Abita Big Easy IPA

Abita's Big Easy IPA
Abita’s Big Easy IPA

Normally, you beware when a beer’s label says Easy Drinkin’ on it. But i bought it anyway, because it was on sale at $9 for six. These are the same people who make Purple Haze, a raspberry lager which has nice artwork on the carton but the concept sounds like an abomination. I’m sure it is, and never plan on buying it. The artwork on this one is much less infernally menacing, with a big river steamboat. Folks on the boat are dancing, someone brought their tuba, and i think i spotted the skeleton from the Purple Haze carton.

Again, the neat trend of Much Info on the bottom of the carton, listing the malts, the hops (4 kinds) and Abita even exposes what yeast they used. Bravo, bucko! And there’s more: the water source, style, color, IBUs (40 here), the alk (4.5%), and something called a Lovibond Rating, whatever the hell that is, this beer gets 7 Lovibonds.

And still more, there are 4 kinds of approved glassware and food pairings too. Fish (narrowed down to “most fish”) are suggested, and not one but four kinds of cheese: American, Havarti, MontyJack and Muenster. Really? American cheese? I thought American cheese these days was mostly made out of plastic with colorings and flavorings added. Meh, perhaps i’m wrong about American cheese, but i can’t see it paired with anything other than white bread and ketchup, maybe a slice of some indeterminate meat.

Not going to call this TMI because i like the trend, but one wonders if the next step is full recipes on the bottom of a beer carton? It is definitely a new world for beer.

As for the beer itself, there’s a light beer-body and medium-level hops, the quartet of cones used are perhaps muddying the overall flavor where a trio or duo could have been more effective. The label comes out and admits that they tossed lemon peels into the vat, and you can taste that, and it is good, but that also might be taking some of the precision off the edges of the hops.

Light alcohol, good citrusy taste even if it is a little forced, but it certainly does taste like it’d be good on a hot-hazy-humid day, which Louisiana is simply infested with. I can recommend this for human consumption, rate it at 7.0, and encourage you to give it a go. However, my food pairings would differ: basil/garlic chicken, broiled scallops, or gouda cheese. Skip the American cheese until we determine what it’s made out of.

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