When you come up with a name for a beer, and you decide to call it an Industrial IPA, it needs to be a throwback. And I’m not talking about Tweeting a pic of that swag beer you drank last week and slapping on the #TBT label on it the following Thursday. It needs to be a genuine throwback. Somebody with grease stains on their Carhartts who just put down their wrench and pliers for a quick break needs to be able to pick up this beer and have it be analogous to themself. Something that bleeds craftsmanship is deserving the title of, “Industrial IPA” – a minimalist beer that pours with humility. KelSo brewing, out of Brooklyn, NY decided to take on the challenge of creating a craft IPA that isn’t gimmicky or pretentious. The design of the packaging is already scoring points. Since many of us drink with our eyes, the matte black can appeals to the design conscious, yet hardworking and discerning craft beer drinker. Will the liquid inside live up to the style? Time for them numbers.
Smell: I get a big tropical whiff from this brew featuring mangoes, pineapple, and a little raspberry. The grain comes through as I get some sweet, bready notes – like freshly baked dinner rolls. I smell some sugar in the brew as well in addition to some dankness from the hops. The nose on this is pretty awesome.
Taste: First thing I notice about this beer is its balance. The beer starts off grainy and a little syrupy, then heads over to the tropical side where you pick up kiwi, grapefruit, and mango, but it finishes with a bit of alcohol and that expected bitterness you’d find in an IPA. I can’t believe how drinkable this brew is considering it’s whopping ABV at 10%. Although the alcohol warms you like a midnight fire on Christmas Eve, the flavors in this brew do not make you think that snow is soon approaching. It’s citrusy, refreshing, and inviting. The mouthfeel on this brew is on the thicker side for an IPA, but it’s not drowned by a syrupy taste that many other beers of this style tend to have, especially considering the ABV they flaunt. Although there are some tropical tastes in this brew, it is malt forward and if that’s not you’re thing, you may want to consider something lighter in color and body.
Overall: From start to finish, Kelso’s Industrial IPA is phenomenal. Considering the flavors, the balance, and the ABV, I do not think I’ve ever experienced an IPA like this. It gets a renowned A from me. There are IPAs I’ve had that I found to be sightly better, but this certainly falls within the top 10, maybe even top 5. Put down your wrenches and seek this one out.