Aurora Hoppyalis IPA by Karl Strauss brewing

14462760_10103598619324990_180452469865324733_nRating: 5/5

Aurora Hoppyalis IPA by Karl Strauss brewing is a 7% ABV San Diego Style India Pale Ale.

Okay fine, we admit it, you can’t see the Northern Lights this far south. But San Diego has its own version of Aurora Borealis, and ours has cast a hoppy spell over this city. What the rest of the world calls an IPA, San Diego locals consider pale in comparison. Aurora Hoppyalis is our San Diego-style IPA brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Citra hops. Robust flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, pine, and tangerine linger through a dry, crisp finish. Tonight’s forecast: clear hoppy skies.

Released year-round, this is the first time Karl Strauss takes a shot at an east coast style beer with a west coast blend. Or at least it seems like it as this one is a hazy IPA. It has also been a while since I brought a Karl Strauss brew to the website as well. Karl Strauss has been in the business for craft beer since 1989 and as the times have changed, so have they to adjust for certain beer trends. While the West Coast hoppy beers have been the craze for years, it seems the arrival of the East Coast style is definitely having an effect on masses. So as a response they brought this. I have heard great things about this one so when my local shop started to carry it, I was damned if I didn’t bring this one to the site. Let’s take a look, cheers!

Tropical fruit, mango, pineapple, guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, strawberry, biscuit bread, green tea ice cream, pears, sweetened condensed milk hints, stone fruit peach, honey, Citrus blossom honey, orange peel, grapefruit, piney, garlicky, oniony, herbal, dank and grassy hops, lemon starbursts, basil, Eucalyptus honey, lemon grass and agave hints.

Honey, Citrus blossom honey, orange peel, grapefruit, piney, garlicky, oniony, herbal, dank and grassy hops, lemon starbursts, basil, Eucalyptus honey, lemon grass, tropical fruit pine apple, dragon fruit, passion fruit, guava, lychee, strawberry, mango hints, tangerine gummies, biscuit bread vanilla hints, agave hints, mint, green tea ice cream, pears, sweetened condensed milk hints, stone fruit peach and apricot.

Finishing dry with honey, green tea, grassy, citrus and tropical hops. No alcohol in the taste, pale golden clear to hazy body, crisp, clean and refreshing mouthfeel along with an easy drinkability.

A perfect IPA resembling an east coast style with the massive tropics but still giving it the old heave-ho garlicky dankness found in the west coast style. They somehow got all the flavors to meld well and then this honey and citrus taste that’s very unique. It does seem a lot like an East Coast in some aspects especially with the haze. While I haven’t had some good Karl Strauss beers in a while, this one was super damn impressive. Definitely another pickup from me and I recommend you pick this one up online or local.
Anime Corner:
Ragyō Kiryūin from Kill LA Kill is the antagonist of the series. I won’t spoil who she really is if you have not seen the show but the reason I chose her for this beer pairing is because I wanted to pair the play on the name of the bear. Aurora Hoppyalis is a play on Aurora Borealis or the Northern lights. The lights they are created by sun’s particles that collide with the Earth’s atmosphere in the north creating these very beautiful and colorful lights. Since Ragyō’s hair is a rainbow of colors and she is always surrounded by immense light, it makes sense to use her in a beer that centers around the colorful variety and complex flavors that come from the hops which mimic the different fruits, citrus, sweets and herbs. She maybe evil in term of who she is but her light is as casting as that of a god!



Habanero Sculpin by Ballast Point

10390497_10101858697816640_8364848508237888774_n 10440229_10101858698515240_1984487527363044706_n 10413367_10101858699109050_9124426730206297903_n 10386832_10101858699548170_3344568013161907109_nRating: 4.75/5

Habanero Sculpin by Ballast Point is a 7% ABV World Class India Pale Ale brewed with Habanero Peppers

Description: (
Our popular IPA, with a punch of heat.
Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we knew hopping an ale at five separate stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold-medal winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.

Ballast Point finally decided to get this beer out to the masses. I have had this beer plenty of times before and let me put it this way, I can already tell you that this one is HOT!! So basically, if you don’t like heat driven beers, or chile in general, there is a high chance you will not like this. So yes, this is a chili head type of beer basically. However, it is not just a pure heat beer, it definitely has a great amount of complexity provided by the original sculpin.

Grapefruit, grassy, floral and piney hops with habanero chile pepper in the aromas. Yes, that means this ones hot, A warning. The aromas follow up with mango, papaya, dragon fruit, citrus, apricot, peach, caramel, biscuit bread, cucumber, hibiscus, tangerine, bell pepper, pineapple and honey.

Forward Habanero heat but the flavors of the sculpin IPA pull through. Caramel, biscuit bread, honey, cantaloupe, cucumber, flowers, grapefruit, pine resin, grassy hops, tangerine, mango, citrus, papaya, dragon fruit, apricot, peach , passion fruit, candied mandarin orange and mild rye.

He searing heat keeps on burning but dissipates unlike crime and punishment from stone. Caramel, pineapple, grassy and grapefruit hops linger. No alcohol in the taste but while this is crisp and refreshing, it is a highly sipping beer.

Great Beer if you love IPAs and chile beers. The heat varies in each bottle and in this case, these are fucking HOT!!. I really had to take my time with this one. The heat dissipates as the beer gets warmer since I believe the sweet tropical fruits kind of mellow some of the heat. Highly recommended if you love chile beers or chile in general. This is best paired with something to eat as drinking this on an empty stomach….well… lets just say I warned you. If you like regular Sculpin, this is good to try but like I said, stick to regular sculpin if you don’t like the heat.

Anime Corner:
This one’s one mother of a beer. Like the previous Sculpin which I did with Terese Rose, it represents a delicate flower like the fish. But test it out, you will find that this flower is deadly!! Ragyo Kyuruin from Kill La Kill and Kushina “Bloody Habaneo” Uzumaki from Naruto are the mothers of the main characters, Ryuko Matoi and Satsuki Kyuruin and Naruto Uzumaki respectively but different series. Ragyo’s colors represent the tropics and beauty that is brought forth in this tropical IPA but she also brings death and destruction which is represented by the heat. Kushina is very kind and sweet but when she gets mad, she unleashes all hell, hence why they gave her the nickname, “Bloody Habanero”. I can’t stress how awesome, beautiful but deadly this beer is. Patience is key!