Reminding Us How Far We've Come
A Review of Flagship IPA by Carolina Brewery
Posted on 10/15/2011 by Chops
The Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill, NC has an interesting thing going for them. They sit right on top of the University of North Carolina campus. And as we all know, what is college full of? That's right: broke, naive college students who drink nothing but cheap crap beer. So what better way to turn students onto craft brews than to have a kick ass brewery in walking distance, right? Unfortunately, no. You don't want an awesome brewery. You only need a good brewery. Asking a college student to go from Budweiser to a Russian Imperial Stout isn't exactly fair. You don't want to emotionally scar them right out of the gate and drain their wallets in the process. You need bridge beers that are decent and affordable. And that's exactly what the Carolina Brewery offers: good beers at good prices. None of them will knock your socks off, but all of them are session worthy. Case in point: their Flagship IPA.

In the glass, Flagship IPA has a clear honey coloration. The aroma has a sweet citrus vibe to it and is quite full to the nose. There are some herbal qualities to the aroma as well, but not enough to be specifically identifiable. The mouthfeel is quite tangy with a medium body and a sharp hop bite. The finish is pretty dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel smooths out as the beer warms allowing for a few caramel notes to appear. The hop profile significantly tames in the second half as it falls into a session character.

Overall, Carolina Brewery's Flagship IPA is pretty decent. Like with the rest of their offerings, it's not meant to be a stellar achievement. It's just a nice IPA to enjoy among friends without having to think about it. For the naive Budweiser loving college student, it's a great intro into the IPA style. Carolina Brewery is almost always packed when I visit, which is good news for the craft brew world. It's a training wheel factory in a perfect location. And for those of us who have long since shed our training wheels, it's still well worth the occasional visit to remind us how far we've come.

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Flagship IPA by Carolina Brewery
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