I wasn’t excited to try Coalition’s Two Dogs IPA. Most new
Northwest IPAs are basically alpha acid concentrates with none of the
fresh, zesty hoppiness I love. But the guy pouring samples of the newly
bottled beer at New Seasons insisted. “It’s kind of a throwback,” he
said. “We’re making an IPA like they were before the arms race.” He was
right. Two Dogs tastes like the IPAs I went nuts for five years ago. I
brought home a bottle. I liked that bottle so much I ended up pedaling
back from the brewery with a growler tied between the ear straps of my
bike helmet. I resembled, I’m told, a very dumb Saint Bernard. A great
IPA can have that effect. Coalition’s magnificently balanced ale has the
crisp bitterness of dandelion leaves with a melty caramel sweetness.
This is a beer you remember loving, even as you sip your first pint.