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Ingenious C800 IPA

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Ingenious C800 IPA

Ingenious Brewing Company

Humble
Double NEIPA
ABV: 8.2%
IBUs: 70
Packaging: Draft, 4 pack 16 ounce cans, Hop Drop delivery to your door step

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Is there anything more badass than a Harley riding, shotgun wielding, leather jacket-wearing, Arnold Schwarzenegger kicking copious amounts of ass?

The answer would have been no, there absolutely isn’t.

That is, until Ingenious brewed up a batch of C800. It’s a Citra-hopped Double NEIPA that explodes with citrus aroma and flavor like the buckshots Terminator was dumping in the movie.

How has Citra become one of the most sought after hops of the last decade, though? There are so many hops, and so many other ingredients in beer for that matter, why this one single hop?

The irony here is Citra’s birth follows nearly the same timeline as the Terminator.

I’ve confessed in other movie-themed beers that I’m not a movie buff, and I usually don’t even understand the references until I Google them, but not this one!

Back in 1984, an action-packed, shoot-em-up story of heroism named Terminator came out, but Terminator wasn’t his name. It was T800. Just a few years later in 1990, Citra was first harvested, but that wasn’t it’s name. At that time it was humbly named 114, and it was bred from U.S. Tettnanger, Hallertau Mittelfruh, Brewer’s Gold, East Kent Goldings, and a variety who’s name didn’t make it into the history books; it’s believed to be the American wild hop.

A year later brought us Terminator 2: Judgement Day with more shotgun-wielding ass kicking, and 1992 brought us the single plant that would go on to create what we know today as Citra. That plant turned into 4 plants in 1993, and those grew to 21 by 2003.

For over a dozen years people looked Citra over. It wasn’t until 2007 when Widmer Brothers, Deschutes, and Sierra Nevada would roll the dice on some acreage that’d change the world of beer forever. Widmer Brothers brewed with it for the first time, and their Citra Pale Ale won gold medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup, creating interest in the new hop.

Widmer Brothers beer was draft only, and Sierra Nevada – ever the hopheads – would be the firs to brew a commercially bottled beer with it. Sierra Nevada Torpedo was the first. It was at this time in 2008 that the hop formerly known as 114 outgrew it’s second name HBC 394, and it was given it’s iconic name of Citrus.

114, T800, HBC 394, C800… I’m trying to tell y’all, there’s a striking resemblance between this Ingenious C800 IPA and Terminator.

Terminator busts into the honky tonk all muscly and butt naked, drawing every eye around. He politely demands clothing and a bike, and then he commences to whipping everybody into submission before he burns off to George Thorogood and the Destroyers Bad to the Bone.

Ingenious C800 does the exact same thing. But in your mouth. The exact. Same. Thing.

The appearance of C800 has the same gaze-drawing appearance. It’s perfect, visually. Bright orange, totally opaque with a chalk-white head that’s almost as perfect as the T800’s hair do.

The smell commands the room in much the same way. From the first crack and hiss of the can to the final sip, my office smelled like more citrus than a Florida orange grove. Ingenious C800 morphed from simple citrus to complex notes of lime rind and sweet passionfruit. All this fruity stuff is very much unlike the Terminator, but stick with me here.

The Ingenious C800 can, once a naked, brite, aluminum can much like the T800’s metallic endoskeleton.

The can is wrapped in a slick, shiny, black label, much like the leather unit that got lifted in the scene above. I’m telling y’all, it’s uncanny!

The label features a super gangster looking illustration of the T800 metal head, with the Ingenious hop and brains peaking out from the skull area. Pink and green lights replace the red-light eyes of the original T800, and the word Ingenious reads like a gold grill across the robot-head’s mouth. The background is almost all black, and the text on the back continues with a bit more care and restraint than the reckless abandon I mentioned from the Peach Cobbler Froyo.

Watching movies is fun. Looking at labels is fun. Looking at beer isn’t nearly as fun, but tasting it sure is! Ingenious C800 drinks like a 12g shotgun shell of citrusy hops – BOOM, POW – right in the kisser. Kind of how the T800 did them boys in that bar – BOOM, POW. He was in and out, no prisoners, and he got what he wanted while he left his mark.

Each sip of Ingenious C800 oozes of pillowy citrus, and the limey-passionfruit aromas make their way in alongside the sweet malt-backbone. A citrus punch up front, a sweet finish, and the softest, most-subtle 70 IBUs ever recorded in history bring the whole thing together for a mildly bitter finish. The sweetness lingers with the bitterness, and it’s sweet enough that I had to double check the Untappd listing and can art to see that it wasn’t a Milkshake IPA.

Ingenious has carved out a name for themselves with the sweet, dessert-like beers ranging from pastry stouts to lactose-sweet IPAs, and that creativity is definitely welcomed in Houston. However, it’s also cool to see them buckle down and laser-in on something a bit more simple in terms of ingredients. It’s even cooler that they nailed it.

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Not every beer is worthy of the drive, worthy of the wait, worthy of the higher-than-HEB cost, but Ingenious C800 is one of them. If you’re on the go, and you can’t make it out to Ingenious, just hit up the homies at Hop Drop got you covered for delivery. Use code “BEERCHRONICLE” for 10% off your beer delivery. But get on it because their weekend slots have been filling up quickly these last few weeks.

  • My Overall Rating
4.5

Ingenious C800 IPA

Overall, it’s a great beer. The appearance is spot on, and mouthfeel-wise, it’s like drinking a cloud. Aroma, flavor, and everything in between are all spot on. It’s a bit sweeter than expected, but that’s seriously the only offense I could find. Honestly, it was like when T800 got a cigar put out on his chest – it didn’t faze me much. I always look forward to their crazy stuff, but the minimalist in me appreciates this beer quite a bit.

What’d you think about Ingenious C800? Let us know in the comments below or by rating it with a single click of the stars. Beers to you, Houston!

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User Review
3.75 (4 votes)

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends is days pushing pixels for us, breweries, churches, and one of Houston's fastest-growing companies. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking nothing but the dopest on-sale Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or rooting for the Rockets.

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