Alright, here we go… round number two on the beer reviews. Just as a heads up, what I’m aiming for with these reviews isn’t necessarily trying to create some kind of scale or rating system that should determine which beers to try over others. I think that beers stand out for different reasons and are going to appeal to different people. That said… I’m still going to tell you whether or not I think it’s worth trying.
Thoughts from the Sky:
Base Camp Brewing Company is a company that I know very little about other than that they are from Portland, Oregon and have a wide variety of brews that mostly come in cans. And those cans are awesome! Take a look at the Base Camp logo. It makes you feel like this is the beer you should take with you camping. Plus, coming conveniently in a can makes this a good beer to enjoy at the end of a hike or so. With the name Ultra Gnar Gnar, it sounds like this beer belongs in the hand of a boardhead.
But after tasting the beer I’m not sure if it’s really as cool as it sounds. I wouldn’t say that it had anything off-putting about it, but more that it just doesn’t stand out and isn’t something that I’ll remember to buy in the future when I’m back in the Pacific North West where quality brews are readily available. I hate to critique somebody’s art in this way and I know that calling something average can contain more sting than simply spitting out the beer. This is still quite a drinkable IPA, in fact it’s very smooth and the price point on the beer is really not that bad — $8.00 for a 6 pack of cans. But is it actually what I’m going to bring on my next outdoor adventure? Probably not.
According to the brewer, Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA contains six different varieties of hops for flavor and aroma. I’m not sure if it’s simply because there are too many flavors that they can’t work together into something special, or if none of them are simply distinct enough, but there isn’t a special flavor that resonates with the beer. There are elements of pine, tropical fruit and citrus, but I can only taste the citrus and the malty overtones. It’s certainly not a big hop beer (as it claims to be) and I’d in say that if it actually had a bit more, this beer would be a possible keeper?
I’m certainly interested to try more of the beers from Base Camp Brewing as I have a feeling that I got the wrong impression of my first beer with them. The “S’more Stout” looks really cool and is one of the few bottles that they do. But with this specific beer, I wouldn’t recommend that you try it. I think that it’s simply just another IPA in a market that’s already over-saturated. Despite what some may say, I certainly don’t think coming in can form is a bad thing. For one, this beer is clearly being pushed towards those on the go and coming in a can is perfect for that, and much more lightweight. Also, a lot of breweries have been pushing for beers in cans because they supposedly preserve the beer better. Either way, Ultra Gnar Gnar most likely isn’t a beer I’ll be buying in can form or otherwise any time soon.