Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

All Day IPA

Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 4.7%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Pair With:
“You can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning.”

So sayeth the classic ad from Founders for their sublime Breakfast Stout. The only problem with that ad is if you decided to drink Breakfast Stout all day—what with its 8-plus ABV and silky smoothness—at about 11:30 a.m. you’d be lying face-first on the floor. No, for that kind of hanging out, you’d need what is called a session beer, one of the many mini movements among craft beer enthusiasts at the moment. While session brews are relatively low-alcohol they should not be low in flavor. Just because they don’t pack a wollop doesn’t mean they get a pass when it comes to one of the main tenets of good beer: Don’t be boring.

Which brings us to tonight’s beer of the … er, night, the aptly—and, in retrospect, quite obviously—named Founders All Day IPA. Labeled from the get-go as a session ale, at 4.7 percent ABV it certainly falls into the relatively low alcohol category (well, at least for most people). Let’s see if it holds the line when it comes to the “no boring beer allowed” maxim.

From looks alone All Day IPA is certainly typical: a glowing gold, maybe a little lighter in color than most IPAs, with a quickly disipating white head. Immediately after the pour, the aroma is powerful enough to be sensed halfway across the Health Care Tips room: citrusy hops, grapefruit and tangerines, but mainly oranges. Closer sniffs don’t pull in much more than that until after the beer warms considerably, then you get some soft malt notes.

Zippy carbonation starts the sip off—while carbonation is a flavor that can enhance a beer’s drinkability, it is most certainly not interesting—but quickly gets out of the way of bright floral bitterness. This hides a body on the lighter side for craft brews, but make no mistake: this session beer packs some “real IPA” bitterness. The finish is spritzy, short, and … orange. Yes, it tastes like oranges. Like the nose, as things warm up, a tiny bit of malt comes up into the mix in the middle of the sip.

This might be the most refreshing IPA you’ll ever drink. Not just pleasantly bitter but pleasurably so, All Day IPA is a hophead’s session brew, tilted unapologetically toward fruity, in-your-face hop bitterness and flavor. You can point out its lack of balance, but boring? Fuck no. We are talking about a Founders beer, after all …

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on April 30, 2012.
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