Our latest offering here at Travel Well boasts a label that reminds us all of the time we spent bingeing on Breaking Bad, finishing every season in a span of time we probably should have been ashamed of… but weren’t. Knee Deep Brewing Co. out of Auburn, California is one of the very first breweries I think of when recommending IPAs to fans of the hoppy elixers. My expectation of Breaking Bud (ALC 6.7% IBU 50) is, however, to see a less aggressive version of their Hop Deranged (if you’ve had it you know), and find an IPA that’s a little more sessionable–an IPA for the masses. Cheers!
Pours a pale hazy gold. Leaves a two-finger width soapy head. Head retention disappears within a couple minutes leaving a thin film. Moderate lacing on the inside of the pint glass. Appears to be fairly heavy on carbonation.
Upfront, the smell of grapefruit dominates. The scent of pine, fresh cut grass and a bite of lemon zest follow. Smells of both crisp tropical fruit and earthy greenness.
Light- to medium-bodied. Crisp, but leaves a resin-like coating at the back of the tongue. What appeared to be fairly heavy carbonation actually disappears shortly after pour.
Just as the citrus element was upfront in aroma, so too does it pave the way in flavor. Grapefruit, passion fruit, lemon zest and earthy pine meld together wonderfully. The malt bill is that of caramel malts and lends to a slight honey sweetness in the middle. Dank notes round out the beer nicely.
One thing I feel I must discuss about Knee Deep is the hop head character. It took me a while to actually give the Knee Deep beers a chance because I tend to shy away from the “cartoony” labels. Unfortunately, I was judging the book by it’s cover and would walk past their bottles simply because I couldn’t take the label seriously. Fast forward a couple years and I have become a big fan of Knee Deep, so don’t make the same mistake I did. This is seriously good beer that seems to have a little fun as well, and why shouldn’t they? Once again, Knee Deep does not disappoint. While Breaking Bud may not be as aggressive as many of their other IPAs, it’s extremely memorable in its restraint. Dare I say classy? If you are looking for a solid, easy-drinking IPA, this is a great one. Find the little green man and flip him on his head.