Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Knee Deep Brewing Company - Simtra

It's recently come to my attention that I've been reviewing a lot of stouts lately. Stouts may be my favorite style, but devoting something like 47 of the past 50 posts to them may be going a bit overboard. My bad. Since I live in San Diego, let's take a look at a style that just screams "San Diego." In fact, it's also known as the San Diego IPA. That's right, today we're trying a new Double IPA. And a good one at that.

I'm still not sure why, but for a long time, I just didn't take Knee Deep Brewing Company seriously. I don't know if it was their name, their labels, their price range, etc. For whatever reason, I've been avoiding Knee Deep's beers like the plague. Then I started hearing things that were hard to ignore.

"Have you tried Hop Shortage? It's the best Double IPA I've ever had!" 

"Have you tried Simtra? It's as good as Pliny!"

I don't take beers being compared to Pliny lightly, and when Knee Deep's Simtra made an appearance on the Top 250 List, I knew the time had come. Let's see if these Knee Deep brewers know what they're doing. 

Simtra pours a light copper color with a fluffy, bone white head. Tons of carbonation is visible rising from the bottom of the glass and the head leaves smears of lace down the glass with each sip. Visually, this beer has it all. The smell isn't too shabby either. As soon as the beer is poured, it smells like a tropical hop bomb blew up in the glass. Huge notes of mango, tangerine, candied grapefruit and pine practically billow from the glass. There's a touch of caramel and bready malt in there was well, but it's pretty safe to call this one a hop forward Double IPA.

Every sip of Simtra brings a drawl of piney hops across the palate and they just keep going and going. There's a good amount of grapefruit pith as well, along with a blanket of caramel malt that struggles to keep the boatloads of hops in check. As far as the Pliny comparisons go, you can leave those at the door. It is very, very hard to come near Pliny and (for me) Simtra doesn't touch it. However, it IS a fantastic Double IPA. Consider me impressed. I will definitely be seeking out more of Knee Deep's beers in the future.

Final Grade: A-

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 126


  1. Simtra is a triple IPA and therefore could be compared to Pliny the Younger. Knee Deep's double IPA is named Hoptologist and could be compared to Pliny the Elder.


  2. That is a good point. I compared Simtra and Pliny because I see Simtra compared to Pliny on a pretty regular basis. As far as flavors go, I would probably say Simtra is closer to PTE than PTY, but in my opinion, both the Plinys have Simtra (and Hoptologist) beat by a pretty wide margin. I still have yet to find a DIPA that tastes close to Pliny. Have you found anything? I'm always up for suggestions. Thanks for the comment!