Taste Test: More Lidl Beers

A while back, someone suggested I try out the West Coast IPA that Lidl offers. I wasn’t optimistic I’d find it at my local store, so I was gonna give it a few months.

More than a year later, I finally swung by to see what they had. Not only did they have the West Coast, but a juicy New England IPA! And lots of both, too. They didn’t have many of those I’d originally reviewed — just the Brewer’s Storehouse Double IPA.

Craft Explorers West Coast Style IPA

I’ve become super lazy when staging my photos. Check out that used fry oil in the pickle jar — YUM.

I remember trying various West Coast IPAs when I was actually on the West coast, several in Colorado and one or two in San Francisco and Portland. From my experience, West Coasts tend to be a varied combination of pine, resin, and earthy hop flavors. I’ve heard them called “citrusy” before, but I haven’t gotten very much of that, possibly because it’s much more toned down than the hazy IPAs.

West Coast is not a style I normally seek out, partly because we don’t have many around here in North Carolina but also because I’ve been a bit underwhelmed compared to the in-my-face orange and citrusy NEIPAs I’ve had before. (Note: “Hazy IPA” and “New England IPA,” or NEIPA for short, are the same style of beer.)

This one, though — WOW. They really homerunned it. It’s still more on the piney side than the citrus side, but it’s not a hugely heavy beer (to me) and it’s really satisfying after a long work day. Thanks, Dan, for recommending this one!!

BTW: I noticed it was brewed by a place in Virginia and NOT Foothills Brewing, which I launched into in my last Lidl post.

True to Style: 5/5
Wow Factor: 5/5

Hypnotic Beast Tropical IPA

Another lazily staged photo.

I was so blown away by the West Coast IPA, I was afraid the hazy IPA wouldn’t measure up.

But oh, it so does. This is exactly what I love in a NEIPA. There’s a lot of fruity notes, not necessarily orange in this one, but pineapple and guava and mango — hence “Tropical” in the name. I wish I’d discovered this one sooner so I could’ve had it this past summer.

Also, there’s a cute koala-bird-monkey on the label. And who can say no to that face??

These six-packs are only $8.99 (at least, at my local store), same as the West Coast IPAs. I almost feel bad for the super popular breweries in my area that are known for kick-ass NEIPAs. But it’s doubtful everyone will suddenly run to Lidl for their hazy fix and put them out of business.

This one was also made at the same Virginia brewery as the West Coast.

True to Style: 5/5
Wow Factor: 5/5

Craft Explorers Trailgazer Pale Ale

Pale ales aren’t normally my go-to style, but they can be nice when I want something with a lower ABV.

When I think “pale ale,” I think of Sierra Nevada’s simply because it was all my husband bought for a very long time. (We’re talking years.)

This one is milder than Sierra’s — it has less bite — but I think that would make it perfect for a day on the lake, river, or beach. It’s not going to overwhelm your taste buds yet will still deliver a lazy buzz at 4.7%.

True to Style: 5/5
Wow Factor: 3/5

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