As I’ve previously confessed I have a hop obsession and this summer I’ve had delicious flirtations with some amazing IPAs. Less hopped-up friends have started to roll their eyes when I predictably bring a growler full of Indian Pale Ale, but while I have my favorites, I’m not just a one-note sort of gal, so let me set the record straight. True, in the summer I drink hoppy IPAs almost exclusively, but come fall I like to get my malt on and switch over to sweet beers with lots of body, meaning porters and stouts with the occasional brown ale. Sitting at the bar at Pine Box Rock Shop this week as the temperature began its welcome descent, I found myself not quite ready for the dark maltiness of a stout, but felt a bit blasé about the usual IPA contenders. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new beer capable of tickling both my fancies, the Flipside Red IPA, brewed by one of my favorite craft breweries: Sierra Nevada.
As with their signature Pale Ale and the delicious Torpedo Extra IPA, Sierra Nevada definitely hits the hops mark strong in the Flipside, delivering sharp citrus and fruity notes that smell like the end of summer in a beer that‘s crisp and fresh. The fun play here is that while the focus is largely on the hops, because the Flipside is also a Red Ale Sierra Nevada the malts has a stronger voice than is generally found in an IPA. The result in a nicely hopped beer with a delicious caramelized edge and a toasted note to the aftertaste. Rocking out at 6.2%, a pint or two should keep you nice and warm. The beer pours a beautiful red amber with a creamy white head, looking the part of fall.
Pine Box Rock Shop, apart from having an awesome name harkening back to the days when the space was a coffin factory, has a pretty killer vibe as well with rough wood-paneled walls and oil drums halved into tables. An open garage door in the front lets in a fresh breeze while you take shelter inside, hiding from the chilly Autumn air. It’s a vegan bar that where dogs are welcome, which adds to the cozy atmosphere, perfect for enjoying some of the 16 beers on tap that are regularly swapped out with intriguing new finds or their featured cask ale.
This fall in Bushwick Brews get ready to encounter new styles, more brewery trips, growlers to bring to a party and other beer-y events. Any ideas on what you all would like to hear are welcome. Just comment below. Catch you on the flip side!
Sierra Nevada’s Flipside Red Ale gets 3.5/5 stars – 1 for providing the perfect boozey transition from summer to fall, 1 for rocking some delicious fruity hop flavors, 1 for balancing it out with caramelized malts to create an innovative style, and .5 because the place serving it up in Bushwick is such a great fall spot.
Pine Box Rock Shop is located at 12 Grattan St, Brooklyn. They open at 4pm on weekday and 2pm on weekends, closing at 2am Sun – Tues and 4am Wed – Sat, with a daily Happy Hour until 8pm. My Flipside Red IPA was $6.
Bushwick Brews is a weekly column dedicated to the exploration of Bushwick’s finest beers written and curated by brewista Erin Wicks.