(LONGMONT, CO) – It’s the year 2010. A plague of unbalanced, exaggeratedly hoppy beers have wiped out millions of palates in the United States since 1996. Only a small percentage of the population’s discriminating palates have survived to this point. Many beer drinkers are now forced to live without the ability to taste malt. Left Hand Brewing Head Brewer, Ro Guenzel, volunteered to brew an antidote, going back in time when IPA’s were more sessionable and balanced, and to help others discover that not all hops are of a big, citrusy character. The result? 400 Pound Monkey IPA.
Welcome to the jungle. Joe Schiraldi, VP of Brewing Operations, waxed poetic. “Just when you thought that the world needs another IPA like it needs another virus, we’ve started to brew a year-round IPA. But this one ain’t like them others. It’s an English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch. Any monkey can throw 400 pounds of hops in a kettle.”
Brassy in color, with an off-white head, the Monkey exhibits an earthiness quite different from American-style IPAs. Soft aromas of freshly cut hay, bitter orange and white cheese rind (courtesy of Boadicea and Sovereign hop varieties) are the first impression. But once the cage has been opened and a sip savored, a multi-pronged 12-monkey assault on the palate begins. The initial bready maltiness is attacked immediately by a variety of flavors ranging from green tea to glacier melt water to wild flower honey, coating your palate and refusing to leave.
“But just as one monkey arouses a great deal of amusement, two or more double the interest and amusement, which is why you should have more than one,” says Ro. “If you allow this beer to warm up, that’s where the Monkey really begins to shine. The malt starts to open, balancing the hop attack, but still allowing a very long herbal hoppiness to linger on your tongue. There’s just a lot going on.”
So, alas, comes the inevitable questions – what are the ABV and IBU? Well, the Monkey weighs in at 6.8% ABV, but the bitterness? Well, it depends on perception versus reality, but a polite monkey never tells.
About Left Hand Brewing Company
Celebrating sixteen years of brewing a well-balanced portfolio of craft beers, Left Hand Brewing Company is located at 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont, Colorado. The brewery has received 16 medals at the Great American Beer Festival and 8 medals at the World Beer Cup, and its beers are now available in 29 states and 11 countries. “Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having.”