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The Journey Of An IPA….Jailbreak Style

So I’m sure many of you (should there even be more than one that actually reads my blogs) have written this blog off long ago and I wouldn’t blame you. It’s been over a year since I’ve last rambled on but don’t mistake the absence for a lack of desire. I can’t and won’t even begin to detail all the daily mayhem I’ve gotten into since I’ve last written you but let’s just say that what I do….WE do….is done with the beer always in mind. Since I’ve last blogged, we’ve doubled in almost every facet. Our Jailbreak family has doubled. Our volume has doubled. The size of our home has doubled. On most days I feel like the amount of time we all put into our craft has doubled. The number of products we’ve placed lovingly into can has doubled. I’m guessing you’re picking up on the pattern. Well the last data point is the very reason why I’m writing tonight.

As some may have noticed, we have yet to release a year round IPA. You may have also noticed that we’ve recently been releasing two amazing yet very different experiemental IPAs that we’ve oh so creatively named “Batch 074” and “V22”. The former was actually created by mistake over a year ago mid way through a batch of Big Punisher. When mistakes are made, we typically send the beer to where all bad beer goes when it gets punished…..the drain. But on that particular occasion, we decided to let it ride a bit and mess with the hop component. Little did we know that our little mistake would end up becoming such an amazing elixir in it’s new form. So we kegged it, served it and it was met with many smiles and happy palates. It was a beautiful interpretation of an unmistakingly East Coast style IPA.

So a year later, we decided to move ahead the latter of the two above mentioned beers (V22) from our R&D lab to our production system. We’ve been developing many forms of our IPA for over two years and while we always wanted a more West Coast style IPA….we always compared our developmental Westy to that one mistake beer that everyone loved. But it had to be good. No….forget that….it had to be amazing! An IPA is too important of a style to simply be good. There’s plenty of good beer out there. Too much in fact. In today’s age of craft beer, you must be great to survive. So great was our aim.

So we decided that we would never know what we were really dealing with on the R&D side and that both beers must be moved to production to really “try it on for size”. So we decided to choose two tracks and follow through with both of them…..East Coast vs West Coast. If Hip Hop taught us nothing, it was that a good coast-to-coast battle squashes all doubt. There can only be one winner and that was (and IS) our mission.

So we’ve completed and released two versions of both the East Coast “Batch 074” and West Coast “V22” over the past few months and as we continue to tweak them both…we’re finding out that I was wrong in my early predictions. I figured it would be impossible to beat out that original mistake of a beer. Hell, it’s been nearly impossible to even recreate the mistake but we’ve gotten close. I simply didn’t think that we could create two amazing IPA’s in the process of seeking only one. But here we are, at the precipice of diving into one final batch of each. Preparations have been made and recipes have been exhaustively scrutinized and massaged and tweaked. After countless tasting panels, we’ve dialed in both to where we believe will be a landing spot for each after these final two brews. Crazy….it’s the final round and in the 8 Mile of brewing, you just gotta let go and lose yourself.

Before I digress. We’ve already created the name and can label for the righteous winner of this battle. We’ll FINALLY have a year round IPA. We’re awaiting our government approval and can production so the only question remaining is which beer will it be. I’ll let the more vocal of those reading this decide. Shoot us a message or write it on a Post It and stick it on our bar. We’re listening closely while you’re closely deciding. Cheers!

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