Marble Brewery’s India Pale Ale is a hop-forward beer that has taken a place on my list of favorites. With a malt-be-damned aroma and flavor, this beer is a wonderful salute to my favorite beer ingredient. The beer pours a somewhat hazy dirty blonde color similar to still-damp hay straw. It is crowned by a creamy head that starts quite thick but quickly falls to a ¼” layer of foam dancing atop the liquid. This layer replenished after each sip and allowed the aroma to be detected throughout drinking. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The aroma is one of both pine and pineapple. There is a slight underlying passion fruit sweetness detected by the nose, but the aroma does not belie the fact that this is a hop-centered beer. As predicted by the color and the lack of sweetness in the aroma, this beer uses light malts whose job it is to provide some balance but to stay well in the background as a supporting cast. The flavor affirms this as well. There is a slight tropical fruit sweetness on the front of the tongue, but this quickly gives way to a symphony of hops. From a citrusy bitterness on the sides of the tongue to a grassy dankness on the middle to an extremely long, piney finish; this beer is unfettered from concerns of malt-sweetness. Marble uses some of the classic West Coast hops in both the kettle and for dry hopping such as Cascade, Centennial, and Citra. They also use 5 different hops both in the boil and for dry hopping.
That being said, it’s not an overpoweringly bitter beer even at a claimed 95 IBUs. It’s clean, crisp, and refreshing. Its 6.8% ABV makes it just right to be satisfying without being too heavy. This is a very drinkable IPA, especially great for sipping in warm weather. Being the beer it is, it pairs well with spicy foods so throw a little extra cayenne in your BBQ dry rub and pair a smoked pork shoulder with this beer. It would also go well with spicy Asian dishes. Marble also says it pairs well with sunshine (just don’t let the sun skunk the hops) and birdies. I assume they mean the winged kind, though the cans would make this beer golf course friendly. This is a solid beer that can be a mid-ride refresher or a post-ride celebration. What it is not is a beer that should be drank hurriedly. Be sure to take time to enjoy it and appreciate the interplay of the hop varieties. As with life, so much can be missed if you rush it. Cheers, Alex  
Style Appropriateness: 9/10
Aroma: 10/10
Taste: 10/10
Bikepacker Friendly: 9/10

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