Monday, October 3, 2011

Kern River Brewing Company - Citra DIPA

When I was starting on my quest to try all of the Top 100 Beers, I looked through the list and made a note of all the beers on the list that are made in California. As it turns out, there are quite a few. "Perfect," I thought, "those are gonna be a piece of cake to check off the list." As it turns out, I was wrong. Granted, I'm going to have an easier time getting most of the California beers on the list than someone across the country, but some of these are tough to find. One in particular was Kern River's Citra Double IPA.

Kern River beers aren't the easiest to find in San Diego, but if you know where to look, they can be found. Because of that, I figured it was only a matter of time before Citra showed up in San Diego. Then, I found out that Citra was a seasonal release that could be found only at the brewery. I was pretty bummed until I spotted a post on beeradvocate announcing that Citra was finally going to be bottled. I went to liquor store after liquor store looking for it and finally landed a bottle at Mesa Liquor. A few days later, I finally got to try it. At #12 on the Top 100 list: Citra.

Citra pours a slightly hazy golden color with an extremely thin cream colored head. While the appearance didn't really blow me away, the smell did. Huge citrus hops, mango, grapefruit, and a ton of pine waft from the glass and can be smelled from a distance. Second to the Plinys, this may be the best smelling DIPA out there.

The taste starts with some fresh and peppery pine hops along with some flavors of mango and grapefruit juice. Some caramel malts smooth out the middle of the taste and the finish is full of pine hop resin. This was definitely worth the trouble to get and I highly recommend seeking it out if they decide to bottle it again. Let's hope that's in the very near future.

On a side note, Citra just took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival over the weekend in the Imperial India Pale Ale category. Well done, Kern River!

Final Grade: A+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 33

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