9.75% ABV; 100+ IBUs
This double IPA from Healdsburg-based Bear Republic pours a light orange with a thick, dirty white head. Café Racer 15 is stronger and yet cleaner and more refined than its lower-ABV brethren Racer 5 and Racer X, offering a nose of cut grass, citrus, hay, caramel, and orchard fruit that beckons you forth. The first swallow puts dark fruits and caramel up front, loading the citrus and hop bitterness towards the back end, and leaving a grapefruit flavor to linger on the tongue. Pine resin settles in to the palette between sips—Café Racer 15 is a beer you will want to contemplate rather than chug—but the most remarkable feature of this sublime hop bomb is the light and creamy body.
Daniel Barnes and Darcey Self-Barnes have been blogging about craft beer at His & Hers Beer Notes since January 2012. Darcey is a freelance designer and illustrator, and Daniel is a film critic for the Sacramento News and Review and a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.