Golden Road Takes 2 on Point The Way IPA – W/Thoughts
We learned last month that Jon Carpenter, appointed brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing was leaving his post, and being replaced by Drake’s Brewing’s Jesse Houck. There was a elephant left in the room named Point The Way IPA. Locals and IPA lovers who were not very impressed with Point The Way IPA, wondered if the guy who had his hands in gems such as Drakes Hopocolypse, Denoggonizer, 1500 and more could bring the fire to the can of Point The Way IPA. LA Times just ran an article outlining drastic changes being made to Los Angeles’ first canned IPA.
“With Point the Way, I tried to move it more toward a drier, lighter in color, cleaner West Coast-style IPA,” Houck says. “We brought the ABV up a little bit. We launched it with the concept of putting out a sessionable West Coast style IPA [sessionable beers are lower in alcohol so more can be enjoyed in a tasting session]. I think what we did is we listened to the market and we’ve seen they want a little more, so we’re taking it up from 5.2% to 5.9%. That’ll help balance the heavier hop load on it. So it’s hoppy, but not way too dark and dank. That makes it a very enjoyable IPA — sessionable still.”
But does upping the bitterness and increasing the ABV to just under 6.0% get away from Golden Road’s original mission of creating an easy-drinking IPA?
No, says Houck, who notes that the new Point the Way will come in a 12-ounce can rather than a 16-ounce can. “I’m a fan, as a brewer, of brewing what you’re passionate about but also listening to the market,” he says. “Per can, you could probably have two of these if you had two of the larger size.”
So with that said, whether it was a Jon Carpenter issue or Golden Road sticking to their guns for a year, we are glad the feedback was heard, and that improvements will be made to this beer. I’ve taken ‘a sit back and watch’ approach, as Golden Road is a brand new brewery, and even the best seasoned breweries had to work out kinks in their youth. They have the look, the money, the perfect market, now if they can make some crushable IPA, I’ll be one happy Danny Fullpint, and we’ll have some very happy locals.