Tommyknocker Brewery - Pick Axe IPA
- ABV: 6.2%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 55
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale, Munich, Carastan, Crystal 75
- Hops: Nugget, Bravo, Chinook, Summit
Pick Axe cuts a fine figure in the glass, presenting a medium amber hue with good clarity and plenty of persistent dense foam that leaves lots of lace as it recedes. The aroma declares “I am an IPA” in no uncertain terms with big, sweetly floral and fruity notes with a citric and pine edge. Beneath all that hoppy goodness is a nice undercurrent of toasty, caramel malt. In the mouth, the 55 IBUs shine through upfront with firm bitterness while the backbone of toasty grain and caramel builds on the mid-palate. We detected a touch of sweetness under the bitterness, but make no mistake, the very American hops win this battle and are the star of the show. Brewed with four different hop varietals and dry-hopped to intensify the aroma and flavor without adding undue bitterness, Pick Axe offers a very flavorful, resinous, herbal, and piney hop profile with a fruity, citric acidity that lingers long into the finish and clears the palate, readying it for another sip. As we usually recommend with IPAs, spicy food is a natural pairing for this brew. Any Thai dish with basil would be at the top of our list, but a spicy Italian sausage pizza would work nicely too. Cheers!
The Tommyknocker Brewery was founded as a brewpub in 1994 (which coincidentally is also the year we started The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club) at an elevation of about 7500 feet in the old mining town of Idaho Springs, CO. The town, which is about a 40 mile drive west of downtown Denver, was founded in 1859 during the Colorado gold rush, and it is this mining history that the brewery latched on to when crafting their brand identity. Tommyknockers are mythical creatures, not unlike leprechauns, that are purported to live underground and signal to miners when a collapse is imminent by making knocking sounds in the rock. They also get blamed sometimes when tools malfunction or go missing.
We can’t verify if tommyknockers are responsible for swiping miners’ tools when they aren’t looking, but we can tell you that they do know how to make some good beers in their spare time. In fact, they’ve been collecting awards since 1995 from both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. If you’re ever traveling through the Rockies on I-70 near Denver, it’s well-worth stopping at the brewpub for a buffalo burger and a fresh brew on draft. Harnessing pure snow melt water from the Rockies, the brewery produces a very broad range of year-round and seasonal beers (over 20 by our count) as well as a line of sodas including orange, strawberry, and almond cremes as well as root beer. We'll let you discover those on your own and stick to what we do best: Beer! For more information about the brewery and brewpub, call 303-567-4419 or check out their web site at www.tommyknocker.com.
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