Scrolling Headlines:

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Radiohead returns to the top with gorgeous, illuminating ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ -

May 16, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse advances to quarterfinal of NCAA tournament -

May 16, 2016

UMass baseball outlasts Rhode Island in series finale behind strong pitching of Brandon Walsh -

May 15, 2016

Eileen McDonald’s overtime goal advances UMass women’s lacrosse in NCAA tournament -

May 14, 2016

12 UMass students face possible arrests in connection to an alleged bad LSD trip -

May 14, 2016

UMass baseball falls in first-ever Division I matchup with UMass Lowell 7-3 -

May 11, 2016

UMass baseball gets shut out in nonconference matchup with UConn -

May 10, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Richmond, wins eighth straight Atlantic 10 championship -

May 9, 2016

UMass baseball salvages last game of weekend series with Richmond behind strong eighth inning -

May 9, 2016

The power of the flower

Flickr/HorsePunchKid

Flowers are always a pretty sight, but typically aren’t the kind of thing that gets eaten regularly – except perhaps by rogue naturalists and deranged old hippies. The nutritional value of a tulip or a daisy is debatable, but the Ithaca Beer Company has gone a step further than just chewing on petals by creating an IPA infused with flower essences.

That’s right, a beer brewed with flowers.

Ithaca Beer Company’s Flower Power IPA sounds like a nostalgic stumble down some LSD-induced memory lane, but this is a surprisingly strong and hoppy beer that is betrayed by its hippie-dippy name.

Truth be told, the initial reason I bought this beer was due to the swirling psychedelic label, an indulgence to my weakness for 1960s counterculture. Having been raised by wild hippies, I grew up with an appreciation – if not a little bit of befuddled curiosity – for the whole “flower power” movement, so when I saw this beer sitting innocently on the liquor store shelf I figured this would be the closest I’d ever get to Woodstock, so I gave it a shot.

Imagine my surprise when I tasted the serious kick in the pants this beer affords. I guess those old flower children really know what they’re doing when it comes to IPAs.

Based in Ithaca, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes region, the Ithaca Beer Company specializes in ales. While they have gained notoriety for their daring Cascazilla Red IPA, the prowess of Flower Power is what has truly put this brewing company on the craft brew map – they were one of the final four in the National IPA Championship in 2008, 2010 and 2011. So in this case, the Flower definitely has the power.

The aroma of Flower Power is exactly what the name suggests: the equivalent of a floral topiary garden in the height of spring. Underneath that first flowery whiff, however, are definite notes of tropical fruit like pineapple and mango with a deeper layer of lemon throughout. Taste-wise, this is a surprisingly powerful brew: the presence of grassy and herbal undertones melds well with the dryness of the hops and the bitterness in the finish is complimented well by the aftertaste of citrus. Like sticking a straw into an alcohol-soaked tangerine, Flower Power is a subtly fruity beer that is anything but, well, “fruity.”

This cloudy yellow nectar pours into a pint glass like liquid gold with an inch-thick off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing once it settles. Mild carbonation accentuates the citrusy body and hits the tongue with a refreshingly distinct taste, giving the overall impression of a well-crafted IPA. With traces of grapefruit and butter cleverly hidden in the mix, Flower Power IPA is certainly at no shortage for uniqueness and variety in taste.

If you’re a fan of Thai food, Flower Power is an exceptional compliment to the hearty spices in many Thai dishes, accentuating the flavors of the food with the crisp taste of hops and honey malt. This beer also pairs well with many Mexican or Indian dishes. Pretty much any meal that is heavy on spices and big on flavor will be a good pairing with this flowery treat.

But I warn you, fellow beer drinkers, to use caution – that first Flower Power is so tasty that you may very well be craving another as soon as you polish off that first one, and then before you know it, you’ve downed the whole six pack and suddenly find yourself wondering who the hell drank all your delicious beer.

Alas, this is a curse we beer geeks must bare; sometimes one delicious beer is just not enough to satisfy our cravings. Here’s to all my fellow IPA drinkers – find your inner flower child and tip back a nice bottle of Flower Power. You certainly won’t regret it.

Emily Brightman can be reached at ebrightman@student.umass.edu.

 

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