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Super Friends IPA - Ithaca Beer Company

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Super Friends IPA
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

51 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 70
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 7.06%
Wants: 67
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: akorsak on 08-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A Single Hop IPA featuring Citra that was fermented entirely with a proprietary blend of strains of Brettanomyces.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 70
Photo of MysticRuler
3.25/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This Ale has a beautiful cloudy appearance and a gorgeous nose with accents of bitter lemon and overripe pineapple. Unfortunately the first sip put me off a bit. As someone else pointed out, there is a lemonade thing going on (must be the citra hops) but it never really balances out. The mouthfeel seems to be hotter than the alcohol level should produce, leading me again to point out the lack of balance. Things do even out a bit after the first sip, but not enough to counteract the unpleasantness. Not awful, but not something that I'd like to drink all night either. (572 characters)

Photo of samyoung
3.48/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Did Ithaca & Co. get in over their heads? I am not sure, yet am convinced that Jolly Pumpkin-style brews, which this brew aspires to, will at some point takeover the world - GO BLUE!

A - Orange and yellow with big-time cloudiness.
S - Citrus-y, urine-sour, very sour.
T - Hard-hitting, west coat IPA up-front, with a crazy sour finish unlike anything I have ever tasted.
M - Medium. Strong yet weak.
D - If the urine-y taste does not get to you, the sour-ness will.

This is the most inventive beer I have had in many, many months. While the taste and drink-ability are not perfect, the execution is...SOUR IPA? - YES PLEASE!!! (630 characters)

Photo of bonbright7
3.65/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tasted this on tap at the local release party at The Good Life in Massapequa Park, NY. It was served next to a unique brie pizza square with orange marmelade on top.

The cloudy brown ale sprouted a strong hops aroma, which I interpreted to possibly be Simcoe hops. I connected with a few others at my table about the Belgian-esque elements of brett in the mix after the first taste. I thought the hops were too dominant through out the taste.

As the ale warmed and the spicy ale became more apparent, I reflected on the drinkability, which is fine for beer geeks, but overall it would be a harder sell and undeserving of the hype surrounding it. (650 characters)

Photo of berkey
3.83/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Growler 10/14/10. Served tulip in a tulip. Wanted to save this for the weekend but a leaky growler caused me to push this tasting forward a few days. There's a small chance this beer was compromised by the leak but after tasting I'm reasonably certain it wasn't so I'm going to post this review.

Forms a very nicely retained fortune cookie colored head atop a pale orange body. Leaves plenty of lace.

Aroma is loaded with grass and straight up orange. Not really getting much in the way of brett aromas but I didn't expect much of that as I find those take a lot of aging to really develop and and would likely be hard to pick out through the hops in any case.

Orange (both fruit and peel) and bitter grassy notes are still the biggest players on the flavor but the dry finish and earthiness often associated with brett manage to peek through. Hop grassiness is nice and plays well into the earthy character of the yeast but flirts with becoming overpowering after awhile. After finishing my review I noticed some others described this as tart or even sour but I didn't get that at all.

Overall this beer was a lot of fun, which is what these collaboration brews are really about in my opinion. Glad I had the chance to try it. (1,233 characters)

Photo of dmgnyc
3.84/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a growler from Bierkraft in Park Slope, served in a tulip. Interesting brew to say the least. Pours a gorgeous murky orange with substantive head and good lacing. Aroma wise, it's not that different than Ithaca's excellent Flower Power IPA, with serious notes of oranges and grapefruit, but slightly sweeter than either. The nose is HUGE. And it initially tastes like a Flower Power too, until the Brett wallops you on the back end...even moreso after it's had a little time to warm up. It's almost like eating orange sour patch kids in reverse. Like Ghostbusters, I'm not generally one to cross the streams (i.e. adding Brett to an IPA), but in this case it makes for an extremely unique drinking experience, though not one I think I'd revisit too often (re: stomach burn from the brett). Like I said, interesting. (819 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by nickd717. Thanks, Nick.

