ORIGINAL DRAFTS: RACER 5 IPA Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It’s very unlikely that the long-held belief that British traders from the East India Company hopped their pale ales in order to better preserve their precious cargo of drinkable beer during long trips abroad is true. In fact, before those traders took to the high seas, the Brits were already enjoying heavily hopped ales at home. These ales would later become known as India Pale Ales, or IPAs, because the East India Company delivered countless barrels of this home brew to the subcontinent, largely in part because both the Indians and their colonists loved the stuff.

Is should come as no surprise then that almost two centuries later, the colonial arm of the British Empire still extends all the way to the western coast of the United States. It may be true that we Pacific Northwesterners love our hoppy beers, but so do Californians and, it’s argued, they may be the true pioneers of the west coast IPA.

Made with pale and crystal malts and heavily seasoned with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial hops, the golden, burnished Racer 5 IPA is the flagship beer of the family-owned Bear Republic Brewing Co., which has been, since 1996, crafting first-rate beers in heart of Somoma County‘s wine country.

Coppery, citrusy and tangy, this rather potent IPA (it’s ABV is at an even 7 percent) is best paired with rich, dark meats or spicy white ones. Order up a Racer 5 and see for yourself if it doesn’t nicely pair with our our Crab Cake, our spicy, smoked Chicken Wings, our Braised Pork Shank, our BBQ Brisket, our BBQ Chicken or our Potato-Frosted Short Ribs.

Of course, sometimes the best way to pair a pint is often with another pint.