Reviewed: Topa Topa Brewing Chief Peak IPA
From Topa Topa Brewing: “You’ve gone from shrubland to woodland to highland. When you stop to sip on a Chief Peak, the piney hops are first to arrive. The tropical tones of passion fruit, orange, and gooseberry aren’t far behind. Look out on the valley and trace the contours of the mountain. Breathe in the thinning air, wipe the sweat from your brow, and take another well-earned sip.
Hops: Citra, Galaxy, Magnum, Simcoe”
Topa Topa Brewing – Chief Peak IPA – 12 oz. can poured into a chalice – 7.0% abv.
Topa Topa Brewing founded in Ventura ,CA back in 2015; I mark that period of time as the rise of Ventura County as a presence in craft brewing within Southern california. Focused primarily on traditional American beer styles, Topa maintains excellent core beer offerings while still experimenting with hazy IPAs and even seltzers. Today, I wanted to check in on Chief Peak, their flagship American IPA.
Appearance: Light copper color, with a bit of haze. Definitely see through, this isn’t your cousin’s hazy IPA. Volumnus, slight tan, foam.
Aroma: Citra and Galaxy in a.. gasp… American IPA? Big guava with pine resin undertones. As it warms up, a more tangerine edge. More fruit forward than traditional American IPA, but it still knows where its roots are.
Flavor: A softer than expected bitterness for the ABV, but not out of style. The hops and malt plays off each other; the tropical and citrus hop flavors are complemented by the light caramel and toast in the malt. Many times, American IPA goes for lack of balance; over-the-top bitterness or strictly hop flavor, leaving malt flavor in the dust. Through all of this, It keeps its ABV well hidden.
Overall: A solid if a bit more subdued American IPA. It is said East Coast American IPAs are more malt-focused, and Chief Peak plays into that vibe. It is tough to keep a beer like this relevant to beer consumers, but its balance and drinkability make this a memorable offering. Topa’s commitment to scaling production in recent years means increased footprint all over California. If your holiday travels put you on the 101, consider a pit stop at one of their tasting rooms in Ventura County. Skip the Black Friday lines, warm up your Thanksgiving leftovers, and open a couple of these. This beer will stand up to even your bolder side dishes, but never get in the way.