So not so long ago I stumbled upon a great little beer from Kansas called Tallgrass IPA. It’s from the Tallgrass Brewing Company of Manhattan, Kansas. Just like Toto, it wasn’t in Kansas anymore though: I found it in, of all places, Biloxi Mississippi. Not since a bomber of Pony Express Tornado Ale had I had a beer from Kansas that I can recall, and that was way back in 1997.
Anyway, one of the things that drew my attention to this one was that the beer came in cans. The brewery does bottle it as well, but I’m always intrigued to see craft beer on cans. Better yet, these were kinger cans, holding 16-ounces of brew instead of 12, four of them held together by a hard plastic topper. I happily paid $7.99 and brought my treasure back to the hotel.
The front of the can has a fearsome looking elephant’s head on it, his imposing tusks poking out from an intimidating ring of fire. What all this has to do with IPA I have no clue (yeah, India has elephants, but it’s an African elephant on the can), but the back of the can offered some more relevant encouragement: “Bombastically hopped. Surprisingly malty. Pour a pint….”
So I did…….
Tallgrass IPA pours to a bright orange color with a thick creamy head formation and a grassy, herbal hop nose. This one has caramel up front as a good IPA should, chewy and satisfying as it serves as the backbone of the beer. The hops emerge quickly with a grassy, tea-like, herbal, slightly resiny intensity. They become more intense in the finish and leave a decidedly pleasant minty bitter buzz on the tongue for some time after sipping.
I’ll not pretend this is the best IPA I’ve ever tasted: it isn’t. What it is, however, is a good, solid everyday drinking IPA that I absolutely love to drink. It satisfies my hop craving while at the same time remaining eminently drinkable. And at 6.3% alcohol by volume, I can drink a few without too much worry. In this day of Imperial IPAs, Double IPAs, Imperial Double IPAs and the like, a good old honest to goodness session IPA seems almost a breath of fresh air.
I love the fact this comes in cans, and that it’s therefore easy to pack away for the beach or your favorite concert or sporting event. Where allowed, of course. Try it with spicy foods, perhaps a spicy rack of pork ribs? Kansas City style, of course.
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.