Karl Strauss Aurora Hoppyalis

Karl Strauss Brewing Company Aurora Hoppyalis

Brewed by: Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: IPA
  • Variation: San Diego Style
  • Limited: Yes (Until May)
  • ABV: 7%
  • IBU: 60

Notes: Won Bronze Medal at 2015 Great American Beer Festival for International-Style Pale Ale

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Okay fine, we admit it, you can’t see the Northern Lights this far south. But San Diego has its own version of Aurora Borealis, and ours has cast a hoppy spell over this city. What the rest of the world calls an IPA, San Diego locals consider pale in comparison. Aurora Hoppyalis is our San Diego-style IPA brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Citra hops. Robust flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, pine, and tangerine linger through a dry, crisp finish. Tonight’s forecast: clear hoppy skies.

Hops: Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, Citra

Malts: Pale Malt, White Wheat

More Aurora Hoppyalis Images

First Impressions

Artwork: You can get a preview of this beer’s branding from the poster in the gallery above.

Color: Vivid, almost crystal clear gold.

Aroma: Bright citrus with peach and melon undertones.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 32oz. Growler

Served in: Specialty IPA Glass

Back in early January we were craving some Karl Strauss Big Barrel IPA, and went to get the growler filled. Unfortunately they were out, but “San Diego Style Experimental IPA” caught our eye. After a taste it immediately turned our frowns upside down, and we hoped the “experimental” tag would be lifted making it a permanent release.

Soon it was gone off the menu, never to return. But last week our sadness was erased for good when Karl Strauss revealed their newest release, Aurora Hoppyalis on Instagram. We asked them if “San Diego Style Experimental IPA” was its previous working name, which they confirmed. We immediately grabbed a growler fill to celebrate!

We cannot recall ever seeing such a beautiful looking India Pale Ale as this one, with its vibrant gold, almost crystal clear and shimmery body. Aurora Hoppyalis resembled a lager in clarity, and it was so easy to sit back and admire the mesmerizing streams of effervescence racing upwards into its ivory white topper.

Some photos were taken in the ever-so-important “proper glassware”, but with the huge aroma to this IPA, Aurora Hoppyalis was best served in our Spiegelau glasses. Just to point out how important glassware can be, the pint offered mild citrus notes. But in the specialty glass undercurrents of ripe peach and melon emerged, along with more intense citrus.

As referenced above, Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Citra hops were used to brew this tasty beer, but in our opinion Mosaic stole the entire show. The Mosaic hop offers a unique, often pungent citrus bomb-like flavor, which this IPA most certainly showcased. It was like Karl Strauss took their Mosaic Session Ale, and put it on steroids.

Aurora Hoppyalis featured a light body and punching citrus throughout, with a juiciness that evolved as we sipped it. Its initial wave of citrus began with orange, then built to bitter grapefruit. With a quick 1-2 punch, hints of peach and the tropical goodness of mango emerged. A clean drying finish left a lasting citrus tanginess on our palates.

Yes, we loved this beer to say the least! Aurora Hoppyalis packed the levels of fruity hoppyness you’d expect to find in a Double IPA, and we still don’t understand how this beer only clocked in at 60 IBUs. It was not overly bitter, but definitely seemed more intense than that mid-range number.

Look for this crisp and delicious IPA on draft throughout San Diego right now, until it locally debuts in bombers and 6 pack bottles in the coming weeks. Distribution throughout California should happen in May.

Final Score: 4/5

4 Stars

Karl Strauss has brewed yet another Mosaic-based masterpiece with Aurora Hoppyalis. This San Diego Style IPA was an absolute trip to hop heaven we plan on taking many more times.

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