Instigator India Pale Ale | Indie Ale House Brewing Company

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Instigator India Pale AleInstigator India Pale Ale
Very Good
32 Ratings
Instigator India Pale AleInstigator India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Indie Ale House Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A key beer in the craft beer revolution. IPAs were originally made in the 1800’s in England with extra hops and alcohol to survive the long sea voyage from England to India for the troops there and became so popular for the refreshing bitter taste that the rest of the world soon caught on. When home brewers started experimenting in the 1970’s and 80’s this style led the way and today it is the most popular style of craft beer. Ours is an ‘homage to those first craft brewers that went looking for trouble.

Added by Sammy on 12-18-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by peensteen:
Photo of peensteen
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange, about a finger of white head, good lace as well. Smell is full of citrus, grapefruit and orange, moderate malt bill here as well, smells quite hoppy and big on bitterness. Taste is malty with a lot of dry earthy citrus hops, big bitterness as well, pine also, finishes with more earthy, almost dirt like flavours. Lightly carbonated, drying medium body. This was a decent IPA but with the amount of good IPA available locally this isn't at the top of the list.

 473 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of kjyost
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in CanBIF 2014, bottled "V". Poured cool, but not fridge cold into a tulip.

Pours with a frothy white was that has gooey, sticky lacing atop a slightly hazy golden body. Glorious fruity hop nose rich with melons, grapefruit, citrus and general deliciousness. Tastes quite similar though a hint of bitterness from hops plays through. Very good fruity hop body.

A stunningly we'll put together beer. Why the rating here is so low I know not. In all seriousness this bottle was in line with Heady & Furious.

 526 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

aka Hoppy IPA. A melange of Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade,Galaxy, and Northern Brewer. A good rich citrus. Average mouthfeel. Reflecting late, dry hopping for the most part. Very good drinkability. Hazy orange-grapefruit appearance. Spot on American IPA. Hoppy citrus aromas.

 275 characters

Photo of Keene
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, Instigator pours clear with a pale to medium amber hue and a generous, enduring head that leaves lacing on the glass. Inviting, to be sure. Fragrant and fruity on the nose with notes of strawberry, grapefruit, kumquat and buckwheat honey. Medium-bodied and well carbonated, this IPA delivers some of the West Coast-style bitterness promised on the label, but with just enough malt character to keep the scale from tipping too far in the hoppy direction. Flavors of tea, citrus rind, burnt sugar, green pepper and chewy bread crust make for an distinctive beer. A slightly peppery, semi-dry finish complete the experience. Very solid.

 650 characters

Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had as part of a paddle at the brew house.

A- Pours a nice white head that lasts for 3mins or so before film out. Medium gold colour.

S- Good hops

T- Lots of hops but mild on the malt. Not sweet at all which I though there would be a bit of as I like this style.

M- Dry and crisp

O- Nice brew overall. Good balance but the flavor just is not there. Doesn't have to be a hit the mouth on the first sip but this brew is mild, mild, mild. Not for me so I'll try something else next time

Food Pairing

This ok brew went ok with.......... Cheese and crackers. A touch of honey or jelled fruit to break the palate.


 623 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Boozecamel
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a hazy amber color ale with large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of floral citrus notes with light resin notes is quite enjoyable. Taste is dominated by floral citrus notes with light residual sugar notes and light bitterness notes in the finale. Body is full for style with good carbonation. Nice hops flavours with well-balanced bitterness makes for a fine IPA.

 411 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Adamthornton13
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dipso123
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of liamt07
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler from the brewpub, day old at time of consumption.

Unfiltered orange, offwhite head. Moderate retention and light lace. Nose of piney, herbal and leafy, some tropical fruit notes. Mild sweet malt character. Bitterness strikes first on the palate, more leafy and lightly herbal hops, fruity flavours, tropical and some citrus rind. Some malt sweetness, but hops are pretty big. Medium feel, lower medium carbonation. Pretty good stuff.

 442 characters

Photo of Whatup14
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of byronic
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rukeli76
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from the brewery. No date but i'd guess it's pretty fresh.

Nice if slightly light pale ale colour. Cloudy. Two-inch head that sticks around. Nice lacing.

Grapefruit. Really all-in, distinctive hop profile.

This isn't a malty beer by any stretch of the imagination, but there's a sweetness to it that supports the citrusy hops really well. Would I sound like an idiot if I said it tasted a bit like orange marmalade?

Fizzy. Has that umami-type thing some unfiltered beers do.

This is a really solid, world-class IPA. I feel lucky that I can walk a couple of blocks and buy a pint or a 500ml bottle to go for five bucks.

 636 characters

Photo of Yesdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of polloenfuego
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of mattmarka1
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of andrenaline
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Erik-P
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hopsolutely
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken yesterday afternoon during a fantastic lunch at the brewery and my first time trying this great new addition to OCB's APA offerings.

A hazy orange colour with a decent white head and impressive lacing. Excellent "west coast hop" aroma of tropical fruit. Nice balance in the hop-forward flavour. Sweet tropical fruit with a respectable malt backbone leading to a bracingly bitter finish. Really enjoyed!

A very drinkable beer and one I'll definitely try to find again.

 486 characters

Photo of yancot
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of biegaman
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Instigator IPA tastes a lot like a fruit smoothie and, indeed, looks it too. Not exactly the most handsome ale, the orange-yellow tones of this murky, seemingly pulpy offering still attempt to shine despite the odds being stacked against them. The head is thin and lacing is correspondingly sparse.

The nose resembles every bit as much a fruit puree as the appearance - one sniff could probably cure scurvy. Pirates would go nuts for this stuff! It's like trucks full of pineapple, orange, mango, papaya, and grapefruit were backed up to my nose and just let their cargo fly down my nostrils. I feel like I should be wearing a grass skirt, lei and coconut-bra when drinking this beer.

This provides all the mango nectar, orange wedge, and grapefruit peel one could ask for. Indie Ale House should consider opening a juice bar! This IPA is most certainly of the tropical, juicy, hop-tastic variety and, with a shot of wheat grass or soy protein or whatever, they could sell it at twice the cost.

That being said, it's far more bitter than sweet. For all the pineapple and papaya tastes, the citrusy fruitiness and pulpy nectar notes, it still clamps down on the finish with an iron jaw and spiky teeth. Bitterness is neither harsh nor astringent, but it's most definitely assertive.

For years I scrolled through the pages of Beer Advocate and saw California, Oregon, Washington, then New York, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and lately all other parts of the Midwest, South and Southwest - not to mention Europe and elsewhere - register top 100 IPAs. Meanwhile, the Canadian province of Ontario turned out one caramelly, safe and "half-in" IPA after another...

Finally, Indie Ale House along with a couple notable others (Great Lakes Brewing and Bellwoods) are putting out hop-bombs capable of passing as American-made. Hopefully Instigator IPA does indeed provoke a second wave of fully-hopped, no-holds-bar Indian Pale Ales in this market. As things are now, this remains one of my picks for best in town and one of the breweries I have most confidence in.

 2,068 characters

Photo of bylerteck
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of durlta
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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Instigator India Pale Ale from Indie Ale House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 32 ratings
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