Beer of the Week: Aspen Brewing Company Independence Pass Ale

Established in 2008, Aspen Brewing Company was launch with a goal to produce “world-class beer, downstream from nobody.” Originally located just across the Roaring Fork River from the site of the original Aspen Brewery (founded in 1885, producing one beer to quench the thirst of Aspen’s mining population) Aspen Brewing Company has a strong community ethos, with a dedicated team passionate about craft beer and the mountain lifestyle. Alongside plenty of community support, the brewery also strives to minimise its carbon footprint, recycling hot water and encasing their beers in cans – more environmentally-friendly than bottles. Moreover, Aspen Brewing Company were one of the first breweries to sign on to the Clean Water Act with Environment Colorado and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  The brewery has also signed the Brewers for Climate Declaration, declaring they’re committed to the environment and maintaining a sustainable, efficient business.

Producing a wide range of award winning craft beer, striving to represent the outdoor lifestyle embodied in Aspen, the brewery’s Independence Pass Ale is a “super-hopped high altitude rendition of the classic India Pale Ale style.” Brewed with a blend of American Columbus, Cascade, Falconers flight and Simcoe hops, the beer has a light, turbid copper complexion, crowned with a creamy off-white head. On the nose, prominent aromas of tropical and citrus fruits include orange juice, tangerine, grapefruit, melon and feint passion fruit. Elsewhere, restrained hints of pine and caramel are backed with a trace note of black pepper. Citrus notes continue on the palate, joined by a light malt profile, though the bitterness is far less acerbic than the bouquet suggests. Instead, Independence Pass Ale has extraordinary balance, with a refreshing bitterness characteristic of India Pale Ale that develops with a carbonated mouth feel and dry bitter finish.

Independence Pass Ale is a superlative IPA – fairly strong at seven per cent ABV, but far more palatable than the unstoppable tide of aggressively strong, fiercely hopped, “my button is bigger than yours” modern India Pale Ales available worldwide.

Further information on Aspen Brewing Company can be found here.

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