Sierra Nevada 2013 Flipside Red IPA

It’s here. The day we’ve been waiting for since we picked our first Beer Label of the Week.


Sierra Nevada has released their new seasonal, Flipside Red IPA. I’m sure a release party at Sierra Nevada’s pub in Chico is forthcoming but Flipside hit the shelves of their gift shop today and we scampered over to pick up a six pack and try it out. This new beer will fit between Tumbler and Celebration in their seasonal releases. Stephanie and I sat down with a couple bottles to discuss how this beer turned out.


Keith – Flipside pours a nice copper red. It has a reasonable off white head with a carbonation level similar to Sierra Nevada’s other ales. The text on the box boasts “abundant topical fruit and citrus hop flavors” but I’m getting more pine in the aroma.

Stephanie – Flipside is my favorite beer color, deep copper. I love red ales and IPAs, so a red IPA is the best of both worlds for me. I get pine and flowers, with a hint of grapefruit in the aroma. The first taste is all pine for me, grapefruit following with a slightly resinous, tropical finish. The malt character in this beer is really the stand out for me though. It provides a strong yet balanced support for all that hop goodness. As the color indicates the malt character is caramel, roast, with a nice toasty finish.

Keith – It lives up to the Red IPA style claim. Lots of delicious malts and lots of hops creates a great balance that you don’t get with standard IPAs. Red IPAs and Black IPAs are really my favorite styles. Lots of the hops I love, but with enough malt and body to provide balance. The pine from the aroma shows up at first when I taste it until the somewhat roasty malts take over. The tropical hop flavor dominates the finish, with some sweet maltiness. There are hints of citrus throughout. I agree that overall the malt character stands out, but it’s still an IPA; it takes a lot of hops to balance this beer so well and still contribute to the flavor and aroma.

Stephanie – I was surprised by the amount of roastiness in the beer, given the color I was not expecting roastiness. Flipside is well balanced but still assertively bitter. I also find Flipside refreshing and easy to drink. . I am a total hop head so “easy drinking” may mean something different to other people than it does to me. The mouth feel has a slight carbonation bite that I enjoy and has a medium body to it. I will definitely be sad to see this one go at the end of the season. I would recommend this beer to anyone that drinks IPAs. I think even the stout and porter lovers will appreciate the maltiness of this beer.

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