CrossRoads Brewing, while not the most widely known brewery in British Columbia, is paving their own way in Prince George. One of the many beers they are fine-tuning is their Fast Lane IPA. This no-nonsense, clear and crisp American IPA is a more traditional take on the style and B.C. Beer Reviews is here to take a look.
B.C. Beer Reviews: CrossRoads Brewing – Fast Lane
This beer pours a brilliantly clear golden-copper colour from the can. This is well within the SRM that you would expect from the style. It retains the same colour and brilliant clarity in the glass with a thick, white head to the beer.
The most prominent note to this beer is most likely a hop-derived characteristic. You get sweet citrus fruit and a pithy biting aroma. To be more precise, there are very pleasant notes of tangerine and orange peel. The sweet citrus aroma helps to bring the pithy citrus peel aroma into balance.
There is a malty-sweet aroma that is similar to that of caramelized sugar. It has a very sweet aroma to balance the hops, even tending to lean in the direction of being more malt-forward.
This IPA takes a different turn in the taste than what you would expect from both the style and the aroma. You might expect a truly clean, bitter beer that reminds you of what IPAs used to be, but it is far more balanced than that.
From the hops, you get light touches of orange and lemon zest. These are very pleasant and work well in this beer. From the malt, you get a grainy sweetness, bread crust, and crackers. It is much less perceivably sweet in the taste than in the aroma, but it still tends to be slightly malt-forward. There are also no perceivable yeast characteristics here, leading me to believe that there was just a simple, clean American Ale yeast being used.
The can has a rather simple branding. A green and black colour palette has the picture of a race car on it, lending itself to the name it carries – Fast Lane. CrossRoads Brewing has their logo and name front and centre on the can.
This beer pours with a nice head of approximately 1.5-2 fingers worth with fairly solid retention, pointing to the fact that the carbonation level is on point and there is enough going on with the ingredients to lend themselves to that as well. There is some seriously fantastic lacing on the glass, which is certainly a note you would expect from this style.
If you are in need of a citrusy, balanced and clean IPA and find yourself in Prince George, or within range of distribution, then Fast Lane from CrossRoads Brewing is a safe bet for that. It will not give you the same full body and “juicy” characteristics of a lot of beers currently being produced in B.C., but it is certainly a lot more drinkable than many of those representations. Overall, a clean and balanced IPA well worth trying.
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