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Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

107 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 397
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 15.35%
Wants: 150
Gots: 98 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ericj551 on 10-26-2010

Fat Tug is a northwest style India Pale Ale that is characterized by an intense hop profile of grapefruit & melon and restrained malt notes. At 7 % alc/vol and 80+ IBUs this beer delivers layers of aroma and flavor that is sure to satisfy anyone with a thirst for all things hoppy!
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Reviews: 107 | Hads: 397
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly cloudy grapefruit with hige white foamy head that leaves lots of spider web lacing down the glass. Wafts C-hop. Tangerine and orange citrus taste, very drinkable. Not astringent but a little numbing of the tongue. Carbonation is right there, this is a very fresh bottle. A little funky in the finish, but this makes it all the more interesting.650 ml, thanks Brian, and thanks Derek for the recommendation.

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Photo of nmann08
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle, unfortunately, wasn't super fresh. The beer pours a translucent gold color with a big fluffy off-white head.

The nose is still extremely pronounced, big citrus, grapefruit, a bit of pine and resin, and also just a bit of cardboard and sawdust must. The flavor is similar, great citrus notes, tropical fruit, resin, but a bit tanic.

Overall, I need to get my hands on a fresh bottle of this.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops is quite powerful and enjoyable. Taste is also a great mix between some citrus hops with a good amount of grapefruit notes, medium bitterness and some light caramelized malt with a touch of residual sugar. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Very well brewed but I would preferred a bit less residual sugar with a dryer finish.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Always a treat to see a white whale emerge on the barren prairies.

This beer pours a hazy, pale golden amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, and mostly just bubbly off-white head, which leaves a stellar array of spindly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds off.

It smells of dank, piney forest floor hop bitters, plain grainy pale malt, mixed and muddled citrus rind, a mild flinty stoniness, some ethereal light orchard fruitiness, and a touch of estery alcohol. The taste is more gritty, grainy pale malt, a suggestion of biscuity caramel, peppy pine resin and citrus pith (white grapefruit and underripe navel orange, for the trainspotters), that same flinty essence carrying on from the nose, and a respectful cold steely alcohol, er, warming.

The bubbles are quite innocuous in their quotidian and frothy meanderings, the body a solid enough middleweight, and replete with a hollow-seeming smoothness. It finishes on a strong drying trend, the fruity and bitter green hop essences justifying their purported skin in the game.

Well, the long-term hype machine is justified, it would seem - this is a stand-up, big-boy hoppy IPA, the malt paid only contractual lip service (wait, whut?). Yeah, good 'n hoppy, in a rather complex manner, so much so, that Imma gonna have to procure at least a few more, um, 'test samples' for the coming backyard patio season.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another new one for the day, this was the big DIPA we were missing yesterday afternoon so we needed to find one to make a grand appearance and here we had it. Served cold and split into two pint glasses, this was consumed on 04/24/2011.

What a nice pour that came out of this one. A lighter than I would have expected amber color, was almost a golden pale with loads of carbonation and a huge billowing white head that sat on top with a large amount of foam that stuck to the sides and dripped down the glass.

A huge aroma then came wafting through the air. Lots of orange rind, grapefruit, and hints of lemon that layer on top of a light grain and bready base that offers a nice touch of balance but without distracting from the real gem here that was the since hop. Very light for as strong as it was, I really did not expect that at all. It was almost trying to deceive you with its full strength as the light hops and lingering dryness in the flavor left you thirsting for more, but at over 10% you were quickly reminded of its real strength.

Overall a very solid DIPA. It comes with a long line of simcoe forward big ipas that have come before it but this one really works. Besides you have to love the Canadian aspect to it, overall a hit and a nice way to roll into the mid afternoon.

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Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating but this should be pretty fresh. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 3 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big pineapple, mango, lemon zest, orange rind, herbal, floral, pine, grass, and earthy spiciness. Excellent aromas with great balance and hop complexity. Taste of big grapefruit, orange rind, pineapple, herbal, floral, pine, and earthy spiciness. Good amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, herbal, pine, floral, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of hop flavors; with a nice bitterness/sweetness balance as well. No cloying flavors on the finish at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic IPA! Excellent hop complexity and balance; very smooth and crisp to drink. Extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mason jar at Cask Days.

A - White foam settles to a persistent cap, leaving behind specks of lace. Transparent golden body.

