The Dogfish Head Brewery’s motto is “off-centered ales for off-centered people.” They might want to add “darn good” as well, because Dogfish Head Brewery makes a variety of many amazing brews. The 60 Minute IPA, their most popular brew, employs a novel brewing process called “continuous hopping,” where hops are gradually added over the course of an hour-long boil, rather than the more conventional two or three hop additions. Dogfish Head cannot keep up with demand for its flagship IPA, nor do they want to. Founder Sam Calagione said, “We are not interested in turning into the ‘60 Minute Brewing Company,’” instead choosing to focus on their other world-class beers.
60 Minute pours a clear, pale amber color, with a thick foamy white head. The scent is fruity, with elements of lime, kiwi, mango, and a hint of fresh-cut grass. The flavor is similarly fruity, with a wonderful sweet and citrusy hop character that finishes with a moderate bitterness. These floral and fruity hop flavors almost completely overshadow the bitterness, so much so that its 60 IBU rating seems like a mistake. It drinks more like a 40 or 50 IBU pale ale than the intensely bitter IPAs that many craft breweries try to one-up each other with.
A mild malty sweetness balances and complements 60 Minute’s hoppy characteristics, with more of a neutral sugar flavor than the slightly caramelized flavor more common with IPAs. Yeast flavors are also mild and neutral, much like a lager. The 6% alcohol content is similarly difficult to detect, and also casts suspicion on 60 Minute’s status as an India Pale Ale.
Whether 60 Minute deserves its IPA designation or if it is merely a hoppy pale ale, it definitely fits the bill as a delicious and drinkable session beer, though its flavor may be a bit on the bitter side. Consider it also as a tool for introducing hop-averse friends to the wonderful world of IPAs. For taking on an already competitive style and refining it into a unique and special brew, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA earns a solid A grade.
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