I’d Tap That: Loose Cannon IPA is aggressive but well-balanced and drinkable
Glassware: A great IPA features bright and refreshing aromatics that make any drinking experience even better. Glassware that captures these aromatics is a must for any variation of IPA and IPA lovers will tell you it makes all the difference in beers of this style. IPAs are also best enjoyed on the colder side of the temperature range so glassware that allows the beer to remain colder longer is a must. The Spiegelau IPA glass is always a top choice for an IPA, but a snifter, nonic pint, or willi becher glass will also work wonders for the beer.
Description: Loose Cannon pours a golden hue with copper highlights and features a slightly off-white head that leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is hop forward with strong notes of grapefruit, pine, herbs, flowers, lemon, and passion fruit and a backing aroma of sweet, light caramel malts. The taste follows the nose with an aggressive hit of citrus hop notes up front followed by waves of pine and floral hops before the soothing sweet malts wash over and provide the perfect counterpoint to the bitter hops. The balance of malt and hops within the beer is ideal for the style and makes the beer extremely drinkable despite its aggressive nature. The medium body and moderate carbonation are spot-on. The highlight of Loose Cannon is the varied hop flavors and aromas packed within a moderate ABV beer with textbook balance. This is an IPA that must be tried by all who love the taste of hops.
Food pairing: Loose Cannon pairs well with many spicy Mexican dishes. The citrus fruit profile with touches of floral notes lighten and at the same time deepen the flavor profile of even the spiciest of dishes, while the semi-sweet malt backbone keeps any spices in check and cleanses the palate perfectly. Any approaching backyard barbecues are made better with this well-balanced IPA. Sweet BBQ sauce and natural caramelization from the grill will be enhanced by the sweet malt profile and delicate hops. And don’t not worry about overwhelming this beer. This is a phenomenal beer for Friday night get togethers with friends, a movie, and pizza covered with any topping and a side of buffalo wings. One interesting aspect of Loose Cannon lies in its subtle sweetness. This sweet malt profile allows the beer to go well with desserts too, a feat not accomplished by many IPAs. Try with spiced cake, carrot cake and strawberry-rhubarb pie for a truly enjoyable end to any meal.
The Final Word: Heavy Seas Beer is a relative newcomer to the NEPA craft beer market, but its products are long established in many other beer markets. The Maryland-based brewery has been brewing sought-after beers since opening its doors in the ’90s. Loose Cannon quickly became a favorite of consumers due to the heavy-handed hop approach that still maintained great balance within the beer. The fact that it is still a favorite among IPA drinkers is a true statement to just how great this beer tastes. While there is no shortage of IPAs in the market, Loose Cannon holds an enduring respect and drinkability factor that makes it second to none. If you are an IPA lover, this a must try beer and will quickly become a go-to beer for the approaching summer season.
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: Heavy Seas Beer
Beer: Loose Cannon
Style: American IPA