S - Pine and grapefruit hops, with a touch of tropical fruit and a lightly browned sugar malt backdrop.

T - Hops dominate the flavor profile, with pine and grapefruit being the stars of the show again. Malt is a bit more neutral here, with a surprisingly aggressive bitterness rearing its head. The 80+ IBUs listed seems about right.

M - Medium body, with a soft, pleasant texture, low carbonation, and a dry finish. Some lingering hop oils on the palate.

D - A good IPA in the Sculpin vein. I'd buy this if it were available locally, as I think it's stronger than any of the Ontario year-rounds. Still, I think Castor Yakima was the superior beer.

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Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass, thanks to psiweaver for the opportunity to try this generous extra via a recent trade. No freshness dating to be found and it appears to be filtered/no sediment in the bottle.

This brew appears a clear color of copper with a creamy topping of 2 fingers worth of rich yellowish stained head. There is a light amount of haze keeping this brew from being perfectly clear and bubbles rise to the surface in support of the head. As the cap slowly fades, it produces patches and spots of lacework all over the glass.

The aroma of this brew is bright citrus hop notes that come across with a touch of pine and resinous rindy characteristics. There is a mild catty scent that dare i say suggests a touch of stinky cheese in there as well. A touch of grassiness lingers throughout which adds some nice depth. Overall quite enjoyable. As it warms, it picks up some toasted caramel malt scents that provide a light sweetness to this brew's scent.

The taste of this brew is bitter with a rindy touch that immediately draws thoughts of alcohol grapefruit juice upon my first sip. It lingers with a resinous cling inside the mouth that turns a bit catty mixed with grassy notes but maintains a bitter fruity flavor consistently. There is a very mild sweetness to this brew that is a cross between rindy fruits like grapefruit and a sweetness somewhat like a toasted type of caramel malt. This brew finishes crisp and refreshing which is interesting for something in the 7% range.

There is a solid warming factor from the alcohol's inclusion, that 7% abv is felt through and through without any suppression. However, the alcohol is well integrated and enjoyable with the flavors that exist. It is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Overall well balanced and enjoyable, I would certainly drink this again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy yellow body with a thin white cap. Aromas of citrus, hops, melon. Tropical notes, hop forward. This isn’t a fresh bottle, but still holds up well. I’d love to try an uber fresh bottle. Very tasty.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very pale amber body, somewhat cloudy, but with nice orange hues, and beautiful rising carbonation. Head is three fingers deep and large with a big giant cap and off white in color. Speckled lacing peppers the glass all over.

Great dry pine hop nose on this. A real nice aromatic sense of citrus orange zest hints at the back. Spritzy. Faint sweet malts too. Fantastic bouquet.

Palate manages to take a back seat and let the smells do the talking. Soft palate with a somewhat juicy body. Hop angle seems dialed down a bit, but a good simple light toasty sugar malt brings up much of the flavor profile. A real nice soft body, airy in feel, with little carbonation. Hop angle seems subdued with a quick bitter, and a light aftertaste and prickly sensations.

Overall the nose brings the impression of greatness, but it becomes just a good solid IPA in it's own right. Tasty!

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Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sampled at Volo, poured into a flute glass.

Poured a golden yellow, filtered with a great fluffy and sticky offwhite head. Webbed lacing and solid retention. Nose is big on the citrus hops, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, with some understated pineiness in there as well. Sits atop a solid caramel malt base. Great nose. Taste is quite bitter initially, more pine and less citrus than the nose suggested. Really wasn't expecting this given the nose, but was pleasant otherwise. Prickly carbonation, and good drinkability. A nice IPA, wish I could've had a bigger sample of this.

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Photo of biegaman
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fat Tug IPA is a clear, copper wire coloured ale with the complexion of ghee (clarified butter). Such a tone, though clean, turns transparency into mere translucency; it's like looking through a block of ice. Its head is built like a wrestler - stout and thick - and piledrives foam onto the glass.

The nose boasts papaya and mango in both their fresh, vividly citric as well as candied, dried states. There's also an accompanying cast of grapefruit, melon, lime, lychee and even a spritz of guava. It is a market of exotic, tropical fruits with an overlay of dank, grassy herbals.

The flavour is so full of pine needles, lawn clippings and orange wedges that all the honey and eggbread flavour from the malts goes largely unnoticed. Even as far as sweetness goes, the candied citrus and guava notes are right on par with any notions of caramel or toffee.

