So just WTF is a Session IPA? I like to define it as an ale that’s aroma and dry-hopped with American or New World (Aussie or Kiwi) hops but balanced by a lower alcohol body, of no higher than 4.9% ABV.
So how does Hamilton’s Collective Arts’ State of Mind, (which is now on tap at a few beer bars in Ontario, and will hit the LCBO in April) score?
It drinks like a summer afternoon in the tropics: soft aromas of mango and mandarin orange beckon, and with the first sip blossom on the palate: sweet, juicy mango, orange juice and then orange rind, moving to softer pineapple notes before finishing dry on bitter notes of grapefruit and orange peel. I love the super soft mouthfeel, the carbonation is dialled down and the body is light and fluffy (is there wheat in here?). The trim body makes it great for summertime drinking.
Compared to Muskoka Detour:
I feel like any Ontario beer lover will compare this to the ISA fan favourite, Muskoka Detour as it’s our point of reference for all things hoppy and light. State of Mind has less carbonation and a slimmer body, less upfront hop aromas, with a drier, more bitter finish. More orange notes, less spritz! It’s a bit more laid back overall, if you know what I mean.
The ale’s upfront tropical fruit notes would make a great match with salads and lighter cheeses like young cheddars, lightly-aged goudas or herbaceous chevres. But the bitterness is big enough to cut through salmon or tuna. I’d drink this with pineapple chicken. Oh yeah.