Free State Brewing Company - Yakimaniac
- ABV: 7.3%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 68
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale, Oats, Acidulated
- Hops: Zeus, Centennial, Citra
Named in honor of Yakima Valley, WA, the undisputed hop capital of North America, Yakimaniac is a worthy love letter to the region. Pouring a bright golden hue with a crisp, almost white, head of foam, this unfiltered IPA presents a very bold and resinous hop aroma that jumps out from the glass. Look for very bright notes of citrus rind/zest including grapefruit and lemon, tropical flora, melon, cannabis, and touches of tropical fruit. Unsurprisingly, those hops explode with exuberance on the palate too. Whereas Free State's other IPA, Breakaway, aims for more balance by building up its malt backbone with rich Munich and melanoidin malts, and roasted barley, Yakimaniac is decidedly "West Coast style", with a core of smooth pale malt that offers plenty of support for the big hit of hops while letting the hops dominate the flavor. For food pairings, we're inclined to go with spicy Southeast Asian dishes with lemongrass, although a Hawaiian pizza is a compelling idea, as well. On the sweeter side, lemon cake should match well; the citric flavors and acidity will complement each other, while the beer's very dry bitterness will contrast with the sweetness of the cake. 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.
Now, in 2018, 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 is 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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