Heretic Mandarin IPA (India Pale Ale) is a refreshing seasonal summer beer with a hint of orange tang and sweetness. The orange doesn’t overpower the quality of the beer, which shines through as crisp and hoppy. Heretic Brewing Company is located in Fairfield, which borders the City of Napa on the east (see map below).

There are several styles of IPA produced around the world in general and in the United States specifically. These include British (hop-heavy), West Coast (often fruity), New England (unfiltered, less bitterness, lower carbonation), East Coast (hop and malt-forward), Oat (soft), Lactose (aka Milkshake, often sweet with fruit or vanilla), Belgian (yeasty), Fruited (puréed fruit or juice added), Sour (dry hopped), and Brett (yeasty). The specifics of each style are not chiseled in granite, breweries typically fine-tune their ingredients and processes based on their own interpretation.

How did India Pale Ale get its name? In the early 1800’s, British brewers began exporting ale to India and created a special formula to preserve quality over long voyages. Formulas and styles have changed over time, but the name remains the same.

Producer: Heretic Brewing Company, Fairfield, California. Heretic produces beer and small-batch vodka. Its Taproom serves great high-end bar food, their latest brews (e.g. Evil Cousin, Evil Twin, Goo, and Juicier Than Thou), and imaginative cocktails. Taproom is open 11:30am – 10pm daily, closes at 9pm on Sunday and Monday.

Description: Mandarin orange New England-style IPA with tangerine. ABV 6.6%. Typically packaged in a set of 4 cans, each can holds 1 pint.

Price: Retails around $10 per set of 4.

Tasting Notes

Style: New England-style IPA (see description)

Aroma: Hops more than fruit.

Appearance: Light with smaller-than-usual bubbles and a shallow head.

Taste: Balanced hops with sliver of orange and tangerine notes.

Finish: Gentle hops and hint of sweetness.

Other Comments: Sip on warm afternoons on the patio, pair with fish (salmon) and fruit salsa.

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