Hey Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco, California? What’s up with Anchor Go West! IPA? Don’t you guys already have an IPA? OK, sure, I know every brewery has like fifty bazillion IPAs these days, but I mean an IPA IPA. No, not Anchor Liberty Ale, your classic IPA that was an IPA when IPAs weren’t cool. Not your Double Liberty Ale, either-that’s a double/imperial IPA.
No, I’m talking about Anchor IPA, which is a lot like Anchor Go West! IPA. Coincidentally, I’m reviewing Anchor Go West! IPA on June 29th of 2016-two years to the day I penned my thoughts on Anchor IPA. Both beers feature an elephant on the label and have similar statistics, too, so we will compare them shortly. First, though, let’s take a sip and see what we think, shall we?
Anchor Go West! IPA pours to a hazy orange amber color with a thick head of creamy foam and a bright citrus and subtle pine nose. Taking a sip, I’m immediately pleased at the firm caramel maltiness followed by bright citrusy grapefruit and lemon rind notes, then solid notes of resin and pine and a long dry bitter finish. This is not as earthy and aromatic as Liberty Ale, but it is a classic American west coast style IPA with malt and hops in good balance.
OK, a few quick points: Anchor Go West! IPA is a bargain at $8.99 a six-pack in bottles and cans. Mine was bottled on February 5th of 2016. The beer has an alcohol content of 6.7% by volume. Anchor says of the beer:
The California Gold Rush compelled thousands to Go West! “to see the elephant,” a metaphor for the doggedly optimistic risk-taking linked then and now with America’s intensified pursuit of happiness. As early as 1849, India Pale Ale—prepared by British brewers for export to India by adding dry hops to barrels of hoppy ale—was also going west, from England around the Horn to San Francisco. In 1975, Anchor—America’s first craft brewery—led the modern revival of dry-hopped handmade ales.
Which is almost exactly what they said about Anchor IPA. That beer had an alcohol content of 6.5% by volume. There are other differences, so Anchor Go West! IPA is a reformulation rather than the same beer. It uses only two-row pale malt according to Anchor; Anchor IPA also used Munich and Caramel malts.
Anchor IPA used these malts:
HOPS: CASCADE, BRAVO, APOLLO
DRY HOPS: CASCADE, APOLLO, CITRA, NELSON SAUVIN, HAAS, EXPERIMENTAL NO. 431
Anchor Go West! IPA uses these:
Hops: Apollo, Bravo
Dry Hops: Citra, Equinox, Calypso, Eureka!
Flavorwise, they are a little different too, as the Anchor Go West! IPA is a bit less resiny (though resiny still) and more citrusy than Anchor IPA. I don’t see Anchor IPA listed on the brewery website anymore, so I am presuming Anchor Go West! IPA replaces it.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.