Campfires. The outdoors. Woodsy aromas wafting through the chilled Rocky Mountain night air. Summertime in Colorado: it’s a beautiful thing. Such splendor needs a complementary beer, an ale to mirror the rusticity of the state’s wilderness. A beer like Firestarter India Pale Ale (6.6% ABV) from Bonfire Brewing.
Color: Firestarter is a hazy, burnt orange color—like embers. The head is basically white but with suggestions of beige.
Aroma: This beer is big on earthy, leathery scents. It’s also dank like a wet pile of leaves but the leathery trait seems to be most prominent. There’s also a dark fruit (black cherry?) aspect to Firestarter and, all told, the beer has a barleywine-esque aroma.
Taste: The bitterness of this IPA is most conspicuous in the aftertaste although, late in the taste it may be, the bitterness does linger. Firestarter begins with lively citrus zest but that quickly fades into dank, sticky, pine resin flavors and then into plum and perhaps other unidentifiable dark fruits. Firestarter has the ABV of an IPA but the flavors of an imperial IPA.
Mouthfeel: Firestarter finishes very dry, leaving the mouth feeling like dried animal hide. It possesses a low-medium amount of thickness—pretty typical IPA weight.
As the logs crackle and pop within a ring of boulders, as the sparks dart towards the stars, yearning to become one, and as the warm glow of the fire illuminates the faces of one’s compatriots on a pleasant Colorado evening, don’t ruin the magic with an incongruous beer. Have a Firestarter and truly drink in the moment.