Murky dark amber body topped by a finger of white suds. Clarity and color could be better, but I won't dock it too much for that.

Big tropical fruit aroma, the brett really enhances the fruitiness from the citra hops. Pineapple, peach and mango backed by strong barnyard funk, this is unusual but nice.

Brett is much more prominent on the palate, lending a ton of musty, leathery funk. Tropical fruit flavors hover over the funk, bringing to mind ripe apricots, peaches, pineapples. Bitterness is moderate, never quite overwhelming the intense funk.

Pretty nice stuff, much better than Midnight Sun's brett-fermented IPA. I'm still not quite convinced that it's a winning combination, but this is certainly drinkable. (763 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a hazed orange amber color with a slight white head. The Brett makes itself present but it beautifully trumped by tropical citrus hops aroma. Medium mouthfeel. Again the taste is more citrus forward with the brett taking back stage but overly everpresent. One kickass beer for sure. Very nice for sure. Brett does lingers on for sure. An interesting but good beer. (378 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into unibroue chalice.

Pours a finger of off-white head. Color is a hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Big floral nose with some brett showing. A lot of orange citrus. Some grapefruit as well. Floral and hoppy. I like it.

Taste: Bitter floral hops. Some herbal notes. Funky brett. Some orange and grapefruit citrus. A really clean ipa. I like it a lot.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth, creamy, and clean. It is refreshing. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends clean with some hops.

Overall, it was a great ipa, but it reminded me more of a belgian ipa. Pretty drinkable. I definitely enjoyed this one. (619 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler thanks to soulforpeanuts.

Pours clear amber with a nice large bubble whitish head.

The aroma has loads of brett - funky with orange and grapefruit notes.

Very good flavor. Bretty funky with a little lemon and orange peel, caramel malt, grapefruit, and pineapple.

Medium-bodied and not at all syrupy with low carbonation, which I can't fault considering it came in a growler.

Really good beer overall. Innovative. (425 characters)

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap @ Coles

A: Bright yellow with some orange tint, good lasting white head and noticeable lacing.

S: Cat urine, piney hops.

T: Nice hop hit in the front, spicy in the back. Sour notes mixed in the middle.

M: Medium bodied, ABV blended well and noticed without worry, great carbonation. Loosens up as it the beer gets warmer.

D: Kind of had a mini-session of it today, but I would say after 2 is plenty. The concept alone had my saliva running.

Recommended (464 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdiddy for opening this one up. Pours a hazy, golden-orange with a frothy, quarter inch, off-white head. Nose is incredible - sweet citrus, orange, jasmine, floral notes, passion fruit, cat urine and a slightly herbaceous quality. Taste is much more subdued and considerably less sweet than suggested by the nose. Flavor profile is more earthy, less fruity, with a light lingering bitterness. There's also a Belgian IPA quality to this - perhaps in the yeast strain. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with an even and balanced carbonation and a semi-dry finish. A really nice beer with a great deal of complexity. I definitely enjoyed this IPA, but there are better ones out there - perhaps a little too much going on in this one, but well worth your time if the opportunity presents itself. (794 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Swift Half for their Ithaca event

A: Orangish body with a moderate sized white head. Slightly hazy. Quickly receded but left behind a decent coating of lace.

S: Blast of tropical fruits. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit. No malt presence. Brett creeps in slightly.

T: Like the nose there is quite a bit of tropical fruit hoppiness. Minimal bitterness. Brett pushes forward a bit more, but does not become distracting. Not as lively a hop profile as the nose.

M: Medium carbonation with a moderate weight. Dry, somewhat refreshing. Would prefer a bit more crisp and bitter finish. The brett definitely draws the flavor out a bit longer than ideal for me.

D: I managed to plow through this one while watching the flyers game. Effortless and tasty. (760 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A few glasses at Swift ..

