Ninkasi Spring Reign

An IPA by any other name is ... a session ale to Ninkasi's Jamie Floyd. Thus we have Spring Reign, which the brewery's website describes as:
Notes of toasted malt up front, finished with a bright and refreshing Northwest hop aroma, it’s a session beer that everyone can enjoy!

6% alc./vol. 38 IBUs
A six-percent session? That's some serious style creep. Admittedly, it's also not a proper IPA, either. On the other hand, there's no way on earth this beer is 38 IBUs. Having recently tasted the almost wholly bitter-free Widmer Drifter, a lighter beer listed at 32 IBUs, I'm guessing somebody's equipment is off-base. (Perhaps both breweries.) Then again, calculating IBUs is mostly an art, anyway.

Never mind the name; for folks who love vivid, sticky hopping, Spring Reign will be just the ticket. The mixture of Simcoe, Santiam, and Ahtanum produces a piney, resinous hopping, and the malts provide a sweet caramel base. It's frothy and creamy and leaves attractive tracery in the glass. Overall, a beer of instant familiarity, a classic Northwest ale.

I am reminded of the experience of hearing a song for the first time on the radio that I feel like I should be able to identify. It's not original, doesn't reinvent rock, but it's well-done and entertaining. Spring Reign is like that, and I suspect it will be received warmly by people whose tongues are already attuned to this style--or to those whose tongues will, having been weened on Spring Reign, become attuned to the style in due course.
Jeff Alworth3 Comments