So back in February of 2013, I picked up an interesting little beer called Pike Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 Vintage IPA. The beer is still sold today, of course, but now under the name Pike Space Needle Golden IPA. It is, of course, 2014 as I’m drinking this, if early 2014, but a little history on the beer would seem to be in order.
Pike Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 Vintage IPA was originally released in April of 2012 to commemorate the 50th Golden) anniversary of Seattle’s famous Space Needle attraction. But wait, you ask, didn’t Pike already have an IPA at the time? They did, in fact, Pike IPA, and it’s not all that dissimilar from the Space Needle Golden IPA as the stats will bear out.
Pike IPA (From the brewery website):
ALCOHOL VOLUME: 6.30%
MALT VARIETIES: Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carapils
HOP VARIETIES: Columbus, Willamette, Chinook, Goldings, Amarillo
IBU (BITTER UNIT): 60
YEAST: English ale
Pike Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 Vintage IPA (from the label):
ALC./VOL. : 6.5%
Malt: (Not listed)
Yakima Valley Hops: Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Summit
Yeast: (Not listed)
Not all that dissimilar, really. Anyway, I picked up my 22 ounce bomber bottle for $6.99. It goes for that same price today at Total Wine, albeit with a slightly different label.
Pike Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 Vintage IPA pours to a bright orange color with a simply humongous towering head of rocky foam and a nose that’s equally reaching for the clouds with an intense resiny bitterness. A fine layer of Brussels lace clings to the sides of the glass as the liquid descends. Taking a sip, the beer has a wonderfully rich caramel body up front, and I am really enjoying that.
Sure, I love all of these San Diego IPAs these days that are getting called West Coast IPA, and yes, they are thinner in body than this one. Me, I still love the classic caramel maltiness of a solid American IPA like Pike Space Needle Golden IPA. Oh, and yeah it has a bit of resiny hoppiness left and a wallop of bitterness in the finish. Hints of phenols and grapefruit poke pleasantly through, too, especially as the beer warms. Grapefruit seeds as well. Hey, this is an IPA after all.
Pike Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 Vintage IPA has held up nicely with a little age, and I will certainly pick up a bottle of a later release version to try it young.
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.