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Cold beer and sticky Sacramento heat go hand in hand, and Track 7 Brewing Co. will soon beckon beer aficionados and loyal fans of the newly-opened brewery to hop on board the train that is their West Coast IPA, set to be released Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.
According to co-owner Ryan Graham, IPAs in general have been in high demand, and the seasonal West Coast version will contain a mixture of Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe hops. All three varieties are very typical of a California style IPA, grown in the Northwest and often used in more bitter beers.
“The hops we use in this beer have both the classic citrus and grapefruit kind of flavor, but they’re also a little floral and have a bit of a resinous piney quality,” Graham said. “Right now we’re starting off with one full batch, which is seven barrels.”
This will not be the first IPA that the brewery has offered — Track 7, located at 3747 West Pacific Ave., featured a Belgian style IPA on two separate occasions earlier this year. It had a bit more of a tropical, passion fruit and melon quality to it and gained a lot of its flavor and aroma from the Belgian yeast strain used in the fermentation process, Graham said.
“I definitely appreciate a good IPA,” Sacramento resident Sonia Antilla said. “To me, the best kinds are full-flavored but not too sweet or syrupy.”
The ingredients for the upcoming West Coast IPA are based on a recipe that Graham has used for a while, and, considering the current hop shortage in the craft beer industry, are extremely hot commodities.
The recent hop shortage has been driven by the increase in the number of craft beer breweries and the popularity of IPAs, which are the fastest growing segment of the craft beer market and require more hops per batch than other brews. The agricultural side of the industry has struggled to keep up, and Graham said that the shortage made the ingredients for the upcoming West Coast IPA hard to come by.
“It really took a bit of effort to get the hops together for this beer,” Graham said. “Fortunately, Samuel Adams held a lottery where 30 breweries in the country were able to purchase hops from their contract, and we were one of those breweries.”
Graham hopes the new IPA will be around for awhile.
“If people respond positively and it does well, we’ll probably wind up adding it to our main beer list,” he said.
With the past support of the Belgian style IPA and the overwhelming amount of regulars that Graham said stop in nearly every day, the West Coast IPA will be a welcome addition to Track 7’s repertoire.
“I like how Track 7 has good, locally brewed beer and a vibe that is appealing to all kinds of folk,” Antilla said. “I hope they can eventually gain recognition for their beer and add to the growing movement of Sacramento beer craftsmanship.”