Moylan’s Brewery IPA

moylan-ipa-india pale ale-beer-moylan beer

On the side of this bottle, Moylan’s Brewery states something to the effect of “LIVE ALE.” That is, like my homebrews, it was bottle conditioned.

I have no idea why they went this route instead of filtering the yeast out, nor does it do this beer any favors. For what it’s worth, this brew has an 86 on Beer Advocate.

From a drinking profile standpoint, this IPA is kind of bland, especially for a West Coast offering. There are four different kinds of hops included in this beer, but they all seem muddled together and I wasn’t able to distinguish the piney Chinook from the dirty earth Columbus from the citrusy Simcoe from the citrus/floral Ahtanum. All I can say is it was all very resinous with specific hints of “wilderness.” Think pine needles or rosemary.

The flavor was super bitter. At 70 IBUs that might be expected, but Moylan’s did use some Crystal and Munich malt in an attempt to balance things out. In theory, that should’ve given the beer a backbone along the lines of bread, caramel, toffee and the like, but none of that really showed.

When I wasn’t working hard to overcome the dry bitterness left on my tongue, I was certain this IPA tasted like honest-to-goodness grapefruit. But in a way that reminded me of when I was a little kid watching my grandparents eat grapefruit, trying it for the first time and being completely thrown off by how awful it tasted. The grapefruit flavor of this beer was unpleasant, bitter and was almost like an not-yet-ripe fruit.

So there you go.

Putting all that out there, here is what I’m most curious about… on their website, Moylan’s has spec sheets for all their beers (which is awesome) and this IPA is listed to have an original gravity of 1.094. Maybe they used a lot of 2-Row base malt for fermentable sugars?

What that means is before yeast were added to turn this IPA into beer, it had a TON of sugars for those yeast to eat and then poop out CO2, alcohol, etc. Typically, you’d only see that high of a gravity figure with big beers like barleywines, imperials or a double IPA.

Knowing the ABV of this beer is 6.5, that means that the final gravity was roughly 1.044ish. The yeast attenuation of this beer is terrible. I have no idea why Moylan’s would load up the sugars in the brewing process unless there was a specific end game in mind. I don’t doubt there are others who may be more adept at deciphering this than I, so I welcome insight.

IPA stats:

  • Malt: 2-Row, Crystal, Munich and acidulated
  • Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Columbus and Ahtanum
  • Adjunct/additives: N/A
  • ABV: 6.5 percent
  • Brewery: Moylan’s Brewery of Novato, California
  • Beer Portfolio: Moylan’s IPA of Moylan’s Brewery

5 thoughts on “Moylan’s Brewery IPA

  1. What’s strange about Moylans’ “normal” IPA is how, as you say, pedestrian and unimpressive it is. These are the folks that make Hopsickle, which I personally believe to be the greatest IPA of all time (it’s an imperial – that call it a triple IPA).

    1. Well now I’m intrigued. I’m heading out West this summer and will try to find their other brews.

      I will admit that there’s a chance I received a bad bottle, which was sold here in NC. I assume distributors do their best, but bad things happen sometimes.


  2. You didn’t bite into that grapefruit rind did you? It would certainly taste terrible that way. That’s why it took me a while to like mangos but that’s another story.

    I haven’t had a Moylan’s Nor*Cal in a while but I enjoyed it. It wasn’t a huge, citrusy West Coast IPA but I found it far more balanced than you did. Perhaps you got a bad bottle (or I got a very good one). The beer geek observations are interesting. I thought that OG was a typo – couldn’t be that high for an IPA (as you suggest). Now I have to go back and reevaluate this one with a far more scientific slant.

    Anyway, nice write-up. Now go out and learn how to eat a grapefruit correctly.


    1. Ah, I get it. You’re supposed to eat grapefruit with a funny looking spoon. And regret.

      That’s probably just me.

      I kid.

      The brewing aspects were very interesting to me. I tired emailing the brewer but didn’t hear back.

  3. Marvelous, what a blog it is! This web site provides
    useful facts to us, keep it up.

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