As a major IPA enthusiast, summer can be a dangerous time of year. Long, hot days on the patio are perfect for drinking a beer, or two or three, but with traditional IPAs that can sometimes be more alcohol than I want for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Enter the session IPA: Light in body, low in alcohol, and full on flavour this is the perfect style of beer for a hophead like me when I want to enjoy a few brews without being useless and tired by early evening.
Last Wednesday I regaled you with my favourite of the style but its far from the only available example. In fact, Muskoka has done a pretty nice job with their own session IPA, Detour. From their website:
Life’s more interesting when you take the less paddled fork in the river. That’s how we developed Muskoka Detour. We took a left turn from a normal IPA, dry-hopping it to create a truly sessionable brew with a rewarding aroma, big hop flavours and clean finish. The result is a perfect way to quench your thirst for the unexpected.
Brewery: Muskoka Brewery
Style: Session IPA
ABV: 4.3% IBU: 30
Detour has a pale, hazy, gold colour with plenty of carbonation and a thin, frothy head that leaves nice lacing down the side of the glass.
The aroma of this beer is very light with citrusy, juicy hops evident. There is also a slight hint of resin, cut grass, and pine but it lacks the oomph of many hoppier IPAs.
The flavour of this beer follows the aroma with citrus highlights and the strong malt backbone I have come to associate with Muskoka beers. Balance is something Muskoka tends to do quite well and that is very evident in Detour: Even in such a light IPA, the flavour is well rounded with the hops and caramel and pale malts in great alignment.
A smooth mouthfeel and mid-light carbonation help keep this beer refreshing and sessionable.
Detour is exactly that: A detour from the everyday. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, Well-suited to the frequent heat and humidity of the past couple of months, it is a very nice summer beer. I am not sure how often I will turn to it in the winter months when I tend towards more flavourful options but I can appreciate it for what it is. We have been tending towards IPAs heavier in both hops and alcohol for our Indie Growler fills recently and the lightness of Detour has been a perfect balance.