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On May 1st, Green Flash Brewery and Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders Brewing Company released their collaboration beer, Linchpin White India Pale Ale.

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India Pale Ale was developed by George Hodgson of the Bow Brewery in East London in the early 1700’s. At that time, brewers were trying to transport beer from Great Britain to soldiers and civilians in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, but storage conditions and temperature changes caused spoilage of the product. By increasing the alcohol and hop content, Hodgson created a bitter, highly alcoholic ale that was able to withstand the trip intact. The new pale ale developed a following that still stands today.

I was able to attend the release party at Green Flash on Tuesday, along with about a thousand other beer lovers. Now, I’ll confess up front that IPA isn’t my favorite style, but I really enjoyed the Linchpin White IPA.

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Using wheat malt and two yeast strains (American and Belgian), Linchpin gets its aroma and bite from a liberal dose of C hops, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. Golden in color and having just a hint of yeasty cloudiness, there is a distinct citrus/mandarin bouquet that filled my mouth and then, poof, was gone until the next sip. The wheat malt delivers sweetness; I found the hit of hops slightly less bitter than a typical IPA. Refreshing and perfect for summer.

Linchpin White India Pale Ale is available at Regal Beagle and Hamilton’s beginning on Friday, 22 oz. bottles will be released at a later date.

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