Superfriends comes together with a bright bronze, golden nice looking beer here, A very respectable head, globs of stuff on the glass. Very vigorous condensed foam. Smell is citrus, mango, orange, some pine, brett that is top notch, A nice mix and it works. Taste is no different. Kinda middle ground between undead ed (super bretty) vs. Wild devil (super balanced) with a more west coast hop outcome. Citrus with orange and grapefruit, some sweets from a malting, the brett is clean and farmy, feel is medium, dry, crisp, lingering, nice! Really good beer here, I ordered more. (605 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Alex and Sean.

Growler into a Lost Abbey glass.

The beer is an ugly medium bread crust brown and the bottom of the growler has at least an inch of sludge...The aroma is musky right away, I knew it was brett as going in I didn't know it was brett ipa. Its fairly light though, bread, light pineapples, a little funk...The taste is also on the lighter side not overpowering sour which makes it easy to drink, but on the other hand I don't really get any hops which I was expecting. A little sweet and funky beer, not bad, not great, I give it credit for originality but not at all worthy of the lofty rating. (618 characters)

Photo of klikger
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler pours thoroughly enjoyed Darkness Day morning - thanks for hooking up the trade, levifunk!

A - Cloudy, amber-brown, decent lacing, small head

S - Simcoe = wet cat delicious, a touch of wild yeast

T - Lemons, grapefruit, a bit of brett --> fruity citrus & simcoe hops with a bit of sweet malt (which is overpowered by bitterness) --> finish is slightly sour, nicely bitter, and lingers for minutes

M - Light bodied, a little undercarbonated, but I can't mark it down too far (growler)

D - Bitter, not boozy, a little sour = keep 'em coming!

I'm so glad I was able to try this, and it was very good. I was expecting it to be amazing, and the brett doesn't come through as much as I'd hoped. That said, it's a great IPA, and I strongly encourage the brewing of more beers in this particular vein. (813 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tasted this beer without knowing what it was and I was initially quite taken. It's remarkably fruity and tart-ish, and backed by caramelish but dry malt speckled with hints of dirt, leather and must. Ahhh, Brettanomyces. Now it all makes sense. My first thought was that it was like a super-charged Orval, but going through it I found it to be much more than that.

The appearance was a heavily cloudy body that displayed a crimson-accented deep amber or dark orange marmalade depending on how you held the glass and how might light got through, beneath a long lasting head of bone-white froth that dropped along the sides of the glass to leave what looked like a Meringue cookie sitting in the center. The rings of lace about the glass could have been better, but I can't fault it given the initial showing.

Apricot appears in the nose, along with pineapple and perhaps some mango. It has some definite fruit 'pulp' to it. Brettanomyces is also there lending some nice leather, and muddy/mineral aromas to it. Unfortunately there's some "goat"-like and catty notes to it as well. The goat may be from the caprylic acids formed by the yeast, but the cattiness is most likely due to some oxidative effects. You don't pick it up so much at first because there's so much fruitiness going on, but as you become accustomed to it and it warms a bit a definite piss aroma (uric acid) appears.

Great mouthfeel.

The flavor delivers a brilliant blend of balanced malt, fruit, and other Brett notes. The malt, and the fruitiness (with all of its tart suggestions), appear solidly at first along with some leathery and lightly crushed granite-like notes. As they soften, more barnyard funk appears (manure, mud, and wet horse hair), and then a subtly metallic character appears. The bitterness is solid but it doesn't linger. Unfortunately, there's a bit of rotting vegetable character that starts to make it's way through in the finish which isn't great. However...

As to drinkability, I had two bottles and enjoyed them both except for the piss aroma, which can be off-putting. You need to have a kind of push and pull with beers like this, looking past certain aspects as a trade-off for the brilliant others that it offers. If you like gueuze, fear not. Certainly worth trying! (2,276 characters)

Photo of Lukafer
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had at the Indy Dark Lord Vertical/Big Stout taste-off, thanks guys!

