Style: India Pale Ale
Serving Type: 16.9-ounce bottle
ABV: 7.7 percent
Malty? Hoppy? Malty, especially for an IPA.
Reviewed: September 2014
Most Coloradans train for ultra-marathons and the like, but I train for the Great American Beer Festival. About a month before the doors open, I start catching up on beer-y press to see what’s trending (new hop blends and varieties) and who just opened (too many to list). Then, I start filling my fridge with new-to-me beer to warm up my palate (this happily coincides with the start of football season). Finally, I go through my reporting notes from the previous fest to plan my strategy for this year.
When I do, I always come across a beer that I loved as a sample at the festival, but haven’t reviewed on 5280.com. This week, that’s Bull & Bush’s Man Beer. The brewery made a big splash at GABF last year, in part, because it had just begun bottling its already well-known brews that summer. The Glendale-based company started with its flagship Man Beer, a hefty, malty, red-orange brew that calls itself an IPA—“Colorado’s IPA,” no less—but really wants to be an ESB.
On first pour, you’ll see immediately that the brewery got the carbonation just right with this beer. You’ll also notice that the thick head stands up well as you drink. There are hops, but the brew’s malts take over quickly. Savor the caramel notes that will satisfy a sweet tooth but not overpower your taste buds. All of which makes me interested to see what they’ll bottle next—and what GABF brew will woo me this year.
Would we buy it again? While you can certainly drink this sans food, I paired it with a spicy chicken ramen bowl. Thanks to the beer’s mellow hop character, it’ll become my go-to pour for noodle bowl dinners.