Posted April 4, 2013 by Kevin in Eats & Drinks

Double-Wide IPA : A double-fine Double India Pale Ale

Boulevard Brewing Company Double-Wide IPA
Boulevard Brewing Company Double-Wide IPA

I picked up a bomber of this in Seattle.  I was going for an easy hike up a mountain and wanted some refreshments for the top.  This was only $2.99 at a local grocery.  I’m cheap, I liked the name, and the bottle looked cool . . . so I bought it.  It also says right on the bottle that it is twister proof, making it the first beer I’ve seen with a stated tornado durability guarantee.  I packed it in my backpack with a couple plastic cups, and my wife and I headed to the trailhead.  Once we saw the steepness of the trail and the elevation change we were facing, we unpacked the beer and decided to enjoy it later.  It ended up following us back to Ohio.  Of course none of this has anything to do with the Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Company which makes this tenacious beer as part of its “Smokestack Series.”  I just thought it was a cool story.

The first thing I noticed when I lifted this brew was the nose—this one breaks away from the style a good bit here with a very toasty, roasty and malty presence.  It was like warm, freshly-baked bread.  Nice.  The Columbus hops come through to round out the nose with some earthy pine notes in exactly the same manner that Columbus hops always do in my experience—in a somewhat confusing and inconsistent way.  I tend to like IPAs with this hop, but since it can be used as a bittering hop most folks tend to use it early in the boil, or later in the boil, or both.  So while I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about the Columbus hop that grabs my attention, I’ll just say this:  I like it.  This brew also uses some Cascade hops, which add some grassy notes to the nose.  The combination of the hops and bready malt presence give this beer one of the best DIPA noses I’ve experienced.  Wow!

Okay, on to actually drinking this one.  The malt-forward presence definitely follows through the glass, with a sweet, yet toasty, flavor that is both fantastic and a slight departure for the style.  There is some fruitiness here, but it is more of the apricot and dried berry variety.  The malt presence also adds some caramel and light syrup notes to the flavor.  Once again I say, “Wow!”  (In fact, I repeated that phrase quite a few times while enjoying this beer.)  Towards the end, this brew does brighten up a bit, with some citrus hints finally punching through at the end for an excellent finish.  This really is a fine beer, and I decided to enjoy it for what it is rather than continue to pick it apart for being slightly off style.  No food pairing, this beer was plenty entertaining all by itself.

At $2.99 for a bomber, I wish I could have fit more of this in my suitcase.  I’ll definitely pick up a few more of this one, and I won’t mind paying full price.  Double-Wide IPA is one not to miss, folks!



Kevin has been drinking and brewing beer for more than 20 years, and enjoys re-capping the interesting craft and microbrews that find their way into his glass. Feel free to contact him at [email protected] to talk favorites, but hold back on the technical questions – he sees himself as more of a beer nerd than a beer expert.