering thanks to the sweetness that we mentioned before.
Mouthfeel is great because it seems to hit somewhere in the middle between crisp and sticky. There’s a nice, sharp hop bite in the beginning that makes it refreshing, but toward the back end there’s a bit of that resin, full-bodied component that reminds you that you’re drinking something with some substance. There’s a great aftertaste of what, to me, is the quintessential northwest hop flavor. It’s great and I cannot get enough.
Overall, this has been a knockout since day one for me. By taking the aspects of a east coast IPA and mixing it with the hop characters and profiles of a generally speaking west coast IPA, you get this beautiful mash-up of flavors and combinations that you normally don’t find. It really bums me out that we can’t get this in Alabama, because I would just hand over half of my paycheck to any store that would carry it. If you’re from Dallas or know someone who’s traveling through, get them to pick you up a sixer of this, because it’s something that everyone needs to try once.

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