Thursday, September 17, 2015

MARIN BREWING’s “3 FLOWERS IPA”

Hunh. This bottled version of MARIN BREWING’s exceptional “3 FLOWERS IPA” isn’t quite the beer I remembered loving when consumed directly from the tap (or rather, from a glass that had been held under the tap). Whereas the draft version, first consumed fresh at City Beer Store last year, was dry and floral and super-crisp – a lovely rye IPA with some unique flavor – this bottled version is bitter, tart, grainy and even a little apiriny. It pours a cloudy, effervescent yellow, but that dryness, which was so “alive” last time I had this thing, really comes out pretty flat here. It’s not altogether annoying, but I think we might have a victim of the IPA draft vs. bottle “freshness effect” in full force here. 6/10.

I feel a little for Marin Brewing, to be honest. They were one of the SF Bay Area’s leading lights for so many years, active way back in the 90s and continuing to entertain customers at their Larkspur Landing brewery & pub to this very day. I don’t see a ton of innovation coming out of there any more, and they seem to have reverted to being a “local” brewer/restaurant again, not one actively out their peddling their wares to the Bay Area hoi polloi. At least I never see ‘em. I know their “WHITE KNUCKLE” DIPA has its fans, and man, I used to love that seasonal beer, as well as the “TRIPEL DIPSEA”, two leading-edge beers on styles that were also once leading-edge in our American beer culture. Seems like the taps haven’t gone dry but the ideas might have. Or maybe I just need to get on a boat & go visit them again. Anyone know what they’re up to these days?

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