Next up, Pako’s IPA, from Snake River Brewing in Jackson, WY.
For those who have been to Jackson Hole, the above (modified) sign is familiar. For those who have not, it is J-Hole’s not-so-gentle reminder that the mountain is not to be trifled with…and neither is this beer. So, without further adieu:
Pako’s is named after Snake River’s 15-year-old mascot who went to the hop-fields in the sky in late 2010. He had one blue eye and one black eye (thus, initially named Pako’s EYE-P-A).
Of course, Pako is cute. But he is merely lulling other IPAs into a sense of complacency before he brutally mauls them. Pako has taken top honors at every single festival entered, including a Gold at the ’11 GABF and Best in Show at the ’11 CANFEST.
Pako’s pours light gold, with one of those glorious, unruly-looking, dense heads that leaves your glass looking like an industrial doily accident. Immediately, my nose is confronted by the Simcoe hops, which seem to have brought a little more citrus than pine to this affair. The taste: Juicy citrus, pine, and some pungent, earthy and herbal hop quality that occasionally reminds you that hops are in the Cannabaceae family. It finishes dry, with a pleasant, hoppy bitterness that swirls around in the back of your throat and in your sinuses, hinting at what’s coming with the next gulp. The malt obviously takes a backseat in this brew, but there is just enough there to support it. I could drink this all night. Oh, wait. I did.
If you are ever in Jackson, WY, you are nuts if you don’t go to Snake River Brewery and try this beer. Then, hoard every can of it in sight and take it home with you (travel hint: ski boots will accomodate 4 cans).
The Haybag: Wow, this is good. I’m usually more of an East Coast IPA gal, but this is just flat-out great. We need more. Now I may actually agree to retire to Montana or Wyoming…ehhhhh, maybe not.
*Thanks to Snake River’s Tim Harland for responding to my inquiries about Pako’s. He promptly provided me with a wealth of information. Snake River beers are also available throughout WY, ID, and MT.