For the craft beer lover, hops reach the brain's pleasure zones via the same neurological circuitry as salt, sugar, or fat - it's an innate craving that provides an immediate hit. And like the latter, sometimes you just can't get enough. Fat Tug IPA certainly hits that 'bliss point'.

It was some time before Canadian brewers offered the same kind of juicy, citric IPAs that made their American counterparts famous - those days are over. Between Driftwood's Fat Tug and Central City's Red Racer, I don't think one even has to leave the province of British Columbia!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for this bottle that he brought back from Vancouver for me. Best before date was smudged and difficult to read but appeared to be 10/19/12. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Translucent golden orange with one finger of foamy cream coloured head that reduced to a thin layer on the top of the ale. Some light lacing.

S - Huge fresh hop aroma up front with big grapefruit, pine and orange zest notes. A touch of malt sweetness attempts to provide some balance but this is definitely a hop-bomb.

T - A big bitterness up front full of grapefruit, pine and orange zest. A slight sweetness form the malts in the middle followed by a big, bitter hop finish.

M - Medium body, somewhat creamy. Some nice resinous hop oils. Light carbonation. A times it seemed a touch watery.

O - I was really looking forward to this one and, while it is an excellent IPA, it disappointed me a little bit. I was expecting to be wowed and I wasn't. That said, I would buy this again and would love to try this on tap.

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Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bone white head on a clear golden yellow body. Sticky ass lackg.

Fresh grapefruit. Very light on the nose, in a good way...whatever that means.

Bright citrus, think lemons and oranges. Above average bitterness.

High carbonation works well. Medium mouthfeel.

Well made beer. I think if the bitterness was toned down a bit I would like it more but the way it is sets it apart. All hail Fat Tug! Thanks egrace84.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Whip in Vancouver, BC.

Pours a bright, coppery orange colour, with a mild, but filmy head of off-white. Patchy, sudsy, crackly lace forms as the head subsides. Strong streaming carbonation races through the solid body. Looks nice.

Nose is pungent and sharp with under-ripe orange, laced with stewed fruits and butterscotch. Simcoe, my old friend? Slight mild piney greenness pokes its head in as well. It's OK, but it really pushed all my "Warning! Warning! Generic American IPA Alert!" buttons.

Flavour is similar. There's no intrinsic sweetness to the brew, but the hops lend a caramel stewed sweetness to the mix that cloys with the big direct bitterness. The light feel on the palate means that there's a really pronounced hop vector slicing bitterly across the tongue. Finish is bunched and compressed, but stretched longitudinally at the back of the palate, giving a broad residual alpha bitterness.

I was shocked when I saw how highly this beer is regarded on BA. This really felt like a pretty standard, if highly-hopped IPA, that didn't really think about the balance in its flavour profile. As far as I was concerned, this is really average stuff.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice glowing orange with good carbonation, nice white cap and some good lacing

S: Melon and citrus dominate but it was oretty subtle overall

T: Starts out with a nice melon note blended and followed by some orange peel, light grapefruit on a caramel bread base. A good but subtle hop bite resides, especially mid body and finish. Booze is nicely displayed but balanced.

M: Medium bodied, balanced, tasty, well carbonated

O: Good to very good. A treat to drink.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a one finger fine off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Whooee, a delicious aroma of herbal hops, pineapple and light fruit wafted from the glass as I poured this ale, one of the more complex aromatic IPAs I've run into. The flavor does not disappoint from the tempting pour. Caramel malt, intense piney and herbal hops tapering into a citrusy malt and hop finish leaving pleasant hop aftertaste. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Very nicely done and could give many imperial IPAs a run for their money. Good job. I've really enjoyed everything from this brewery.

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Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The much anticipated IPA from Driftwood...

A: Clear gold with a white head, great retention and lacing.

S: Huge, perfumy aroma. Plenty of tangerine and grapefruit rind, floral, pine and a little cattiness.

T: Pine, grapefruit rind, nectarine, tangerine, assertive bitterness, candied pineapple, sponge toffee, mild alcohol, great stuff!

M: Moderate body is smooth, with a modest carbonation and a light hop acidity.

D: If you're a hop head and think 7% isn't sessionable, THINK AGAIN!

This is right up there with Red Racer... a hop lovers dream. I'm not sure if there's quite as much finishing (aroma) hops, but there's plenty of flavour and a bit more bitterness.

