Mad River Brewing Company - Slammin' Salmon
- ABV: 8.6%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 95.2
- Serving Temperature: 47-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Carastan 30/37, Crystal 70/80, Wheat
- Hops: Columbus, Brewer's Gold, Chinook, Cascade, Amarillo
Mad River is no stranger to producing excellent IPAs; their lineup includes an IPA, a session IPA, and a double IPA (Slammin' Salmon), plus a pretty well-hopped Red Ale – all featuring delicious Pacific NW hop varieties. Let's dig in to this big double IPA: Slammin' Salmon! This brew pours a medium amber-copper color topped with plenty of foam which persists well, helped by some wheat in the grain bill. On the nose, we picked up lots of floral and piney-herbal hop character, backed by more than a little citrus zest plus touches of stone fruits akin to peach or apricot, and some berry-like tones. Underneath is a noticeable undercurrent of malts offering light toast and caramel, and perhaps a touch of graham cracker. Despite the huge 95 IBUs, the whole beer comes across remarkably balanced on the palate thanks to the powerful malt backbone and its dollop of residual sweetness. But the hops, of course, are the stars; thanks to generous dry-hopping with Amarillo, look for lots of citrus flesh & juice plus pine overtones. Stone fruit and berry notes augment the hop profile nicely, and the end result is a luscious, generous brew which lingers long on the palate and kept us coming back for more. For pairing ideas, we're thinking flavorful, well-spiced meats with fruity sauces, or a snack of well-aged cheeses. Of course, with a beer this flavorful and hearty, a clean glass and good company may be all one needs. Cheers!
Amidst giant redwoods in northern California’s Humboldt County lies Blue Lake, a small town of approximately 1135 people, and home to Mad River Brewing Company. The seeds for Mad River first started to take root back in the late 1970s as homebrewer Bob Smith began dreaming of one day starting his own commercial brewery. It was around this time that he met Ken Grossman at Ken’s homebrew supply shop and learned of his plans to start what would become Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, CA in 1979.
As Sierra Nevada grew over the next decade, Bob remained interested in establishing his own brewery in Humboldt. Opportunity came knocking in 1989 when Sierra Nevada was expanding and Ken offered to sell his original brewing equipment to Bob. Because of Sierra Nevada’s success (and that of a handful of others), investors were willing to provide the financing necessary to finally turn Bob’s dream into a reality. Mad River’s first beers were poured on draft in December 1990, with bottles going on sale across Humboldt within just a couple months. The product was a hit and in their first year in business, Mad River sold twice as much beer as they had expected, reaching a total of 1500 barrels. Recently, in 2016, Mad River finally installed a new brewhouse and new equipment to replace the small 10-barrel Sierra Nevada system. Under long-time brewmaster, Dylan Schatz, the brewery is well-poised for a new era of growth.
In addition to being at the forefront of the American beer renaissance, Mad River has also been a trailblazer in eco-conscious brewing, long before it was trendy to be “green.” Their ultimate goal is to produce zero waste, and so not only do they recycle all their paper and metal, they provide their spent grain to local farms. For more info about the brewery and tasting room, call 707-668-4151, or visit their website at www.madriverbrewing.com.
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