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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Knee Deep in Beer Week 2013 Belgo American Imperial IPA :: a Track 7 & Knee Deep Collaboration for Sacramento Beer Week :: Beer Tasting Notes

I'm stoked about the 4th Annual Sacramento Beer Week! So many events, so little time! I'm having a hard time choosing which events I want to attend, but I am pretty sure I'll be at either the US vs. Belgium Beer Dinner or Shackfest 2013. My awesome friend Gary, the owner of The Shack, and I share a love of Belgian beer, so I tend to gravitate to his events.

Speaking of Belgians... Knee Deep Brewing of Lincoln, California collaborated with Track 7 Brewing of Sacramento, California to brew an amazing beer to celebrate both Sacramento Beer Week and San Francisco Beer Week. Each brewery brewed the collaborative recipe at their location, and the result is a pair of very similar, yet different Belgo American IPAs.

I've been fortunate enough to try this awesome collaboration ale all 3 ways in which it is offered. Here's my take:

This beer pours a beautiful golden amber, with a fluffy lingering head. It fills your nose with pleasing floral piney hops with undertones of sour Belgian yeast if you really pay attention. Lightly sour on the tongue, with a very green, piney, resinous hop bite - this is a hop bomb for sure! Easy drinking for a 9.1% beast, and quite smooth. A pleasant, sweetly bitter hop aftertaste lingers on the back of your tongue. I'm not a hop head, but this is a damn fine beer that left me wanting more - must be the Belgian yeast that is drawing me in. Impressive.

This version definitely has its own character. The piney hops have more of a dry tart bite to them and almost none of the sour-sweetness, which makes this version a little less smooth than Knee Deep's. Still, a fine beer indeed.

ABV 9.1%, 101 IBU
The flavor is the same as the keg version, though the keg version had a better mouthfeel and was smoother. Such is the nature of beer that's fresh from a tap as opposed to beer that's been trapped in a tiny bottle.

This is a good example of how different water and different equipment (and different brewers with their own techniques!) can affect the final outcome of a beer. Homebrewers, take heed. The same recipe brewed to spec by 2 different breweries just 30 miles apart, yet each has a unique character. It's not just the ingredients that make a difference!

If you want to compare for yourself, I'd suggest attending the Knee Deep/Track 7 Collaborative Tap Takeover on March 1. Then come back here and let me know what you think of my take on these beers.



  1. I love this, and I am your beer sister in disguise.

  2. One day, we DEFINITELY need to meet in person and enjoy a cold one together, Emily!


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