56 Brewing California Street (6.8% alcohol by volume, 65 International Bitering Units) is an American IPA brewed with El Dorado Hops. The beer smells like a tropical fruit cocktail. Not the canned Del Monte kind, a fresh tropical fruit cocktail without the heavy syrup with an assortment of tropical fruits augmented with pear, something close to peaches and orange. It pours gold with a slight haze filled with streams of rapidly rising bubbles joining a 2.5" off-white to cream foam cap with good retention. As you drink the foam creates a lattice-work of lace on the glass. As the bubbles settle down and the beer warms it turns brilliant. It is also a tropical fruit cocktail on the palate with a little more pomme and stone fruit flavors. With each sip I savor different nuances of fruit. The fruit flavors are medium high and I am impressed that owner and master brewer Kale Johnson and head brewer Nick Chute have managed to squeeze that much fruit out of a hop. There is a trace of biscuit, a light sweetness, and medium to medium high hop bitterness that pulls everything together. California Street dries on the finish and there is a slight astringency from the hops. The body is medium with creamy soft carbonation. The balance of this beer is exquisite. I rate California Street 95.
Go to American IPA Page 1 for a brief discussion of the style, links to book reviews, links to reviews of similar beers, food pairings and glassware recommendations.