Flying Dog Easy IPA (355ml can, 4.7% ABV)
And so to our American cousins, who have had their own beer revolution and present us this luridly decorated beer … in a can? How vulgar!
But beer in cans is no longer the preserve of mass-market lager and insipid ale. Many smaller brewers are trying it and, given that the practice is growing, punters seem fine with it.
Second complaint: it describes itself as a session IPA. But isn’t an IPA supposed to be big, bold, highly alcoholic and hopped to the gills?
This being an American product, you also get a printed warning about the perils of alcohol from the Surgeon General, whoever he is. A relation to the Witchfinder General, perhaps? At any rate, his somber tone is immediately countered with a quote from gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, a friend of Flying Dog’s founder: ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Can’t argue with that. Meanwhile, British artist Ralph Steadman, who designed many of Thompson’s book covers, provides the chaotic artwork.
Popping the bright red ring pull results in a near spillage – boy this thing is full! Grapefruit wafts up, reminding me of a can of Lilt.
It’s a very carbonated beer, fizzing in the glass like it’s happy to be released from its aluminium prison (or should that be aluminum prison?). On the tongue it’s also very lively – bubbly and smooth, a bit like champagne. The taste is typically IPA – grapefruit and pine – but softer and rounder. Yes, it really is a session IPA, or maybe a strong pale ale; satisfying without being overwhelming.
One last amusing note from the words on the can, which has travelled all the way from Maryland, USA: ‘Drink local beer’. Who said Americans don’t do irony?
Written by Richard Salsbury