Great Lakes Brewery, Canadian Brewery of the Year for three of the past four years, with their uniquely named beers — Pompous Ass English Pale Ale, Karma Citra IPA, Canuck Pale Ale, Robohop, and My Bitter Wife IPA to name a few — added a new brew to their menu back in 2015. And, in keeping with tradition, this one has an odd name as well, Octopus Wants to Fight IPA.
I’ve reviewed four other beers from Great Lakes Brewery and only one of them, Winter Ale, doesn’t have a flashy name. But luckily, these beers are tasty as well as flashy. Frequent readers of my reviews know that unfamiliar IPAs draw me in. And, with eight arms, this fighting octopus drew me in quickly.
Great Lakes Brewery: Octopus Wants to Fight IPA – First Sip
Octopus Wants to Fight IPA pours a very cloudy light-orange colour with a 1/2 an inch of head that sticks around at the top of my glass. I smell notes of citrus and grass as I take my first sip. I brace myself for the overpowering strength of this brew’s 88 IBUs, but find it surprisingly well-balanced, strengthening in bitterness on the finish. With lots of foam but lazy bubbles, this IPA has a has a smooth and somewhat thick mouthfeel that provides a great vehicle for its bitter aftertaste.
Great Lakes Brewery: Octopus Wants to Fight IPA – Last Sip
At 6.2% ABV in 473-mL cans, one Octopus Wants to Fight is probably enough. But, with lots of flavour and character, you don’t need to drink many to get a sense of what this brew is all about. GLB’s website recommends drinking this beer as a companion to a plate of calamari. And, though I’m a big fan of fried squid, less seafood-inclined folks would probably enjoy this brew alongside just about any fried food. This brew’s bittersweet flavour works very well with just about anything battered.