Free State Brewing Company - Stormchaser
- ABV: 5.9%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 42
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or IPA Glass
- Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel
- Hops: Columbus, Cascade, Citra, Centennial
Stormchaser pours a lightly hazy, golden-orange color capped by a crop of just off-white foam. Brewed with four hops known for producing citrus notes, among others, it's no surprise that bright citrus notes lead the way in the aroma department. Zesty orange and grapefruit notes burst forth along with a gently perfumed floral quality and touches of mild spice. Hints of caramel and a bit of tangy wheat lurk below, as well. Look for the malt core to offer crackery and very mildly toasty notes on the palate, along with hints of caramel. The body stays fairly light on its feet, making for a more sessionable and easy-drinking IPA than some other higher-ABV interpretations. Those exuberant hops remain the stars, however, with their bright, zesty, citric notes riding moderately firm bitterness to keep this brew dry and refreshing from the start to the finish, which lingers with a bit of a citrus pith impression. For pairing options, light dishes with citrus point the way, such as grilled lemon-pepper shrimp, citrus-marinated chicken tacos, or Asian salads with Mandarins. Cheers!
Back in the 19th century, Kansas was host to as many as 113 breweries – until the state became the first to introduce alcohol prohibition into their constitution, wiping out the brewing culture that was so popular among the German immigrant population. It was the discovery of this history that inspired the brewing passion of Free State founder Chuck Magerl. It may also run in the blood; his grandfather brewed illegally during Prohibition, ending up in Leavenworth for a time. After studying brewing at UC Davis' top-notch brewing program, Chuck came back to Kansas where breweries were still prohibited. After successfully lobbying legislators in Topeka to change the laws, Chuck opened Free State in 1989, becoming the first (legal) brewery in the state since 1880.
Currently, Free State, which is still owned and helmed by Chuck Magerl, is one of a multitude of Kansas breweries that have opened in the intervening years, but they certainly remain among the best due in no small part to their excellent brewing staff. Current brewmaster, Steve Bradt, has been with the brewery since 1989, and brings a wealth of experience to bear in crafting Free State's delicious beer portfolio. He's judged at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup, and has been a member of the Brewers Association's Board of Directors. Their Head of Downtown Brewing, Geoff Deman, is a Lawrence native who's been brewing at Free State since 2002, and also has GABF and WBC judging credits to his name, along with various awards.
In addition to providing their community with excellent beer, Free State supports their community with numerous events and charity fundraisers each year, including the annual 41-mile Brew to Brew Run in support of the fight against cystic fibrosis, which starts at Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company and ends at Free State in Lawrence, KS. To learn more about the brewery and their downtown Lawrence brewpub, call 'em up at 785-843-4555 or visit www.freestatebrewing.com.
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