Protector Brewery - SD Hazy IPA
- ABV: 7.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 50
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: IPA Glass or Pint Glass
- Malts: Pilsen, Carapils, Rolled Oats (all organic)
- Hops: Magnum, Chinook, Simcoe, Centennial, Mosaic (all organic)
This organic New England-style IPA from Protector pours a bright and very hazy yellow-gold color topped by plenty of foam that laces the glass nicely. In the aroma, bold tropical fruit notes jumped out to us first, evoking passion fruit, papaya, and hints of pineapple, followed by zesty citrus notes reminiscent of grapefruit peel. We picked up some softer floral overtones here too, making for an invitingly multifaceted aroma profile. On the palate, look for the malts to come through quite clean, but sturdy, smooth, and round, thanks to the use of oats which also contribute to the hazy look. The aforementioned hop aromas shine beautifully in the flavor, as well, delivering plenty of quenching juicy character. Hop bitterness is moderately firm, adding enough balacing bite to match well with the fruity elements and a touch of residual sweetness without crushing the palate – just as we expect and enjoy in this hazy style of IPA. For pairing options, we’d consider grilled meats with a fruity BBQ sauce. Alternatively, crispy fried shrimp or chicken can work nicely too, as can spicier fare like Buffalo wings. Cheers!
Many brewery backstories revolve around the founder picking up an appreciation for beer and brewing while in the military stationed oversees, usually in Germany. However, the story of Protector Brewery is the first we’ve encountered in which the founder’s journey down the brewing path began by brewing in an active war zone.
Sean Haggerty spent almost a decade as a Navy SEAL, and it was during his third deployment to Iraq in 2010 that the seed which would become Protector Brewery would be planted. Finding himself in a combat area where beer was, naturally, prohibited, yet nevertheless in need of a cold one, Sean resolved to make his own. After having ingredients shipped to him, he brewed his first batch with whatever equipment he could scrounge up, including a thermos.
Upon returning home, Sean began homebrewing in earnest, throwing himself into the science and artistry behind proper ingredient selection and the brewing process itself. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Sean – with the support of his girlfriend (now wife) Cory and longtime friend Mark Thorsen – founded Protector Brewery in 2017. Distribution throughout San Diego County began in 2019, and presently cans of their organic beers can be found in seven states.
The decision to go all-organic with an eye on sustainability and purity of ingredients was Cory’s idea, and it’s a bold move that relatively few brewers have committed to. All of Protector’s ingredients are USDA Certified Organic, vegan-friendly, and sourced in the USA. Their focus on sustainability doesn’t end there; all of Protector’s packaging is 100% recyclable. The brewery has also partnered with a number of philanthropic organizations including the Navy SEAL Foundation, The Honor Foundation, Team Rubicon, and the San Diego Green Building Council. For more info on their excellent organic beers and their Tasting Room just north of MCAS Miramar, which is located near several other brewery tasting rooms including AleSmith and Ballast Point, visit Protector’s website at www.protectorbrewery.com.
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