09 Feb Buffalo Bayou Brewing Don’t Fear the RIPA by NickB
Don’t Fear the RIPA
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Cans
I hate seeing good beer sit on the shelves, y’all. Especially Houston beer. And even more so… Good Houston beer. So it has pained me to see Buffalo Bayou’s Don’t Fear the RIPA just collect dust out there. Come on, y’all… We can’t let these good brews go to waste!
Don’t Fear the RIPA’s packaging is similar to Buffalo Bayou’s packaging for More Cowbell, which seems logical, as they both take a note from the same song. The off grey color mixed with the bright green and eye catching font make it easy enough to spot and distinguish from other beers out there. In this age of bright cans and popping art, Don’t Fear the RIPA doesn’t buy into it, but still catches your eye with that backwards green R when you look through the cooler.
To cut straight to the chase, the can says, “Dank, resiny, bright citrus hops & a dry pepper finish.” That’s exactly what you get out of Don’t Fear the RIPA. It pours a dark gold to amber color with a white head. When it hits your mouth, the hops are present right away in this medium bodied ale. Lemon, citrus, and pine are sensed at the front of your tongue. As hop forward as this beer is, the hops don’t kick you in the teeth and it’s surprising to me that it clocks in at 70 IBUs. For comparison, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is 38 IBUs and it has a hoppier flavor. It’s not long before the spice of the rye grains cuts in like a scythe and makes the hops you swore were just there disappear from your palate. That peppery taste will linger long after you’ve finished this beer.
Given the lower hop character and how quickly that character is overtaken by the pepper spice, I would recommend this to someone who likes beers with Belgian yeasts (similar spice flavoring) and is trying to find their way into hop forward ales. You can take this RIPA’s hand and your taste buds will still come out alive. Hell, you may even be able to fly!
I enjoyed Don’t Fear the RIPA and give it 3 stars, but wish the hops had lingered on a little longer before they were ushered away by the spice. So let us know… Have you had this “shelfie?” If so, do you think I’m crazy for being a little sad about its status? Beers to you, Houston!