Brew Review: Northwest Passage IPA

27 Apr

Brew: Northwest Passage

Brewed By: Flat Earth Brewing Co. (St. Paul, MN)

Style: American IPA (6.5% ABV)

When I first picked Northwest Passage off the shelf I thought I was getting myself into another glorious hoppy brew that would fire up my taste buds with hoppy oils and IBU’s pushing the limits.  I was also hoping that my beloved hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota would produce a beer that would put itself on the map of craft brewing (other than Summit of course) and become a staple of many a beer lover’s regular brew routines.  Well, my friends, I didn’t find either.

I have had a couple Flat Earth brews and almost all have fallen short of something great, with the exception of Angry Planet which was decent.  Northwest Passage pours out a very light, transparent amber, something that you would expect from a pilsner or maybe a lighter lager.  Kimbo Slice would not be afraid of this feeble hop punch.

The aroma is equally as bland as the taste with grassy hop smells, but not a whole ‘knock-you-off-your seat’ aroma that would be expected from “the Midwest’s hoppiest beer.”

The flavor was a little better than the aroma, it was definitely more bitter, but there was no blending of malts to go with or back up the hops.  At a supposed 115 IBU’s, this brew is certainly not the “hoppiest beer” from our great state, or any other nearby.  The bitterness of the hops lasts the whole trip, yet it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.  I was waiting the whole time for the hops to come and show up for their main stage performance, but they must have gotten a little drunk and never made it.

Being that it’s pretty cheap for a bomber I would say give it a go – why not – but don’t expect greatness or even a good beer.  Northwest Passage falls between mediocre and fairly disappointing.

Final Grade:  C

2 Responses to “Brew Review: Northwest Passage IPA”


  1. Brew Review: Mongo IPA « Average Bro's Brew Review - October 1, 2012

    […] going to be heavy on the hops and really sort of out of touch with whole balanced IPA approach (see Northwest Passage from Flat Earth).  Being pleasantly surprised like this is never a bad […]

  2. Brew Review: Black Helicopter Stout « Average Bro's Brew Review - November 12, 2012

    […] dates on their single bottles but I have a pretty good idea.  Haven’t had much luck with any Flat Earth brews but here […]

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