Olde Saratoga Brewing Company - Saratoga IPA
- Alcohol by Volume: 6.8%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 60
- Serving Temperature: 45-50°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Munich
- Hops: Cascade, Fuggle
Saratoga's IPA pours a crystal clear golden copper color capped by plenty of foam that leaves some lacing as it drops. The brewery describes it as a "West Coast" style of IPA, but we think of it more as an English style IPA given the prominent English Fuggle hop character. Look for some soft floral and citrus hop aromas, bolstered by a pleasant, almost vegetal, woody-earthy character that is classic Fuggles. Notes of caramelized malts with hints of toffee provide an underpinning. On the palate, we found the 60 IBUs were not shy, but were balanced well by the beer's malty backbone. The choice to use Munich malt (common in bocks, Vienna lagers, märzens, etc.) instead of more IPA-traditional caramel or crystal malts lends a unique, smooth and richly malty character that we enjoyed quite a bit. The blend of Cascade and Fuggle hops is fun too, delivering citric acidity along with woody, earthy, and spicy notes. Pair this IPA with Asiago-encrusted chicken. Cheers!
The Olde Saratoga Brewing Company is a fixture within the craft brewing industry in New York. Founded in 1997, the brewery is responsible for producing many well known beers found along the East Coast and elsewhere. In addition to their two flagship Saratoga-branded beers which we bring you this month, Olde Saratoga serves as the brewing site for a number of other beer brands. Owned now by California's Mendocino Brewing Company, which brought the brewery into their fold in order to produce fresh Medocino beer for the East Coast, Olde Saratoga produces well over thirty different beers both year-round and seasonally.
To those outside the brewing industry, the idea of a brewing company contracting with another brewery to produce their beer may seem strange, but it's a common practice at all levels of the brewing industry, from big brands to small microbrews, and it's essential to the growth of the craft beer movement. Many great brewers don't have the capital resources to open their own brewery, so partnering with an existing brewery that can brew your recipes and bottle it up for you as you grow your brand is a big help. In other cases, a brewery may run out of capacity and turn to another brewery for help meeting their demand. Under the long-time guidance of master brewer Paul McErlean, Olde Saratoga has been one of the go-to breweries for such services, partnering with a number of other brewing companies over the years, including such well-known brands as Southampton Publick House and Schmaltz (He'Brew & Coney Island beers).
For more information on the brewery, their tasting room (where you can fill a growler with tasty beer to take home), and brewery tours, visit them at www.oldesaratogabrew.com or call 518-581-0492.
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