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CLAG Brewing Company | You Wouldn’t Drink a Clear IPA

CLAG Brewing You Wouldn't Drink a Clear IPA
Jason Murphy

One of the PorchDrinking team’s favorite things about craft beer journalism is the people you meet and the stories they share with us. People are what makes the craft brewing community interesting. Don’t get us wrong, we love trying beers and we get to sample some of the best in the country, but the people are what make it interesting and fun. So let’s meet the people behind the Sandusky, Ohio-based CLAG Brewing Company.

Hello, My Name is:

CLAG Brewing Company is an intriguing brewery name—it’s actually an acronym for Cocky Little Asian Guy. Yes, you read that right. Head brewer Kevin Kowalski gave us some insight about the name and the brewery.

Kowalski explained that brewery owner Kha Bui, when hanging out with friends, would more often than not be introduced to people as “the cocky little Asian guy.”

“I guess he just really liked that nickname,” said Kowalski. Kha had already decided to use that name for the brewery well before bringing Kowalski on to help him.

“The funny thing about the whole name is Kha might be one of the least cocky people I know,” said Kowalski.

A company name like CLAG is a a surefire way to draw attention to your brewery. But while the name might draw customers in, the beer the team makes has them stay a while.

A Hop Combo Love Story

You Wouldn’t Drink a Clear IPA is CLAG Brewing Company’s West Coast-style Double IPA. It’s brewed with all the hops that Kowalski is currently in love with: Citra, Galaxy, Nectaron and Riwaka.

“Citra has been the golden child for me as long as I can remember,” Kowalski said, so obviously it would need to be included. Following Citra and Galaxy are the relatively new kids on the hop block, Nectaron and Riwaka.

Particularly, Nectaron provides passionfruit and dankness that’s similar to Galaxy, but also throws off bright peach character. Kowalski’s love for Riwaka is the smell of sweet tropical fruit—think mango, papaya and guava.

“All in all, you get that dank cannabis that’s well known in the West Coast style IPAs,” Kowalski said. In addition, you also get the tropical or citrus overtones to balance it out.

“Not Juicy Enough”

The Hazy IPA is largely the king of IPAs at the moment, but Kowalski believes the West Coast-style IPA is slowly making a big comeback.

“I feel there is a large group of IPA enthusiasts that won’t drink an IPA unless it has a super milky haze to it,” Kowalski said citing that he always hears statements like “West Coast IPAs aren’t juicy enough,” or “they are just too dry and bitter.”

Kowalski’s plan for You Wouldn’t Drink a Clear IPA was to take some hops he loves from Hazy IPAs and incorporate them in a dry, crispy Double IPA. So the name is more of a joke like “this beer has elements you will like but you won’t drink it because it’s clear,” Kowalski added.

Image provided by CLAG Brewing Company

Also, the name and can packaging design are references to those ridiculous anti-piracy PSA ads that would play before you would watch a DVD.

“I always thought they were so over the top and hilarious, so I always wanted to use that in a reference like this,” Kowalski said with a laugh.

A Balanced Combination

As far as the flavor goes, You Wouldn’t Drink a Clear IPA hits the mark on every aspect of the beer. It’s big, bright, crisp and clear. It provides palate-pleasing lush tropical notes along with a citrus kick. The back end of the beer is where the hop bitterness comes into play, right off the finish of the citrus burst. However, the beer isn’t too bitter—it’s just enough to let you know you’re still drinking a quality IPA.

We can’t talk about this beer without mentioning the dankness though. It’s pleasant, very pleasant! Cracking open the can you get that whiff of dank cannabis that drives your West Coast IPA-loving senses crazy!

The smell, the taste and the clarity make this beer top-notch. This could be our dank horse for best West Coast IPA of the year so far—just saying. Remember, this beer comes from the Midwest city of Sandusky, Ohio, and not the West Coast, so CLAG Brewing Company is force to be reckoned with!

 

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