Beer of the Week: Surly Xtra-Citra
Disclaimer: I am not a hophead. I don’t go crazy for IBU bombs. I might even say IPA is my least favorite style.
However, every once in a while I get a craving for a crisp, fruity IPA. Such an effect is often created with a good dose of Citra Hops.
A beer company rep I talked to recently referred to the hops as “Almighty Citra” for its popularity and difficulty to obtain in large quantities. Other breweries have had more luck, such as Marz Community Brewing Co.
There are also the hop hanchos at the well-known Minneapolis, Minnesota brewery Surly. Unlike the hop-loving public, I don’t seek out Furious, Abrasive or Overrated often.
But one of the latest releases, Xtra-Citra, had me intrigued. The beer screams summer from its sun-yellow can its sessionably low abv (4.5%) to the obvious fruity, spry Citra flavor.
My fridge void of a light, crisp ale in an adventure-ready can, I picked up four tallboys of Xtra-Citra.
Surly is generous in providing information on the ingredients on its website. The beer pours bright golden with an airy, white head. Fresh fruity, grassy aromas follow. The taste is more of the same. There’s lemon-lime and tangerine fruitiness, and a bitter, grassy, almost-saison like finish, likely helped by the Warrior bittering hops and English ale yeast.
As a showcase for Citra, this ale nails it.
But for this malt man, the citra is a little over-the-top. I like my citra balanced with a fuller body and another flavor/aroma hop like cascade.
Ideally, I’d have this beer on occasions where any fresh, light beer tastes good—on a hot day after manual labor, while fishing, between paddle strokes in a kayak or around a campfire with roasted hot dogs.
Rating: Glass – GROWLER – Case – Keg