I’d Tap That: Freshly ground coffee, rich chocolate meet hops in Mocha IPA
Glassware: IPAs are always aroma-centric. The hops are the showcase for the style, but with Mocha IPA the uniqueness of the beer is first experienced in the aroma. Glassware that captures this intriguingly delicious aroma is a must. The Spiegelau IPA glass is the best choice, however, a snifter will also suffice. The aroma will bring forth notions of a stout, but remember this is an IPA and the crisp cool qualities are a must to fully enjoy this world-class beer.
Description: Mocha IPA pours a deep copper with a frothy tan head that doesn’t linger long but leaves a thick and sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is simply stunning. Notes of fresh coffee emanate from the glass with hints of semi-sweet chocolate, citrus hops and semi-sweet malts dancing in the background. The taste is dead-on to the aroma.
The freshly roasted coffee attacks the palate first and is matched perfectly with smooth chocolate cascading over the palate. The citrus hops bring with them notes of oranges, grapefruit, and a touch of lemon, which impart depth and balance to the beer. While the idea of these flavors may not sound like a match, they most definitely are the perfect accompaniment for one another. The full body and moderate carbonation impart a creamy quality to the beer that also leaves a long finish. Mocha IPA is quite an accomplishment for a brewery that has an uncountable amount of accomplishments. Simply said, try this beer now!
Food pairing: IPAs are typically thought of as great pairings with a variety of foods but go exceptionally well with standard American fare. Mocha IPA, though, is something unique and expands on the idea of what foods go well with an IPA. Summer is in full swing, and with it, meat consumption rises. While Mocha IPA is certainly great with a burger, it does exceptionally well with pork chops. The beer itself acts as a wonderful candy-like coating to the naturally sweet meat. Any caramelization from the cooking process melts into the sweet malts while the hops and coffee keep the sweetness in balance.
For a dinner pairing that acts as a counterpoint, think spicy. Try pairing with Jamaican jerk chicken for an extraordinary balance between sweet and spicy. The other territory that Mocha IPA treads into easily is dessert. This is an area that is not too often thought of when putting together food pairings for IPAs. However, the sweetness of the beer along with the notes of coffee and chocolate make it a phenomenal dessert beer. Try pairing with rich carrot cake, chocolate mole, peach cobbler or rice pudding. All of these dessert pairings create a decadent experience that is an excellent way to end any meal.
The Final Word: The idea of an aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA with notes of coffee and chocolate may sound strange and off-putting to some. However, look past this strange thought and try this beer! You will be rewarded with hits to every pleasure center throughout your senses. The coffee and chocolate notes find perfect balance within the sweet malts and aggressive hop bitterness.
The 9 percent ABV is extremely well hidden so this is something that should be remembered throughout the drinking experience. Stone Brewing Co. is a brewery that loves to push the boundaries and is not afraid of trying something different. They have become a true beacon within the craft beer world and they hold this title proud. The brewery continues to grow and will never rest upon any craft beer laurels. If you are a fan of IPAs and feel like you have tried everything, or, if you are a coffee lover, get this beer now!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Stone Brewing Co.
Beer: Mocha IPA
Style: American Double/ Imperial IPA
ABV: 9 percent