Big Rock Brewery has one of those unlikely stories that somehow seem to typify the world of craft beer. An Albertan lawyer, Ed McNally, started Big Rock Brewery in 1985, naming it after a glacial formation near Calgary. Learning as, essentially, a wheat lawyer that Albertan barley is ideal for malting, and because the Rocky Mountains provide a source for glacier water, McNally decided to go into the brewing business. He hired a brewmaster and went to work. The years passed and McNally’s small business eventually went public, becoming one of the most popular independent brewers in Alberta.
I developed a fondness for Big Rock beer when I was planting trees in British Columbia. So, after having a good meal at Big Rock Brewery’s Liberty Commons brewpub in Toronto, I nostalgically purchased a tall can of their Citradelic Single Hop IPA. But now, without further reminiscing, let’s get sipping.
Big Rock Brewery: Citradelic Single Hop IPA – First Sip
Citradelic pours a light amber colour with about a half-inch of foam that sticks around at the top of my pint glass. The Citra hops are evident in this beer’s raspberry and tropical aroma and its bitter flavour. With 67 IBUs, this is a beer that some might say requires an acquired taste. But I’m a great lover of hop-forward brews, ever-present and passé though they may be. So, I enjoy the interaction between this brew’s smooth mouthfeel and its strong flavour.
Big Rock Brewery: Citradelic Single Hop IPA – Last Sip
Citradelic is one of those beers that I wish I had more of when it’s gone. Its smoothness balances its heavy taste out nicely. Citradelic is a well-rounded India Pale Ale … or is it? Confusingly, though the label reads IPA, Big Rock’s website describes this brew as an American IPA. And, as I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of similar beers, this confusion is compounded by the fact that this 6.0% ABV beer is brewed exclusively in Canada.