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January 29th, 2014 BRIAN YAEGER | Drank
 

Drank: Brutal IPA (Rogue, as imported to Amsterdam)

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Everyone knows European beer is better in Europe—but what of American suds abroad? In Amsterdam, where I moved from Portland last year, the three American breweries whose beers are most common are San Francisco’s Anchor, Maryland’s Flying Dog and Oregon’s own Rogue. And since India Pale Ale derived its name via its voyage from Britain to India, shouldn’t Rogue’s Brutal IPA be better here than at home? Well, no. Brutal IPA, unlike many West Coast IPAs, isn’t actually brutally bitter because its lone hop varietal is the Corvallis-bred Crystal, a citrusy hop low on alpha acids. Brutal reaches 46 IBUs—less than the English-leaning BridgePort IPA. So how does Brutal IPA handle the trip across the Atlantic? The perishable hops survive mostly intact, but the malty body and slight oxidation introduce a wet-cardboard flavor. Shamefully, the importer slapped my fast-deteriorating bottle with a sticker suggesting it’ll still be good come Halloween. Talk about brutal. Also note that just as imports are expensive no matter what direction they travel, a 22-ouncer of Rogue’s beer goes for $15.25 in Amsterdam, making it hard to compete with a bottle of Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus that’s slightly cheaper.
 
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