Red Racer IPA from the Central City Brewing Company in Surrey, British Columbia pours a clear, golden tinged copper-amber colour with a moderate, tan-coloured head that sticks around as a thin collar while leaving a light amount of fine lacing. This hop-laden American IPA has a very rich and bright aroma. It has lots of tropical fruit smells, like mango and pineapple, as well as grapefruit, pine and even a hint of cherry. Fresh grains, creamed honey and a nice lightly toasted wheat smell make up the backing.
The taste of Red Racer IPA has a bread-like malt tone to start before a crisp grapefruit citrus taste punches the palate. A buttery caramel comes through on the tongue and the finish has an assertive, but under control bitterness. The beer has a fairly thin mouthfeel and a mild prickly sensation from the long lasting collar. It gets quite oily on the back of the tongue and a fruity tartness lingers in the aftertaste just enough to make you want another sip.
The Red Racer IPA can features a buxom, red-haired pinup girl in stockings riding a cruising bicycle and fonts inspired by products of the 1940s and 50s in front of a pattern of hop imagery. The can also has a vague description of the beer, relevant contact information and a freshness date stamped on the bottom.
Red Racer IPA is probably the best Canadian brewed example of the style I have had the pleasure of reviewing to date. It has a rich aroma and well-balanced taste that are irresistible, along with a solid bitterness in the finish. It pairs well with just about anything you would want to eat while drinking beer, particularly salty, spicy and fried foods.
Red Racer IPA is available sporadically in select LCBO stores. Central City Brewing Company beers are also distributed throughout western Canada, to parts of Quebec and to craft beer-friendly states like Oregon, Illinois, Michigan and New York.
Type: American IPA
Region: British Columbia, Surrey
Brewery: Central City Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.5%