Steam Pumper IPA

Steam Pumper IPAFirestation 5 is the beer brand set up by Portland Brewing which produces beers exclusively for Fred Meyer (according to RateBeer) SB Northwest (updated: see below). Kind of like the Trader Joe’s deal on beers, I guess. At any rate, I had their Steam Pumper IPA recently and it wasn’t too bad.

Appearance: Clear, light orange in color, leaning toward gold with yellow tinges.

Smell: Relatively mild—though it’s the hops in the nose (not the malt). It’s a northwest hop, I think, but more resiny/spicy than citrus scented.

Taste: The hops are more prevalent in the taste than the aroma would indicate; they’re nice and bitter, but not overly so. Spicy, a tad woody, nice flavor to them; otherwise, malt and beer is rather nondescript—clean, but nothing stands out.

Mouthfeel: Light, a bit thin, has a carbonation "bite" to it. Easy drinking.

Overall: I don’t know the alcohol content, but I don’t think this qualifies as a true IPA. It’s safe, not too strong or wild in flavor—neutral.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 82 out of 100, with 81% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.08 out of 5 and is in their 50th percentile.

Update: I received an email this morning from Kim Terrell, who writes:

I am the marketing manager for SB Northwest. We produce the FireStation 5 Beer. You have it listed as a Portland Brewing Beer, this is incorrect. SB Northwest does a variety of beers available at specific grocery store chains. I suggest trying our Metolius and Elk Rock brands as well.

I found SB Northwest online; they distribute five domestic craft brews and two Belgian imports. The FireStation 5 page is here.

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