Sunday, February 14, 2010

One, two, three, four, I declare a Can War!

Since its debut in its signature green-and-white cans nearly a year ago, Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi India Pale Ale has been the flag-bearer for hoppiness in aluminum packaging.

Well, Oskar Blues Brewing has had enough of that, thank you very much. And this week they officially announced that they're throwing the competition into high gear.

GUBNA Imperial IPA, a 10% ABV imperial red that the Longmont brewery begins shipping on March 1, is a direct response to the tasty product from their Durango-based competitors, Oskar Blues head brewer Dave Chichura said. Selling for $14.49 a four-pack, it will also introduce a new taste to the world of canned beers, which, while rapidly improving, largely includes pleasant sippers like Oskar Blues' Mama's Little Yella Pils but still lacks the beat-your-taste-buds-silly-with-hops genre member.

"We've got a nice little lager that we do, and we like doing that," Chichura told me in an interview in December. "But I've been wanting to do a big, smelly, alcoholic, big-ass IPA."
Since OBB hasn't started shipping the Gubna yet, I can't say if it meets that definition. But if it does, it could be a distinctly different beer that Modus Hoperandi, which is a classically made, wonderfully tasty IPA that leaves a bitter hops flavor on the side of your tongue but doesn't overwhelm you with its flowery scent or feel.

One can only hope that the next stop in this can war is retaliation by Ska. Once you get two breweries competing, after all, we all come out winners.

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