Tasting: June 14, 2012
Style: Imperial IPA
Leinenkugel’s opened their doors for business in 1884 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, on the “Big Eddy Spring”. It’s remarkable that any business has the staying power to surpasses one-hundred years of existence but it’s especially remarkable for a brewery considering the thirteen-year prohibition period when brewing operations across the country were put on mothballs. What did Leinenkugels do during prohibition? Like a lot of other breweries, they made “near” beer and ginger ale. Near beer was just that, nearly beer. It’s made just like beer but the alcohol by volume does not exceed .5%. The alcohol is most likely removed by distilling (alcohol has a lower boiling point). I’m certain that I would have been a law breaker if I lived during prohibition.
Five generations later, the Leinenkugel family still brews beer out of Chippewa Falls. Of course, they “merged” with Miller Brewing in 1988 so, I’m not sure how much autonomy the family still enjoys.
Leinenkugel’s is cut from what I’ll call “the midwestern lager cloth.” Think of having an Old Style at Wrigley Field. I like that they’ve spun off a craft beer label from the old man beer. I’ve already had two from this four pack (yesterday). Today, I’m just going to confirm some of my thoughts. For an Imperial IPA the ABV seems on the mark at 8.2%. Pours a dark orange. Subtle nose of citrus, some sweetness. Flavor is a little disjointed. Bready malts. I prefer a sweeter backbone of malt with a double IPA. Hops are a dank and crushing citrus but leaves an off flavor finish. I’m not really a fan. I’ll put it at 80 points.
Read my thoughts on Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout