Backyard Session IPA | Saugatuck Brewing Company

very good
19 Reviews
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Backyard Session IPABackyard Session IPA

Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beerpiggie on 09-02-2014

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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 113
Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

About three months ago, I did a horizontal of Saugatuck B.C. beers, but this one was not available at that time. Since then, I have conducted many other brewery's horizontals, but as others become available, I am reviewing them to fill in any gaps that may occur. The eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody is a force to be reckoned with! I purchased this one during a recent visit to Highland Pizzeria.

From the bottle: "The perfect beer if you like to do stuff."; "Made in Michigan".

It seems as though the bottle might be a little old, so following the Pop! of the cap, I commenced a very slow, gentle pour, just in case. An in-glass swirl raised two fingers of foamy, rocky, tawny head with modest retention. Color was solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was lightly hoppy, kind of citrusy, with a biscuit malt backbone. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste had a lightly sweet bitterness, like grapefruit combined with a tropical fruit, but still underlain with a biscuity maltiness. Finish was semi-dry, not exactly bitter, but definitely neither dry or sweet in any respect. It seemed like another swing & a miss of a session IPA. I just do not think that a session AIPA deserves the same kind of score as a full-on AIPA. Sorry.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown-hued orange and darker than your average IPA. Very small head that's gone 5 seconds later. Aroma of sweet caramel and not too hoppy. Definitely not as aromatic as your good American IPAs. Taste is the exact opposite: Quite bitter and not very balanced. Can't taste much maltiness. Medium body. Not the kind of IPA that makes you come back for more

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

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of tea, citrus hops, caramel malt, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, tea, slight caramel malt, slight pine, hint of alcohol, and and a hint of earthy malt. Overall, average appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good beer. Fairly dry, strong hops, good carbonation. I enjoyed this one. It is a bit dry for my personal taste, but it fit the IPA style and had great taste overall. I'd have it again.

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Photo of K-Dog
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought a couple single bottles because I need something light to do some all day yard work on a warm spring day her in michigan. Not a huge fan of session ipas but this did it's job. The only other session ipa I have found to be ok is founders all day. This one wasn't to bad for what it is

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent English style session ipa.....I prefer west coasters than English. The beer poured a clear copper with white head and little lacing. The scent was more bitterness. The taste was bitter from start to finish with bitter hops. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its ok.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper/amber in color,with a moderate head of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Pleasant whiff of citrus hops
Taste-Nice hop flavor. Grapefruit pith,piney fruity hops. Overall nice flavor and character for a 'session" IPA, not the watered-down flavor that you get with some other offerings. Solid.

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Photo of Raime
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Saugatuck Back Yard Session IPA.

First few brews I had outta these guys a few year back were disappointing to say the least but lately they have impressed me quite a bit. Here's hoping they continue.

Look - Pours a pollution level hazed amber with a finger and a half of off white head that retains surprisingly well. The carbonation bubbles slowly rise to the top of the head and come in moderate amounts. Light pierces the murk though not strongly. Lacing stuck around fairly well. 4.25.

Smell - Highly floral in the nose with fresh Mosaic hops met by a bit of centenniel as is typical of the style. Flowery esters and a touch of sweet candies. 4.

Taste - Basically follows the nose and I would have a hard time attempting to describe anything different about it. The mosaic hops are heavy on the forefront mixing with a punch of centennial hoppiness and an ever present floral aspect. Citrus rinds and a bit dank on the finish. Sweetness is very high as is typical of session IPAs. 3.75.

Feel - Body is full in the mouth though watery on the tongue with a moderate amount of carbonation that lightly dances and pops on the tongue. Creamyness galore as the head retains throughout the drink. Sweetness becomes cloying if you let it sit for too long, so it will lose a few points here. 3.5.

Overall - Session ipas really aren't my thing, but so far this one is probably my favorite. It has a more well balanced flavors than the others, but the sweetness as usual in sessions would become over bearing after more than three or four. Fine to have a few in a sitting, but wouldn't recommend any more than that. 3.75..

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Photo of whitetale
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden to almost orange with a slight haze. Aroma is mild citrus (with a little melon/pear ??). Pours a nice white head which remains with good lacing. Mouthfeel has good carbonation. I like the taste - good hop flavor with just enough malt to support the hops without being too sweet.
I have to say I have tried a lot of "session" beers and have generally been disappointed - not enough body or taste or the hop profile is off. This is one of the best so far. A very good job Saugatuck.

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Photo of Prager62
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 06/23/15. Pours a brilliant clear gold color with ample white foam. Very beautiful look to it! There is a faint pineapple aroma and some bready malt. Flavor is watered down passion fruit and some mild pine in the background. The feel is very thin and a bit dry.

Overall a decent enough session IPA. Might be on the 'lighter' side of the spectrum if that's your thing. Glad to try it, but I don't buy a lot of this style, and this didn't change my mind.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Saugatuck's Backyard IPA last week for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. I'm in the mood for something hoppy tonight and I thought I would revisit this beer, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, but it could go better with the name and it isn't too eye catching. It poured a fairly clear amber color that took on more of a golden amber color when held to the light with a finger and a half of white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart some nice citrus, slightly earthy, slightly floral and green hops aromas with no single aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes a slight bit of doughy yeast that goes into the malts which impart some pale malts, slightly bread and slightly grainy aromas. The aroma is pretty nice, it has good balance for the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up, but this time they take on more of a generic hop and green hop aspects. Up next comes just a slight bit of doughy yeast that leads into the malts which are just a little lighter than they were in the aroma, but they impart the same aspects. On the finish there's a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a generic hoppy aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer, but I wish the hop profile was more like it was in the aroma.

M- Smooth, crisp, a little clean, a little dry on the finish, on the thicker side of being light bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and I thought it was a nice example of the style, but when it came down to it the taste was lacking just a little and it needed just a little more hop aspects. This beer has nice drinkability, I could drink a couple, but then I would be ready for something else. What I like the most about this beer is the balance, it's got a good balance of hops and malts. What I like the least about this beer the taste, it needs some more hops. I might buy this beer again and I wouldn't turn one down. I don't think it's a must try, but if you really like the style it might be worth a try. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love and I wish I didn't it fall just a little short when it came to the taste. It's not a favorite from this brewery and it's just a little above average for the style. Solid job guys. but I think with a little more work this could be a pretty good beer.

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Photo of TurboBrew
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours light golden color with 1/2 finger head that leaves light lacing... Hazy yellow hues in color.

Smell the hops... CItra and centennial take over the nose not overpowering as expected.. but definitely there with some aroma

Light malt backbone balanced with citra pungent flavor... and simcoe spicy pine take the majority of the flavor over

Very solid and lingering hop/malt flavor here for a "session ipa" Bitter rind/grapefruit finish that is indeed refreshing on a hot day!

Will seek it out again... if only SBC put this out in a 15 pack for the summer like other MI beers... .. .... Hmmmmmmmmm

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Photo of mchegash
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Bright golden-orange. A finger and a half of slightly off-white head. Moderate clarity.

Smell - 4.25/5
Strong citrus notes along with slightly spicy fresh pine.

Taste - 4/5
Light, slighty spicy pine hops, a lot of citrus (grapefruit predominantly), along with some solid malts.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium-full bodied, a medium-light amount of medium-high+ intensity carbonation. I really liked the kick in the back of my throat near the end of the sip, provided by the high intensity carbonation. The fullness was nice as well.

Overall - 4/5
This was actually quite a great beer. I just picked it up as part of a build-your-own 6-pack, so didn't know what to expect. But glad I tried this.

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Photo of B-Stad
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best session IPA I've ever had. You don't lose much with this gem even with the lower ABV. I'm quite fascinated with this beer at the moment. I think it's going to be my go to for the summer. They nailed it with this one. Backyard delivers nearly everything you'd want out of an IPA, and yet is still able to drop the ABV so you can enjoy as many of them as you'd like! Brilliant! Counting down the days(should be a week according to my favorite local liquor store owner) until I can have this treat in my fridge rather then driving down to the steakhouse to have one!

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Do I want a beer that reminds me of my backyard? Regardless, this stuff pours a clear amber-brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises leek, mild pine, light orange zest, and some light toffee in the back. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some mixed greens that don't really jive with their surroundings (I suppose calling them "weeds" would fit the beer's conceit a bit more). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, not too appetizing of an IPA, session or otherwise, due to those leek and "weed" characters.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 1/15/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity of citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon/orange zest, pine, light caramel, toasted bread and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a damn nice session IPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Brenden
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a thick, muddled orange-brown that's too thick to see into. There's some bubbly carbonation clinging to the walls of the glass for most of the session. The head is spritzy, nearly white, and settles to a foamy and big-bubbled layer on top that drops some spotting in pretty good volume.
The smell is excellent. It's hoppier than expected with a deep bouquet of pine, some earthy pith, and just a touch of citrus rind with just enough chewy malts to balance.
The hops immediately take over the taste but hold more pith than anything, and it doesn't have the depth the aroma does. It's nice, and never gets too astringent, but a note of spent grains lingers, detracting a bit.
The feel is good, a nice balance of crisp and smooth with good carbonation and consistency from front to back. It loses just a hint of cleanness on the end, but it holds up.

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Photo of tjwarren
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like a full on IPA. hazy unfiltered look. Aroma is everything in this. Contributes huge to the taste. there is a little sweetness that is knocked down by the bitterness. It actually plays nice throughout the beer. Great session.

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Photo of verticalted
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Delicious IPA. Not too hoppy but enough to give it a excellent IPA taste.. Enjoyed the texture aroma and flavor of this beer with no aftertaste. I can see having several of these and not worrying about too much bitterness.

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Backyard Session IPA from Saugatuck Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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