Daredevil Brewing is a "local" brewery founded by 2 award winning brewers, Bill Ballinger and Michael Pearson, and craft beer enthusiast Shane Pearson (Shane and Michael are twins so beware!). They brewed their first batch of beer in December of last year at their Shelbyville, Indiana location and since have brewed a handful of beers:
- Lift Off West Coast India Pale Ale
- Muse Belgian Golden Ale
- Rip Cord Double IPA
- Vacation Kolsch
- Carnival Saison
In previous conversations with the guys at Daredevil, I always asked what a lot of people asked: "When are you going to bottle Lift Off?" and they would patiently reply with "We're hoping early 2014", which is why I was pleasantly surprised by their announcement of a November 2013 can release.
The guys did a great job with the release on many levels. First, they constantly kept people informed via social media about the timing and locations of their newly released cans making it easy to track down Lift Off- assuming the store still had some! Secondly, the packaging is awesome; I love the 4-packs, the 16oz cans, and I've always been a huge fan of their branding, which the can artwork does justice to.
Lastly, the #HandsOnOurCans contest is a cool idea and has generated a lot of fun and creative pictures (including some of my own) from Lift Off drinkers.
So let's talk about what's in those sleek looking cans!
The color is right on with what you'd expect from a "West Coast"-style IPA: bright copper liquid with a finger of off-white head. It smells of the classic American hop aromas of grapefruit, pine, and caramel. The taste gives grapefruit and pine up front, with some breadiness and caramel mixed in before finishing pleasantly bitter. The mouthfeel is middling with decent carbonation, and a crisp finish.
It's well balanced and hits the right notes, but I would like to see just a bit more hop flavor and bitterness if it's going to be called a west coast-style IPA. It's also a little bit thicker than a traditional IPA in my opinion, but the 7.2% ABV provides some explanation for that- some increased carbonation might help here.
I have to admit I'm nitpicking, because I think this is a very solid IPA and one of the best local IPAs available in cans (or bottles). The fact that this will be a regular staple in my fridge says something: 4/5