Fort George/Block 15/Boneyard 3-Way IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 7.2%
Once I heard about this year’s participants for the Fort George 3-Way IPA, I have to admit I was pretty excited to taste the results. While I have not tried much from Block 15 (they don’t distribute in Seattle), they have a good reputation & I’ve heard that their Alpha IPA is one to seek out. The other collaborator, Boneyard, makes one of my favorite IPAs on the planet: RPM IPA. Fort George’s own Vortex IPA is no slouch, either.
Look for the 3-Way IPA Tour to celebrate the release of this beer, with stops featuring a full tap list of Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15 IPAs in cities all over the Northwest. The full list of events is below, but they will be at The Noble Fir on June 13 and at The Pine Box on June 14.
My expectations for this year’s 3-Way were understandably high. So, how did it hold up?
Pours a hazy dark golden with a moderate head that sticks around for awhile. Loads of citrus and tropical fruit hops come popping out in the initial aroma along with a bit of lightly sweet malt. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for those aromas to diminish quite a bit. Citrus (lots of lemon) and tropical fruit hops are the focus in the flavor, with some earthy notes and a little raw green hop flavor coming through as well. The use of Mosaic hops is unmistakable, which just happens to be one of my favorite hop varities. It really is just a big blast of dank, fruity hop flavor with a solid base of pale malt to carry it. It has a very light sweetness and finishes with an assertive, but not unbalanced, bitterness. It is very drinkable all the way through for such a hoppy beer.
This is a great example of a “new-world” IPA featuring the Mosaic and Citra hop strains (with Chinook as well). It highlights the hop flavors without ramping up the IBUs crazy high, it isn’t a big, sweet, syrupy mess and it’s clean and begs me to come back for another pint. Don’t mind if I do. But, at 7.2% I’m glad I’m sitting here on my patio and don’t need to go anywhere…this is the type of beer you have to be careful with. Very easy to drink, but certainly not a light enough ABV to have a few of and drive. In an ideal world, this beer would be 4.5% ABV with all the same flavors and body, but sadly science just doesn’t work that way.
I actually picked up a growler of my beloved RPM IPA for comparison. The hop profiles are similar, but the malt profile of the 3-Way is a little more straightforward and less sweet. The RPM is darker in color and smoother than the 3-Way. For my tastes, I think I actually prefer the 3-Way IPA by a nose. I think the difference maker may be those Mosaic hops…
Commercial Description/Press Release:
Everyone knows great things come in threes. Grain, Hops and Yeast. Rock, paper, and scissors. Beer, beer, and beer. Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15. This summer, 3-Way IPA is back, combining the best of these three breweries into one IPA.
This year’s collaboration began several months ago when Nick Arzner (Block 15 – Lead Vocals) and Tony Lawrence (Boneyard – Lead Guitar) traveled out to Astoria to visit with Fort George. Following a tour of the waterfront, and a few balsa wood airplanes tossed from the Astoria Column, everyone sat down to sample IPAs and hash out the recipe.
“We like to work with breweries that we think are doing amazing things,” says Fort George co-owner Chris Nemlowill (Rythym Guitar – Flying V). “Boneyard and Block 15 are making some of the best IPAs in the Northwest. These collaborations give all of us a chance to learn from one another, and to keep improving our beers and brewing techniques.”
Organic 2-row barley (Fort George still couldn’t get 3-row) gives 3-Way IPA a solid, crisp profile and clean, straw-colored hue. Showcasing a trifecta of hops with Mosaic, Citra, and Chinook, this beer packs a huge citrus punch, with earthy hop undertones. With a respectable ABV of 7.2% and IBU’s at – well, you’ll just have to taste for yourself and decide.
The 3-Way IPA Tour starts now, with stops featuring a full tap list of Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15 IPAs in cities all over the Northwest, including:
June 4th – Longview, WA – Porky’s – 5pm – 8pm
June 12th – Eugene, OR – Tap & Growler – 5pm – 9pm
June 12th – Vancouver, WA – By The Bottle – 6pm – 9pm
June 13th – Portland, OR – Horse Brass Pub – 5pm – 9pm
June 13th – Seattle, WA – Noble Fir – 6pm – 9pm
June 14th – Seattle, WA – Pine Box (Tricycle Races!) 4pm – 7pm
June 17th – Boise, ID – Bittercreek Alehouse – 4pm – 9pm
June 18th – Tacoma, WA – Parkway Tavern – 4pm – Close
June 20th – Corvallis, OR – Les Caves Bier & Kitchen – 4pm – 7-pm
June 21st – Bend, OR – Broken Top Bottle Shop – 5pm – 8pm
June 21st – Spokane, WA – Lantern Tap House – 4pm – Close
Look for Fort George 3-Way IPA in 16-oz four-packs and draft throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. This summer seasonal is a limited run available from June to September 2014. To find 3-Way IPA at a retailer near you go to www.fortgeorgebrewery.com/3-Way/ and click “Find it.”
In the interest of full disclosure to satisfy the FTC regulations, this review was of a sample bottle received from the brewery.