Fat Bottom Brewing | Knockout IPA
Flagship beers are the unsung heroes of a brewery. They’re the load-carrying backbone of a beer list. With every new, flashy, ridiculously-hopped IPA or adjunct loaded, melted ice cream cone passing as a stout, they’re also the first to be forgotten. Like a true workhorse, flagship beers do their job. They get packed in cases or filled in kegs to be shipped off to a sea of local grocery stores and faceless sports bars while getting snubbed by the cool kid, craft beer stores in town. Flagship beers may never get any taproom-exclusive hype, but they’re evergreen. They pay the bills, and keep the lights on.
From Taproom Exclusive to Year-Round Stalwart
Knockout IPA started its life as a sexy, taproom-only beer whose high sales and demand helped it graduate to the year-round roster. In a beer world with too many IPAs, it can be a real roll of the dice when choosing one to try. The pro move is to have a reliably solid and familiar IPA to fall back on when confronted with a menu full of clever, punny named hop hodgepodge beers.
Knockout IPA, billed as an American IPA, is the flagship IPA from Nashville craft beer vets Fat Bottom Brewing. If this babe was labeled a West-coast style IPA, nobody would argue. The beer comes in at 5.9% ABV with a deceivingly high 80 IBU rating. Knockout is a wonderful balance of malts and hops so the relatively high IBUs don’t sucker punch the drinker. It also finishes dry enough where it can easily pass for West Coast style.
Knockout’s hop bill consists of Cascade and Pacific Jade, which is a New Zealand hop. Pac Jade is more commonly used as a bittering hop, but Fat Bottom uses it for both bittering and aroma in this beer. Both Pac Jade and Cascade have a strong citrus character, giving Knockout an excellent grapefruit aroma and a delicious citrusy taste throughout.
When tasting Knockout, I paired it with a slow roasted cauliflower dish that was tossed in a glaze consisting of fresh ginger, crispy garlic, sesame oil, hoisin, fresno chilis and honey. The dish was intricate with multiple layers of flavor and Knockout danced perfectly with each one. The seamless balance of the malts in the beer harmonized perfectly with the layers of flavor in the glaze. Pairing Knockout with a dish that was savory and salty with a touch of heat and sweetness was a surprise delight.
Knockout IPA is available year round in 16oz cans, 6-packs, cases on draught in and around the state of Tennessee.