An all-around great brew!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip april16 2011

A clear orange copper with decent carbonation feeding a solid two fingers of off white that retains quite well and leaves lots of scattered lace

S citric hops are very apparent, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime and the list goes on in terms of tropical fruit. There's also a little spring forest both pine and just a little spruce, zero booze and just enough malty toffee to keep the hops from having complete control

T thankfully it mimics the smell quite well but with more citric rind opposed to the fruity flesh, pretty solid IPA going on here and I'm proud of the fact this is from my preferred side of the border because it could hold its own against anything from state side

M medium bodied and has a nice bitter bite without stripping the enamel off my teeth, flavors linger and the carbonation's just right

O zero flaws and close to perfection in many areas, I could drink myself stupid with this beer without thinking twice if I only had the chance here in Alberta

this really is a kick ass IPA from "our" West Coast, an IPA and 1/2 perhaps and oh so worth seeking out. An entire bomber went down in no time flat and if I had regular access to this I'd be drinking it daily. If your an agent reading this DO WHAT EVER YOU CAN TO GET THIS BEER/BREWERY IN YOUR ALBERTA PORTFOLIO, if your just a geek off the street drink this every time you get the chance. Did I mention chickenm is the man for getting this bad boy into my filthy hands?

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked open a bottle on 5.10.12.
Best by 10.25.12 printed on the label.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy medium orange with a smaller yellowish-light tan head. Good retention and some spots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Stonge pine up front, followed by lemons and oranges.

T - Strong pine and lemon citrus.

D - Good carbonation and a solid body.

O - Pine and hoppy, More citrus came out as it warmed, and that was a good thing.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, consumed during the super bowl


from notes

appearance: served in my delirium chalice, glowing orange-amber body, frothy beige lace

smell: fresh citrus zest, some of that lovely NW pine, tangerine, honey, black peppered cracker

taste: bright fresh flavors - citrus zest, ruby red grapefruit, spruce and pine, pepper, crackery malts, the perfect touch of sweetness and alcohol. The hops are clean and fresh - another fantastic IPA from north of the border

mouthfeel: fresh and vibrant

overall: great stuff

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Photo of tbeckett
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at a pub on Granville Street in Vancouver. From notes.

A - Poured copper with mild carbonation. Bright. One finger of fluffy white head with sticky thick lace all around and a film of retention.

S - Strong pine and hop resins. Proper American style IPA aroma.

T - Resinous hops, lot's of pine and citrus. Very light sweet malt up front.

M - Good tingly carbonation, medium body and an OK bitterness.

O/D - A solid IPA. Pretty tasty and very smooth. Good hop punch.

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Photo of drpimento
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, excellent beer! Poured at a good temperature with a decent sized, foamy, cream-colored head that settled after a bit and some lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of tiny bubble trails. Aroma is hop, malt, caramel, wet grain. Flavor's where this really shines: similar to nose, but so much richer with just enough sweet to perfectly match the already balanced bitter and carbonic tang, plus pine resin, a little grapefruit, toast, toffee, wheat. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, of average length, and super drinkable. Wish I had loads more and that we could get it here in La Crosse, Wis.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer! Thanks elliot!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 7/22/12.

Appearance: golden yellow bodied beer with 2 fingers of white head.

Smell: Pine, grapefruits, and other general citrusy notes.

Taste: Pine and grapefruit start things off. mild to moderate bitterness. Grassy and floral notes in the middle of the beer. Mellow pine needle notes finish this beer off.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. appropriate for the style.

Overall: This is a really awesome brew! Its a really solid hoppy beer! This is my ssecond driftwood beer and they make some delicious beer!

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Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for sending this extra from one of my favorite locals in North America, Vancouver. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife while watching the end of The Truman Show, which happenend to be our first date. Well, second first date. Nevermind.

Pour is an unclear but not hazy orange with gentled carbonation. Nose is a fall cornucopia of fruits: honeydew, grapefruit, orange, pale malts. Going in the correct direction.

Fat Tug begs for a comment, so I'm not going to make one. Lovely hops on this babe, reaching out & giving the tongue a good shlap of bitterness, followed with fainter flavors of pine, citrus. The bitterness doing the tugging here. Nice pale malts, light sweetness. Drinkable. I could do this bomber.

Nice IPA that showcases bitterness, but without a whole lot of complexity. Luckily, that's my favorite part of an IPA. Very good beer.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.