Thursday, June 29, 2017

All aboard for Armadillo's new Land Yacht IPA

Image courtesty of Armadillo Ale Works.

After more than four years of being one of the few North Texas brewing operations to eschew the IPA, Armadillo Ale Works of Denton has altered course to produce a version of craft beer's most popular style.

Land Yacht IPA (7.3% ABV, 75 IBU) is set to embark on an introductory tour of the Metroplex, after which it will join Armadillo's core lineup alongside Honey Please, Royal Champ and Greenbelt Farmhouse Wheat. The beer is an American IPA that's been brewed to style, featuring a copious amount of Azacca, Mosaic, Citra, Columbus, and Centennial hops.

But why, you may ask, would a company that's known for its uniqueness decide to release a stylistic IPA at this point in its evolution? According to co-founder Yianni Arestis, it's all about doing the unexpected, which up to now has been a hallmark of Armadillo's approach.

"Normally, we cross style boundaries and use special ingredients in our beers to offer the consumer something tasty, interesting and truly different," says Arestis. "After coming out with seven beers like that, though, we felt it would be cool to show people we can brew to style with the best of them."

Special Land Yacht IPA glassware will be available at launch events occurring this weekend (Armadillo Ale Works).

Along those lines, you won't find any additives in Land Yacht IPA. With so many different takes on the IPA in the market these days, many falling in line with the current trend of adding fruit infusions, Arestis and co-founder Bobby Mullins chose to go against the grain in sticking to style. Accordingly, their first IPA foray is all about the hops, a characteristic that's been subtly built into the Land Yacht name.

"We wanted a name that hinted at the beer using 'a boatload of hops,' as well as something that alluded to going on a 'tropical flavor trip,'" says Arestis. "Since it's an American IPA, we figured a big, classic American car, a land yacht if you will, would make sense. Plus, the longhorns on the hood are an obvious tie-in to our Texas roots."

As for how it turned out, an early sample of Land Yacht IPA shows it to be a beer that gives off notes of sharp citrus and pine initially, with a ripe pineapple and tropical fruit character developing as it opens up. It's a little dank and a little musky with not a lot of bitterness, the latter meaning more emphasis was put on highlighting hop flavor and aroma. The beer is neither east coast or west in terms of a regional designation, but rather something that falls somewhere in the middle. Given that, instead of trying to pin it down, maybe just call Land Yacht IPA what it is...a really good, easy-drinking Armadillo-style IPA.

Land Yacht IPA will be available as a draft-only offering. Look for it on tap beginning this weekend at launch parties planned at the following locations.

Friday, June 30
  • East Side, Denton: 7-10 p.m.
Saturday, July 1
  • Lakewood Growler, Dallas: 4-7 p.m.
  • Brewed, Fort Worth: 6-9 p.m.

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