I was tooling around in a local beer store and spotted the 12 bottle variety pack from Sierra Nevada labeled 4-Way IPA and knew I had to have it. I often say I don’t have a favorite beer, and I pretty much don’t, but I do have a favorite style and that style is India Pale Ale. The variety pack doesn’t have much information on it other than the names of the four beers. The website describes the pack as:

This pack of four hop-forward beers stretches the boundaries of India Pale Ale from midnight black color to hazy body and from experimental hops to innovative brewing equipment. Each style is loaded with intense aromas and flavors presented in new ways, underscoring our passionate and progressive take on whole-cone hops.

We all have heard of and sampled Torpedo, but the rest were new to me. Nooner was a highly sessionable 4.8% ABV IPA. I really like the malt backbone and the hops. Not sure where Pale Ale ends and IPA begins, but I do know I liked this beer. It was also a little grainy and husky and I can dig it. Snow Wit is a wheat IPA at 5.7% ABV and instead of going for Belgian as it said on the label to me they went for German since the main aromatic is bananas. If I wanted monkey juice I would get a hefeweizen. There were some nice pineapple notes in there, but otherwise this one just didn’t cut it for me. Torpedo is 7.2% ABV and surely you’ve had it. Blindfold is a 6.8% ABV black IPA and I really enjoyed this one. It was smooth strong coffee and a nice bitterness. In truth this might be closer to a porter if it were a little rougher around the edges, but whatever it was I found it enjoyable.

The 4-Way variety pack was affordable, but 25% of the bottles are Snow Wit which for me is really only going to wet the whistle, give me B vitamins, and exercise my kidneys. It’s not awful, but not something I would knowingly purchase. The other three are worthy of your time. For that reason pick up a 12 pack and give this a whirl.

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