I have no problems with the recent increase in Session IPAs. In fact, I dig it. Big hoppiness, low ABV, and outdoor friendly packaging mean they are beers that hopheads can drink all day (yup, Founders reference). New Belgium has recently given us their take on the style with the Slow Ride Session IPA.
New Belgium is perhaps the quintessential bike-centric brewery, and the story of the brewery’s founding being inspired by a bike ride through Europe is well-known. The homage to the bike continues in their beer and culture, and Slow Ride joins the list of cycling-themed beers.
Pouring Slow Ride into a glass rewards you with a beer of amazing clarity and a strong head constantly reinforced by rising bubbles. The nose is treated to a wonderful piney aroma with a hint of tropical fruit sweetness.
The beer does have a light body, but the perfect carbonation level and hoppiness trick the mouth into overlooking this. The beer is fresh and lively with initial impressions of citrusy and fruity hops. These flavors morph into a pine bitterness as the beer passes to the back of the tongue with a slight saltiness detected. The pine flavors linger long in the aftertaste as the bitterness slowly fades. The low ABV rightly predicts a general lack of malt sweetness, but this helps define the Session IPA as a clean, hop-forward beer. This 4.5% beer shows the big boys that low ABV doesn’t mean low flavor.
Slow Ride is available in bottles and cans. A 12 pack of cans will run around 15 bucks. The cans are perfect for packing for outdoor adventures. The beer is clean, crisp, hoppy, and delicious. This easy drinking and refreshing beer is great anytime. Slow down, relax, and enjoy the Ride.
Bikepacker Friendliness 9/10
Style Appropriateness 10/10