Appearance is a clear gold with a good amount of carbonation. Smell is citrus hops! This beer smells fantastic! Taste is slight hops at front, a malty middle and a good solid hop finish, very smooth. This is a good tasting beer, but the way it smells had me drooling and the flavor didn't quite match up, still good though. (412 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for sending a growler for the Chicago crew to share. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal Teku glass.

A - Pours with a finger of foam that settles to a thin cap and big chunky ring, leaving behind splotchy lace. Hazy peach body.

S - Musty brett, pineapple, dank weed, zesty citrus, some burnt sugar malt character. There's some funky and lightly plastic notes when it warms up, but they aren't overly invasive compared to the brett and Citra hop aromas.

T - Taste is more sweet tropical fruits, some zesty citrus hop bite, and a sugary malt backbone. There's some musty funk character but it's not as big as in the nose. Finish is lightly bitter. Probably more of a 4.25, but I'll round up as I was less generous elsewhere.

M - Nice carbonation spritz, medium body, more sticky and chewy. Not overly dry. Works well with the flavor profile, and hides the mystery alcohol content well.

D - This is pretty nice, but I don't think it's an A+ beer. Reminds me of very fresh 3767, but without the vinous and oak character. Pretty drinkable, but it's hard to have a baseline for this style. One of the top five brett IPAs I've ever had. (1,148 characters)

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours clear light amber into my tulip glass with white bubbly head that has decent retention and pretty nice sticky lacing.

S - Big hope aroma, pine, resin, and more of a hay like grassy aroma. Citrus is present and is more lemon and a touch of orange. A touch of musty funk is also there.

T - Big huge hop presence. Citrus all over the place, lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange. Pine/resin hops and tropical fruit combination followed by a bit of honey and spice with a little bit of sour funky bitterness on the back end.

M - Creamy and smooth, great balance between body and carbonation.

D - Really unique IPA and super delicious. Almost low enough to be a session beer at 6% ABV. Ithaca beer co. is always great. (727 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Mike, thanks. Beer is yellow with a thin head of small and large bubbles that doesn't leave much lacing on the glass, its slightly hazy and the carbonation is low.

Aroma is like getting hit in the face with citra and amarillo hops. Its amazing. There is a secondary brett c aroma, kind of harsh plastic bandaid aroma but this is what that smells like.

Beer is light in body and smooth in the mouth. The hops are powerful and there is no sweetness to lead off. The beer is a little dry on the finish but overall its really nice. The Brett character comes through with a secondary harshness behind the strong hops. Such a fun concept beer. This is better than the wild devil I've had but those are the only two Brett IPAs I've managed to sample. I'd have this again for sure. (793 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't sure that I would be able to snag this beer before next summer, but alas it was on tap at the Tusk in Syracuse.

Appearance:
The beer was a rich dark amber color with a sparse head, but ample carbonation. I was poured a 10oz serving of this beverage into a thick, rolled rim, glass mug (not chilled). The beer is more rich in complexion than I expect for most IPAs, which makes me think that it might be more of an intensely hopped amber ale.

Smell:
This beer is all about the hops. There was a gingery, piney bitterness and a citrus backed sweetness that exploded all over my olfactory. It makes a very intense first impression and needless to say this beer can hold its own as an IPA. I wasn't getting the alleged belgian yeast funkiness coming through the hops, but definitely a pungent, sweet, and hoppy beer.

Taste:
Outstanding, I should have gotten my growler filled when I had the chance. This is a tremendous combo and the Belgian characteristics imparted onto an already solid IPA adds remarkable depth to the flavor profile of this beer. I finished 4/5ths of my beer before my meal even came. Likewise, the beer that was left did not overpower my meal either (an added bonus because a strong IPA typically lends too much bitter for a meal pairing). I will seek out this beer again before it's gone and I am glad for a break from the heavy beers of winter.

