Remember IPAs? I feel like I haven’t talked about them in ages, and if I’m being honest, it’s because it’s been a while since an India pale ale has stirred any excitement in me.
There’s so many different kinds available nowadays, but after a while, they can all sort of blend together. You have your high-IBU, citrus-and-pine-forward West Coast classic IPAs; there’s the hazy, low-IBU Northeast style IPAs; there’s milkshake IPAs dosed with lactose (which are thankfully on their way out); there’s even been a resurgence in traditional, English-style IPAs and Burton ales. There’s white IPAs, black IPAs, Belgian IPAs, India session ales, India pale lagers, imperial India pale ales, you name it.
And they pretty much all taste like hops. Go figure.
In particular, the Northeast-style IPA has become a staple in the past few years, and admittedly for good reason. It’s an approachable style, bursting with flavour—specifically fruit-forward hop notes thanks to hop varieties like Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, Vic Secret and Amarillo. NEIPAs are no fad—they are here to stay.
However, many examples here in B.C. just aren’t that interesting. Often, the flavours fall flat—the beers can be thin-bodied, cloyingly sweet, lacking balance and many aren’t even all that hazy: poor facsimiles of the bold, chewy, juicy beers coming from the States.
Some breweries get it—Twin Sails and Superflux are obvious examples. And judging by Humans—An IPA For The People, Parkside gets it, too.
Humans ticks all the boxes for an NEIPA, but it’s the balance that sets it apart. The bold tropical fruit flavours are complemented by the fruity yeast character, however, the hop bitterness is restrained just enough to balance the sweetness of the beer and ensure a clean, dry finish. The body is luxurious, with a lovely creamy mouthfeel (I hate that word, by the way. It gives me the creeps). This is an easy beer to love, even for those that don’t like hoppy beers.
So I guess Humans lives up to its name—it’s an IPA for the people, even the ones that might not be into IPAs.
Humans—An IPA For The People, by The Parkside Brewery (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU)
Appearance: Hazy straw yellow, pillowy white head with moderate carbonation
Aroma: Pineapple, tropical citrus, stonefruit, melon, berry.
Flavour: Tropical fruit, pineapple, passion fruit, melon, stonefruit, mandarin orange, citrus, berry, pine. Heavy on hop flavour with moderate-low hop bitterness. Fruity yeast character and mild spice notes. Mild bready malt notes.
Body: Medium bodied with a creamy, coating mouthfeel and a clean, dry finish.
Pairs with: Fish tacos with mango salsa, barbecued prawns and ditching work to drink beer on a patio all day.