Why is the American craft beer scene so revered? Because brewers in the U.S. aren’t restricted by tradition, they’re forging their own way. They are free to experiment with brewing methods that would make many an Old World brewer stick his or her nose in the air. The proper Belgian beer usually isn’t overly hoppy—they’re malt-and-yeast forward beers—but Wynkoop Brewing Company dismissed propriety and brewed Belgorado Belgian-Style India Pale Ale (6.7% ABV), a beer made with all-Colorado hops and malts and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain.
Color: Belgorado is a very clear harvest/brassy yellow and features a snowy-white head of foam.
Aroma: Fruity—like lemon, spicy Belgian goodness is what is most noticeable but an underlying floral and peppery hop quality cannot be denied. It’s not a powerful aroma but it’s strong enough to clear the sinuses.
Taste: This is one balanced beer: it tastes 50% traditional Belgian and 50% IPA. It begins with the quintessential Belgian spice and fruit which tastes tropical and apricot-y. Following the initial flavor is a flood of floral, mildly bitter hops which seem to fade (but never disappear completely) as one continues to drink. With each swallow, esters pervade the nasal cavities.
Mouthfeel: Belgorado is dry and is mildly viscous: neither water-thin nor stout-thick.
Belgorado is new to the Wynkoop canned line-up but it was this recipe that won bronze at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival in the Experimental Beer category. If one wishes to taste an experiment that came out right, grab a four-pack of Belgorado next time one find’s themselves at the local beer store.