It's timely release syncs with SF Beer Week and will become a year-round offering.
Mark Carpenter assures that the IPA will "have a strong hop flavor so you know you're drinking an IPA," but that the malt will help balance the beer out. It seems Anchor is finally adopting the modern culture of the IPA, but they have created the beer "their way." In other words, don't expect a hop bomb or DIPA. I'm looking forward to trying the beer tomorrow, when I'll have a better sense of how this IPA differs from their Liberty Ale, often coined as the original IPA.
From a non-beer drinking perspective, my favorite thing about this beer is the label and the story behind it. The elephant symbol is brilliant for an IPA, and Anchor released a story about going to "see the elephant" with their press release:
"The expression to “see the elephant” originates from a tale that predates the California Gold Rush.
There once lived a farmer who had heard of elephants but had never seen one. He longed for the day when he might catch a glimpse of this rare, exotic creature. When the circus came to town, he loaded his wagon with fresh produce and headed to the market. On the way, just as he’d hoped, he came across the circus parade, nobly led by an enormous elephant. The farmer was ecstatic, but his horses were terrified. They reared and bucked, overturning his wagon and scattering its precious contents in the road. “I don’t give a hoot,” exclaimed the farmer. “I have seen the elephant!”
The elephant became the universal symbol of the Gold Rush, as evidenced by the journals, letters, and sketchbooks of the forty-niners. Whether or not they struck it rich in the diggings, those plucky pioneers would forever treasure their California adventure as the defining moment of their lives."
I don't know about you, but I prefer my beers with a story and an expression. I'll reserve judgment on the beer until I get to taste it. SF Beer Week is almost here, and it's already awesome.