Opa Opa IPA leaves bitter taste in mouthJan. 24, 2011
By Chris Maza
Reminder Assistant Editor
Like many people, when I first became a fan of craft brewing, I was a hop head. India Pale Ales (IPA) were all the rage and I became infatuated with them.
As I have continued to explore the world of beer, I have come to appreciate the more subtle tastes of a nut brown ale or the fruity undertones of a wild ale, but every now and then I like to go back to my roots.
That's why I decided to give Southampton brewery Opa Opa's IPA a try. Typical for Opa Opa beers, it is available in a cask, a growler or in a six pack, as well as on tap. I was disappointed to find that the local store only had the six packs, but I already had set my heart on this particular brew, so I picked up the six.
It is a very appealing beer to the eye, with a deep orange-brown hue that is darker than you'll find in most IPAs and a nice, consistent head that lingers throughout the drink.
Perhaps it is because I have become accustomed to drinking stronger IPAs, such as Smuttynose and Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA, but Opa Opa's take on the brew left me wanting a little bit more, taste-wise.
Still with the trademark bitterness that comes with an IPA, the beer seemed to be just that bitter. It was difficult to sense any other tastes within the beer, especially when it's cold. Once the beer warmed a bit as I drank it, there were hints of fruit, but more than anything, the drink was dominated by the piney hops.
The plus about this beer is those hops are not overpowering, which makes it a fairly easy drink. The issue more than anything is the fact that the beer lacks enough other tastes to compliment the hops.
The Opa Opa IPA is a decent beer and good for the beer drinker who isn't looking to destroy their palate with the bitterness of a stronger IPA, but there's not much about it that separates it from the pack.