Last year, Golden Road Brewery scored a break-out hit with its Heal the Bay IPA, and the intensely flavorful ale that won the brewery so many new fans is back for another summer. Heal the Bay is an approachable India Pale Ale that layers bright, fruity hop aromas over a clean and light malt body and brisk bitterness. Scents of tropical fruit, melon and citrus jump from the glass, and each sip begins with a touch of malt sweetness that swells to a blast of refreshing fruit flavors. Brisk carbonation and a dry finish accentuate the brew's hoppiness.
The brew is undoubtedly hop-forward, but it's a beer that won't scare off drinkers who are timid around bitter beers. Heal the Bay is about aroma and drinkability, not palate pounding. And this summertime IPA isn't weighed down by heavy malt flavors. Heal the Bay IPA was created in partnership with the L.A.-based charity of the same name, and a portion of the sales will be donated to help improve water quality in the Santa Monica Bay. It pairs well with backyard barbecue, tacos al pastor and the fresh fruit from the street vendor down on the corner.
Style: West Coast IPA
Price: About $12 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans
Where to find it: The Pub at Golden Road in Los Angeles, (213) 373-4677, www.goldenroad.la; as well as at Whole Foods Markets and bottle shops around town.