When people tell me I’m too negative, I reply: “You gotta stick with what you’re good at.” Apparently, Green Flash Brewing Company feels the same way. For some time, they have excelled at producing hoppy India pale ales in the West Coast style. That is to say, versions of this classically British beer style that dial back the malt bill as much as possible to allow the hops in the beer to take the lead and impart as much of their flavors and bitterness as possible. It’s part of this company’s heart and soul. Perhaps that’s why they decided to name one of their newest hoppy offerings Green Flash Soul Style IPA.
6550 Mira Mesa Boulevard, San Diego
Designed as an example of all a single IPA (as opposed to double or triple versus single-hop) can be, the beer is tight, bringing on a bit of malt and caramelized tropical fruit notes (mango, pineapple) that is almost instantantly wiped away by a darting spike of grassy bitterness. It makes for a taste experience one wants to keep going back in for, and a great IPA to enjoy as spring and summer approach.
Soul Style is one of five new IPAs to be introduced by Green Flash over the past three months. The rest of the rookie class includes Jibe Session IPA, Citra Session IPA, Mosaic Session IPA, and Segal Ranch Session IPA. At 6.5% alcohol-by-volume, Soul Style is the only beer in the quintet that isn’t a “session” IPA (beers coming in at lower ABV, generally below 5%).
Many wonder how so many takes on this style can exist throughout San Diego. Somewhere around 100 different locally produced IPAs are on tap in the county at any given time, thanks to Green Flash, Alpine Beer Co., Port Brewing Co., Societe Brewing Co., and Stone Brewing Co., which all make numerous iterations. The fact is, no two are exactly alike and, the more IPAs a person drinks, the more attuned their palates become to detecting the nuances of each and identifying their individual assets. In Soul Style's case, those assets include brightness, compactness, and drinkability.