North Island India Pale Ale is a 7% IPA from North Island Beer, based in Hokkaido, Japan.
I don’t really get the chance to drink North Island beer- the last one I had was back in 2014, as far as I recall.
This time around, I got a three-bottle set of North Island from a kind coworker- those of you who have received such gifts from a normie will understand the apprehension I had when she said she had got some beer for me from Hokkaido. Could it be something nice like North Island? or would I have to feign gratitude for some awful blue beer? (only joking- I’m not that much of a shit. If it’s fizzy and alcoholic I’ll be glad to drink it. As long as it’s not Miso Korny, the only beer to be classed as a war criminal)
North Island India Pale Ale Aroma and Taste
Ooh, I already got a hoppy whiff as soon as I opened this. Pouring it out gives a decent head that nonetheless behaved itself enough to not overflow everywhere. It settled down to about a centimetre of foam. It’s a clear IPA, with a deep golden orange sunset colour. These words are all very positive. I’m writing this in real time, by the way, with the beer on the table next to my laptop. Don’t let me down, beer. Or spill yourself on my keyboard. Already lost one laptop that way.
The bright, hoppy nose gives way to a more earthy scent, but there are no malty overtones. I’m betting this is more of a West Coast IPA than an English one.
Ack! I took a taste. This beer is REALLY hop-bitter. It’s very dry and a little bit spicy. It reminds me of the first time I tried to dry-hop a homebrew that had already got 5 different types of hops in. That didn’t go well.
I’ve just checked the bottle and it’s listed as “beer” rather than “happoshu”- which means it hasn’t been dry-hopped. It could quite easily have been, though. It’s almost painfully bitter.
North Island India Pale Ale The Bottom Line
North Island IPA smells nice, but it’s kind of one-dimensional- it has all the bitterness of a West Coast-style IPA, but without the fragrant dankiness of the hops, or indeed the malt sweetness. It isn’t terrible, but it’s just way too bitter. If you really, absolutely must drink this, maybe try aging it until the hop bitterness calms down a tad.
Where to Buy North Island India Pale Ale
North Island India Pale Ale can be bought online at the following places: