1325 Grand Avenue #100, San Marcos
Every time I go to Rip Current Brewing Company, I’m amazed at the large number of stylistically diverse beers they have available. Homebrewers at heart, brewers Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe do an impressive job of respectfully exploring obscure ales and lager styles with producing a sufficient stock of more popular IPAs, hefeweizens, brown ales, stouts and the like. This article is about a beer offering that falls in between the ubiquitous and the rare: Rip Current Caught In A Rip IIIPA.
The beer’s acronym is actually only half an acronym. IIIPA stands for triple IPA, the highest alcohol version of the hoppy India pale ale variety. Up until a few years ago, there were only a handful of triple IPAs being produced worldwide, but just as double IPA fever caught like wildfire roughly a decade ago, so too has this newer, harder-to-produce style. More and more brewing companies are crafting IIIPAs, but few do such a good job of balancing a malt bill substantial enough to boost ABV into the double digits while keeping the beer vibrantly hoppy and drinkable as Rip Current’s brewing duo.
A myriad of tropical fruit and evergreen flavors flood one’s taste buds, giving way to a final wave of grapefruit pith bitterness that makes for a nice between-sips segue. It’s impressive and it’s no wonder the beer is so good. Thanks to hard work and foresight on Sangster and Shobe’s part, they were able to secure multiyear contracts for the highly coveted hops in this beer — Centennial, Chinook, Citra, Columbus, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, and Simcoe. It’s likely that rundown induced drooling among the hophead sect. If you’re wiping your chin as you read this, Caught In A Rip is for you.
But if hops aren’t your thing — or you’re simply in the mood for something different — there are still plenty of good options at Rip Current’s tasting room. On a recent visit, there was an old ale, Scottish strong ale, Kölsch, red rye session IPA (which was absolutely delicious), several lagers, and a Stiche altbier. Of the nearly 90 operating brewhouses in San Diego, Rip Current is the only one making that last imperialized brew.