Firestarter India Pale Ale, Bonfire Brewing, Eagle

Style: IPA

Serving Type: 16-ounce can

ABV: 6.6 percent

Malty? Hoppy? Do I even need to answer this? Hoppy, of course.

Reviewed: July 2014

I don’t have the best track record when it comes to starting fires, so I couldn’t resist grabbing the Firestarter IPA when it appeared in my neighborhood liquor store. (I need all the help I can get.) Weighing in at a hefty 6.6 percent ABV, this IPA is all bitterness at first taste. So much so, in fact, that I almost stopped drinking; I’ve learned to sip, spit, and move on if a beer is off-putting. But something in the aftertaste (grapefruit? a hint of malts?) made me take a second sip—and I’m glad I did.

The brew has a murky amber color and pours out with a thin but lacey head. The bitterness that at first threatened to overwhelm my palate diminished, giving way to caramel and fruity undertones. This isn’t the most balanced IPA (I give that honor to this brew), but its ruggedness makes the Firestarter seem like an ideal brew for the outdoors. Around a campfire? Absolutely. Unless, of course, you have my luck.

Would we buy it again? Yes. Over the past few months, I keep picking it up and I like it more each time.

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Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.