Mouthfeel:
Not overly bitter and no gross, lingering aftertastes. It was smooth, clean, and medium to full bodied. There is a lot going on with this beer, it took more than a sip to know what it was about. The beer presented pungent, citrusy hops followed by a rich malty sweetness and belgian funkiness. I am appreciative of a beer with a dry finish, it definitely had me coming back for more (which is why so much was gone before my meal).

Drinkability:
Absolutely delightful midday ale that was both complex and moderate. It was more on the expensive side, yet still more affordable than a comparable trappist on tap. I would be delighted to try this beer in a large 750mL bottle, but it was outstanding on tap. This beer is smooth, balanced, and redeeming for those that appreciate Belgian-IPA hybrids, I would definitely try this beer if you are hesitant in your decision. (2,258 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Bobby.

A: The pour is a fairly hazy golden orange color with an off-white head.

S: Big time pineapple aroma that is mildly tart, very similar to the actual fruit. Some undertones of grapefruit and maybe just a hint of pine. It's got a bit of a wild character to it as well, like some Sauvignon Blancs have.

T: The bitterness is subdued, but I don't mind that here. Again, amazing pineapple takes over the beer and provides a nice sweet-sour contrast and a great fresh fruit flavor. The grapefruit is more pronounced on the palate.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is at a fairly high level, even with being in a growler.

D: This was actually quite a good IPA. I'm always a bit skeptical when it comes to IPAs from outside of California, but this was really nice. (794 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared with some of the Chicago crew.

A - Pours light golden color, white head, some lacing, thin cap.

S - Tropical fruit, brett, slight funk, hops, citrus notes.

T - A nice mix of hops and slight funk, orange zest, citrus notes, slightly bitter finish but the funk is there as well.

M - Light to medium, frothy carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - I had a couple of pours from the growler. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and hope to have again in the future. (478 characters)

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Bronx Ale House.

The beer pours into the chalice a light gold and is super cloudy. There's a big, chunky white head that is persistent throughout. The aroma is extremely tart at first, with almost a lemonade thing going on. It could only be described as "funky." That's a result of the Brett, clearly. After the initial sour blast, you can focus on the delicious citrus hops lurking underneath. Tropical and mouth-watering.

Super Friends tastes excellent. The Brett certainly throws a great changeup into the IPA formula, but it would be nothing but a cheap gimmick if there wasn't a fine IPA lurking underneath. Thankfully, the IPA is damn solid. The hops come through with full force; a great tropical mix of orange and other citrus fruits. The tartness is light but noticeable, and adds just the right amount of kick. The body is medium, and the carbonation is light but very lively.

This is a very good beer, and you should try to grab some if you can find it. I think that the Brett/IPA combination is a winner, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see more breweries give it a try. (1,112 characters)

Photo of cavedave
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a cloudy amber topped by a thick one finger head of dark beige. A gentle swirl leaves veritable sheets of fine bubbled lace on the glass.

The smell is full of tart yeast, grapefruit, orange peel, light funk, lemon, neutral sweet, hints of floral, even lighter hints of pale malt.

The taste. What can I say? This is so starkly delicious that a clinical treatment of flavors seems inadequate. It starts with grapefruit, orange, zinging the palate, followed by tart yeast, some light funk, a malty sweet, then carries through with these flavors into a finish that is sweet, funky, bitter pith, orange/lemony, just a hint of floral and herbal bitter. Astounding balance and fantastically bright clean flavors make a taste that is singularly delicious. The light funk makes it a masterpiece.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Just the right carb., just the right viscosity, and an epic finish that never destroys the palate.

Drinkability is almost as good as an IPA can get.

Impression: In a year when the finest IPA ever made are available this one goes to the top tier of terrific tastes. Unlikely you will have opportunity to get this, but it is an absolutely must try. Planned to trade my other growler. Forget it, no one would trade its equivalent delight. (1,259 characters)

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Super Friends IPA from Ithaca Beer Company
95 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.