Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach is one of L.A.'s most celebrated, award-winning breweries, and a fresh batch of their signature Melrose India Pale Ale is hitting the streets.
West Coast-style IPAs are known for dry finishes and a layered hop character that showcase American hop varieties, and Melrose IPA is a straightforward example of in-vogue hop varieties Simcoe and Amarillo (known for their resinous citrus character). The brew is brilliantly clear and golden, and the complex and tropical hop aroma jumps from the glass. Each sip produces waves of tangerine, guava and piney resin flavors that coat the palate before melting into an assertive, lingering hop bitterness.
Brewmaster Julian Shrago, known for his catalog of IPAs, coaxes an impressive depth of flavor from simple ingredients (just two hop and two malt varieties), and this 7% alcohol example stays drinkable even as it pummels your tongue with its bitter bite.
Winner of the Mid-Sized Brewpub of the Year award at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, the buzz around Beachwood keeps growing, and this IPA demonstrates what all the hubbub is about. Fans of punchy hop-bombs should seek out Melrose; it's one of the best IPAs coming out of the L.A. craft beer scene.
Style: India Pale Ale
Price: Around $8 for a 22-ounce bottle
Where to find it: On tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, (1311/2 Main St.) and Beachwood BBQ and Brewing in Long Beach (210 E. 3rd St.); Total Wine locations, http://www.totalwine.com; and bottle shops throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.