Double India Pale Ales — or DIPA for short — aren’t supposed to be this drinkable. Standard India Pale Ales are intensely flavorful and hoppy. DIPA are typically made with even more malt and a lot more hops. They can be sweet, thick, high-alcohol, resinous and impossibly bitter. Usually if I’m having one, it will be after a day of drinking other styles. And I’ll almost always stop at one. These aren’t beers that you drink a four-pack of in a sitting, typically.
And yet, our beer of the week, Moustache Brewing Co. Proton Double India Pale Ale is both true to style and so deftly balanced that you can drink a few without wearing out your palate or winding up flat on the floor.
Make no mistake — this isn’t a session beer.
It’s 8.5% ABV, but it’s also so juicy and balanced. Owners and brewers Lauri and Matt Spitz love hoppy ales and they have an impeccable feel for brewing them.
Proton is the first beer in the brewery’s new “Atomic Series,” which Lauri describes as “DIPAs that harness the power of new and interesting hops.” For Proton, the couple used Azacca, Simcoe and Lemon Drop hops. Simcoe is a well-known hop variety that you’ll find in many IPA and DIPA made in America. Azacca and Lemon Drop are less widely used. That intrigued Lauri and Matt.
“We were experimenting with new hop varieties that we had not used before. We also wanted to see the synergy between the new varieties and varieties that we had worked with before,” Lauri told me in an email.
It’s also the first beer that Moustache has canned, thanks to Anvil Craft Services, a mobile canner based out of Long Island City. The Spitzs are canning another beer, a cream ale named “Lawn” this week.
“Canning will allow us to distribute to more locations that have little or no draft lines. We also can send our beer out to new markets without worrying as much about having enough kegs, and keeping track of them,” Lauri said.
The beer itself is rich, but not too rich, with bright tropical fruit flavors, including a distinct pineapple note. There are lots of juicy hop flavors here with a bit of the evergreen edge hop-addicts love so much, but it’s all synchronous. It’s still a big beer — thick and complex — without being tiring on the palate. Or, as Matt told me “I prefer to make hop-forward IPAs that are deceptively drinkable.”
They nailed it with this one. It’s available at the brewery, for growler fills and in cans, but the cans may not be around long.