First Pull IPA | Brainerd Lakes Brewery

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First Pull IPAFirst Pull IPA
46 Ratings
First Pull IPAFirst Pull IPA

Brewed by:
Brainerd Lakes Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.75%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by shadow1961 on 09-07-2010

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by FightingEntropy:
Photo of FightingEntropy
1.94/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up a new brewery at MGM after a grocery run. Brainerd Lakes Beer is clearly going for an up Nort' feel with lakes inspired names. First Pull refers to the sweet feeling of an outboard starting in one shot. While I understand the metaphor, it's not an association I identify with strongly.

Excited to try a new brewery, but that didn't last long unfortunately. Amber ale with golden highlights looks great in the class with a fluffy white head that falls to a heavy lace. Citrus and heavy metallic over a sweet malt that isn't inviting. Body is thin with an unpleasant twang from more than the hop bite.

While it's easy to root for a new brewery, this beer stalled in the glass. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try the beer at a festival or on site in the future to give it another chance.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Oelschlager
3/5  rDev +1%

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
2.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of
4/5  rDev +34.7%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of LXIXME
2.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small light tan head settles into a nice lacing above a clearish well carbonated deep honey golden colored beer.

Very light aroma of what seems to be a light soapy citrus.

Light taste of what seems to be a cross between citrus and darker fruits, as if apricots meet pineapple and they end up dividing the light taste equally.

A lighter aftertaste without much dryness or tastes of the beer remaining with this lighter medium bodied beer.

A much lighter taste than I was expecting with this Minnesota IPA.

 508 characters

Photo of biboergosum
2.28/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

355ml bottle. What is it with Minhas and Minnesota - can't newfound brewing 'agents' there find a more agreeable (and local) contract brewer?

This beer pours a clear medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy pale beige head, which leaves some decent spectral webbed lace around the glass as things drop away.

It smells of somewhat biscuity caramel malt, wet forest floor flora - mostly rotting pine - and an astringent mouthwash booziness. The taste is unpleasantly acrid pine needles, subdued, wet bready malt, a cheap vodka alcohol heat, with some growing orchard fruitiness that soon starts to be suggestive of by-gone yuk-a-flux.

The carbonation is pretty sedate, the body an ok medium weight, with only a twinge of pithy clamminess, and smooth enough, I'm manning up to say. It finishes well off-dry, the touched caramel malt suffering little guff from the nearly inappropriate 'hops'.

Gah. Again, not a wholly complete hot mess, but not an IPA of any known stripe either. Given the Minnesota connection, how is this not the same thing as the Tonka Preservation IPA?

 1,100 characters

Photo of tempest
2.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors. Meh, this tastes like an under-hopped homebrewed IPA. Yes, there's a bitter citrus kick in the finish, but the it's too bland up front and there's only a hint of hops in the aroma. This would be a fine beer if you called it an amber ale or extra pale ale, but this doesn't have near enough hops to stand up to any great American IPAs. It's decent summer beer, and inoffensive, but I'll pass on having a second.

 451 characters

Photo of djschnabel
4.5/5  rDev +51.5%

Photo of morimech
4/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark amber color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Citrus hop aroma. Hints of grapefruit and something more exotic like passion fruit. A little grass as well. Not getting much from the malt. The flavor is good but maybe not as good as the aroma. I am torn giving it a 3.5 instead of a 4. As the beer sat and warmed, I decided to give it the higher score. There is some malt in the flavor that gives the beer the slightest of sweetness and breadiness before the hops take over. Not the most complex hop profile, just some citrus and a lot of bitterness compared to the amount of flavor. Good mouthfeel. Could of used a little more depth but has excellant carbonation. Ended up giving this 4's down the line. Nothing to really set it apart but it is well crafted and better than a lot of others.

 902 characters

Photo of troyvar
3.75/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of bigbeers84
3.25/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of MN_Beerticker
3.25/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of gatornation
3.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

picked up a single as part of a mix sixer

A- pours a clear copper color with an off white that settles to a fresh ring little to no lacing

S- was malt and toffee with some pine and bread

T- was bitter pine first with some sweet toffee malts

M- medium carbonation crisp and bitter

O- its an ok IPA , it was fresh but lacking in hops for me it was more bitter than anything else without alot of flavor

 404 characters

Photo of Eric908
3/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Pat316
3/5  rDev +1%

Photo of TastyTaste
2.15/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I am a little unsure about this bottle, there may be something wrong with it. There is a lack of head or carbonation, the body is very cloudy with a chunky suspension. This bottle is bad, there is a spoiled butter/off note in the smell. The flavor is also adversely affected, the malt tastes raw and grainy, and it masks whatever this beer is supposed to taste like. I will be pouring this bottle out, I am hoping that this is an exception, not the rule from this beer.

 469 characters

Photo of TonyBaloney
2.5/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of shadow1961
3.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Today I'm tasting the other 50% of Brainerd Beer's output- their First pull IPA. It pours a thin sticky head of foam over a slightly cloudy orange brew. Carbonation is moderate and steady, the nose marmelade and grapefruit rind. Up front the flavor is fruit and a little barley hull with an assertive grapefruit rind/medicinal hoppiness off the back. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a long dry medicinal hoppy aftertaste. This beer is a pretty faithful representation of the West Coast variation on the IPA style- a very light bodied brew that is a carrier of big hop flavor and aroma. Not a personal favorite of mine (I like my IPA's fuller bodied)- but just about note perfect for the style.

 695 characters

Photo of Johnhaley1989
3.25/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of sparx1100
2.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of KarlHungus
2.42/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a hazy orange color with amber hues. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of butterscotch, pine resin, grapefruit. There is enough hop character coming through in the aroma to keep the butterscotch from running riot. However, it is still too strong, and does take away from the beer. The taste is similar to the aroma. There are some nice grapefruity, piney flavors, and a firm bitterness, but there is still a more than noticeable butterscotch character that greatly detracts for all the good things going on. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, I would like to try this beer again as I can sense it might be quite good if not for the diacetyl.

 770 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Able to pick some up at Cash Wise in Brainerd.
Very nice aroma, soft, but nice. Nice citrus with a shot of a really nice sweetness with just a tad of oiliness. Faint background of malt.
Golden amb3er with firm, short dense creamy looking head.
Nicely mixed hop malt flavors finishing with a solid bitterness on a long noticeable dry finish. No real sweetness up front more of a grainy character before the Am. hop flavors kick in. Seems like some cascade with a sour/tart grapefruit quality.
Lighter body than most, but it really drinks nicely. Soft bubbles.
Ya' know this is perfectly fine beer. Good flavors. Balanced nicely. Hits style well. Drinks well. Kudos to all involved. Well done.

 691 characters

Photo of jsprain1
2.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Golden-orange. There is just a bit of haze to it. Big billowy white head. Good retention and some lacing.
S- It doesn't smell bad, but it doesn't smell like an IPA. There is a bit of woody and earthyness, but it's more malty than anything else. Smells sort of like an average amber ale.
T- It tastes fruity, but not in a hoppy way. It tastes woody with a hint of peach. Again, not bad, but it tastes more like an amber or sorta sweet blonde.
M- The body to it is not bad. Fairly full for what should be an IPA. Medium-low carb, with a touch of alcohol noticable in the finish.
O- It's not a bad beer, but it's odd that it's marketed as an IPA. It seems like it should be a pale ale or a slightly hoppy amber. A decent beer, but not what it is marketed as.

 758 characters

Photo of largemouthdmb
3.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of jcjerabek
1/5  rDev -66.3%

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First Pull IPA from Brainerd Lakes Brewery
Beer rating: 2.97 out of 5 with 46 ratings