If I was to tell you that Commotion APA is from LA, you would have no trouble noticing the West Coast influence in this hop-forward beer. However, you might be taken aback when I clarify that LA is actually Louisiana, and Commotion is brewed by Great Raft Brewing in Shreveport.
Pouring the beer releases an opaque orange-yellow liquid with an aggressive head that lingers. The pour also releases big hop aroma with pine scents even from several inches away. A closer inspection reveals scents of fresh cut grass, honeydew melon, and tart apple.
The beer drinks deceptively big for 5.5%. The body is on the medium side of medium-light and the flavor is much bigger than the ABV suggests. In fact, had I sipped this beer without knowing the style or ABV, I would likely interpret it as a 6.5% plus IPA. The front of the tongue picks up on tart green apple and sweet pineapple flavors. In a strange twist, as the beer flows, there is a short interlude on the tongue that is almost flavorless but yet still refreshing. This acts to wash away the fruit and sweet flavors before the sides of the tongue pick up a building of grassy hop notes. The back of the tongue is awash with big pine and grass. The aftertaste is surprisingly long with dank pine flavors dominating. This beer leaves a liquid coating on the tongue, and as the pine slowly fades in the aftertaste, there is an underlying sweetness and flavor of a slightly unripe watermelon.
Coming in not only fairly low in ABV but also in 6 packs of cans, this is a perfect outdoor activity beer whether that is a music festival, paddling a river, or packing in a bike bag. Its refreshing flavor and easy-drinkability make it especially nice as the temperature increases.
Commotion is an APA with a flavor profile much more like an IPA. It may be a South Coast beer, but it has definite West Coast attitude.
Outdoor Friendliness (cans and refreshing on a warm day)…8/10
Aroma (pronounced and hop-centric)…8/10
Flavor (slightly sweet up front but all hop in the back)…8/10
Style-Appropriateness (my new APA standard)…9/10
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday, a few weeks ago he sipped on the Lazy Magnolia’s Big And Jucy IPA Variety Pack.