Orpheus Brewing of Atlanta has been with us for a few years now, but surprisingly enough they haven’t had a year-round, staple IPA available. To be sure, they do offer the wonderful Transmigration of Souls Double IPA, but that’s not a flagship straight IPA. Here in 2016, the brewery has decided to rectify that situation with The Rites India Pale Ale, the latest addition to their lineup.
I’ve enjoyed the beers of Orpheus both in cans and on draft, so when I noticed The Rites on the tap list at Taco Mac I ordered up a glass post-haste. This was credit 749 in my Brewniversity studies, and tonight was the night I would earn my Dean status. I decided to go local for the last two beers tonight.
Orpheus brewmaster Jason Pellett talks about The Rites on the brewery website:
We opened without an IPA. For a brewery of our size, that rarely happens. We released our seasonal Transmigration of Souls shortly after, but I always wanted to establish us as a brewery that doesn’t just brew your standard IPA, pale, etc., so we had a flagship sour plum beer. If any of you are like me (and based on sales numbers, many of you are), I drink far more Atalanta than any other beer. That doesn’t mean I don’t actually want an IPA though, and I want one available regularly. Of course, there are a lot of good IPAs regularly available, but like I said upfront, I’ll never brew a beer you can already buy and that market is cornered.
OK, so clearly they were trying to do something different here. I can respect that, hey innovation is a beautiful thing. Truth be told though, Orpheus The Rites just didn’t work for me. A few details before I elaborate.
Orpheus The Rites India Pale Ale has an alcohol content of 6.7% by volume and I paid $6.75 for a 20-ounce mug at Taco Mac. That’s a bit higher than I think is reasonable for an IPA like this.
My mug of Orpheus The Rites IPA arrived a bright orange color with a thin layer of foam and a decidedly grassy and tropical fruit nose. Taking a sip, the beer is light malty at first with notes of passion fruit and melon in the palate, then a gentle herbal grassy bitterness that barely balances.
Here’s my problem here: I’m not really sure what’s different about this beer that’s supposed to be different. The malt is too light as with so many IPAs these days, and I know that’s to allow the hops to burst forth more fully to satisfy the tastes of today’s beer geeks. The hops, too, are tropical fruity, again all too common today. The finishing hops were there but not pronounced enough, and to me the whole beer just didn’t work. Not enough malt or hops for me here.
Sorry to say but this is not a beer I would buy again, especially at almost $7 for a draft or $10.99 for a six-pack of cans. To my taste, there are much better IPAs out there.
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.