Among the many fine locally-produced beers that’ve been available on tap at bars in and around Brooklyn over the past few years is KelSo’s Industrial IPA, a 10% ABV monster that, in fact, stands as the highest in alcohol content of all the IPAs currently being made in the area. And now, because sometimes the world is every bit as wonderful a place as you always dreamt it could be, it’s available in cans.
Joining the ubiquitous and stellar KelSo Pilsner and Nut Brown Lager on store shelves this week, Industrial IPA comes packaged in a super stealthy black 12oz can that very much bespeaks the seriousness of the liquid it contains. Once you pop the top, you’re hit with a strong aroma that’s heavy on citrus and pine, but then you pour it into a glass (you do, don’t you?), and you see that it’s much darker in color than similar smelling beers, which makes sense once you finally get around to tasting it: Industrial IPA is one of the most balanced double (bordering on triple IPAs) I’ve ever had, with a flavor profile that runs the gamut from bright, floral and bitter to bready, sweet caramel. The texture is perfect—creamy and mouth-coating without being a drag to drink. The 10% ABV, and it’s brilliantly hidden, at least until you’ve reached the bottom of your glass, at which point it’s not at all well hidden. (Before being canned, the beer was listed on various beer-related websites as 11.5%; if indeed it’s been scaled back, I assure you you’re still getting your money’s worth.)
I hope this beer moves quickly once it’s out there, because it’d be a shame to see it sit around collecting dust. Fresh, this is as good as any of the super-hyped, limited-release imperial IPAs that nerds go crazy for a bunch of times over the course of the year. That there are very few, if any, comparable beers being made in the area is an added and not insignificant bonus.
Follow Mike Conklin on Twitter @MikeConklin.