Recognizing the Conceptually Brilliant
A Review of All Day IPA by Founders Brewing Co.
Posted on 3/31/2012 by Chops
                   
Good
Sometimes you come across a beer that is so beautifully obvious in concept that you want to scream ''why the hell didn't I think of that?!'' All Day IPA by the Founders Brewing Company is one such beer. When it seems that so many breweries are out to push the upper limits of the imperial IPA spectrum, Founders decided to take the road less traveled. The concept was simple: create an IPA that is light and easy drinking, but still tastes like an IPA. After all, IPAs are very well known for their aggressive bitterness and hop-forward profiles. But, seasoned drinkers know that lying underneath the bitterness is a really flavorful beer. Founders, in a stroke of genius, decided to defang the ravenous bear and make him a teddy.

In the glass, All Day IPA has a bright sunny golden coloration which is somewhat light for the style. But considering the core concept, this isn't exactly surprising. It comes with a frothy white head that dissipates normally. The aroma consists of a big piney citrus note and little else. IPAs rarely have an overly complex aroma profile, so this seemed fine to me. I was more taken aback by the potency, which was quite surprising coming from a small 4.7% ABV. It definitely smells much stronger than it actually is.

Much to my surprise, that first sip was an assault of sharp hops. The beginning of the flavor train actually drinks like an IPA at twice the strength, but the middle ground quickly softens and transitions into a nicely balanced flavor profile consisting of floral hops and warm citrus. The flavor train completely dies off on the exit and leaves only a whiff of hop bitterness. This would normally be a detriment, but actually works well for the concept. Mean and aggressive IPAs maintain their resiliency well through the finish and can wear out their welcome in a hurry. But here you have an IPA that actually leaves your taste buds fully intact for the next sip. It's quite remarkable really. The body is quite thin and the flavors are easy to grasp. There isn't much of a malty backbone either, so the beer relies purely on hop flavor. Again, very atypical, but works beautifully for what it is.

Overall, the Founders All Day IPA is a conceptually brilliant brew. It actually is an IPA that you can drink all damn day. This is also an IPA that I can recommend to all levels of beer fan. It's a fantastic introduction into hop forward flavors without being accosted by bitterness. Unfortunately, all of these deliberate qualities soften its stylistic appeal and might confuse the average drinker. I cannot say that this is a great IPA because technically it's not. But I do want to emphasize that this beer fills a very important role in the better beer world and very much deserves an audience. If there was such a thing as an “IPA Light”, then All Day IPA would be a champion. So I recommend trying this beer and enjoying it for what it actually is: a lawnmower IPA.

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All Day IPA by Founders Brewing Co.
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