Beer Tastings: Random Double IPA — 2 Row Brewing

Beer Tastings - Utah Beer News

Welcome to Beer Tastings, a weekly series in which Utah Beer News highlights a particularly tasty local brew. What are you drinking? Let us know!

Beer Tastings: Random Double IPA

While at Homebrew Con 2018 in Portland last weekend, I sampled my share of incredible craft beers (article upcoming). But I’m not sure I tasted a double IPA to rival that of Random, brewed by 2 Row Brewing out of Midvale, Utah.

Tastings - Random Double IPA - 2 Row BrewingA burst of fruit comes at you in the aroma (citrus and tropical). And it doesn’t stop with a sniff. The flavor is outstanding. It’s a creamy/chewy blend of malt and hops that coats your tongue. I get some toffee flavors, as well as some caramel.

But the hops — seven kinds, according to 2 Row Brewing on its website — shine to make this double IPA (83 IBUs) a true delight to drink. I personally appreciate an 8.5% ABV beer that drinks much lower than that. That is to say, be careful with this one.

2 Row Brewing: Homebrewer Turned Pro

Brian Coleman, an avid homebrewer, found a deal he couldn’t pass up.

While surfing the internet, he came across an ad for equipment perfect for starting a brewery. Instead of labeling it a dream out of reach and clicking elsewhere, he turned his dream into reality. He flew to Georgia to pick up the equipment and returned to set up shop in Midvale, Utah, a few miles south of Salt Lake City.

In 2014 he loaded “the five tons of stainless steel into a rented box van.” And in 2015, he and his wife, DeDe, turned 2 Row Brewing — named after a premiere barley — from dream to reality.

2 Row Brewing was among the first in the new wave of craft breweries to hit the state. Instantly, the brewery redefined Utah IPAs (at least in my mind). You can find its beers in finer beer bars in Salt Lake, state liquor stores, and at their cold-beer fridge in Midvale, among other places.

Random Double IPA — 2 Row Brewing
Tastings - Random Double IPA - 2 Row Brewing

Product Name: Random Double IPA

Product Description: When 2 Row Brewing burst onto the Utah scene in 2015, it instantly made a name for itself in the IPA space. Random, 2 Row's flagship double IPA, utilizes seven different hops to generate a complex and fruity aroma/flavor. Its balance is where it shines in my mind. Hop characteristics are present throughout but there's also a delicious creaminess and toffee-ness from the malt.

  • Aroma
  • Appearance
  • Flavor
  • Mouthfeel

Overall Impression

A big burst of citrus and tropical aromas are followed by a somewhat creamy and toffee-like flavor. But the hops come through in the flavor as well — citrus and tropical fruit notes blend to make this an incredibly enjoyable beer. I thought 2 Row Brewing subbed hops in Random depending on the batch but I couldn’t get confirmation on that. It appears seven hops are used in the brew, though I’m not sure which ones.

  • Aroma: Lovely blend of citrus and tropical fruits
  • Appearance: Medium-bodied, off-white head dissipates, nice lacing on the glass
  • Flavor: A little nutty, some toffee; citrus/tropical fruit comes through
  • Mouthfeel: Creamy and mouth-coating

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Note: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017.