Connector IPA
Switchback Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American IPA
Ranked #908
Ranked #7,652
4.05 | pDev: 8.64%
Switchback Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Very Good
Notes: Connector IPA is Switchback’s first and long awaited IPA! Light in color and body, the beer is designed to showcase the hops delicious medley of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine characteristics. Following a huge late addition of Citra hops at the end of the brewing process, we dry hopped this beer with a massive amount of Mosaic and Centennial hops. The result is a lively, refreshingly hoppy IPA that finishes dry with a quick hit of bitterness that fades quickly and invites you back for another sip.

Our Connector IPA is named after “The Southern Connector” road that has been debated for over 52 years and would connect the south end of Burlington to Route 7. The world’s tallest filing cabinet created by local artist, Bren Alvarez is located a few hundred yards away from the brewery on Flynn Ave and was constructed to represent the bureaucracy of the project.

Named one of the best IPAs In America As Published by Draft Magazine, June 2017!
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 71
Photo of gmcmillan67
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle. Color is a deep golden but clean. Floral nose to begin with but a grapefruit smell prevails. Great showcase of the centennial hops here with a pleasant pine tastes. A bit dry and bitter finish but it adds a nice balance to the overall feel. 4’s across the board.

 295 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. "Stubby" bottle. Bottled on 11/17/17 opened on 1/20/18

I love to see " Naturally conditioned & unfiltered" on the lable.
A fully hazed out look if you pour in the unfiltered style yeastie bits....which I do. Golden color with white highlights. An all white foam cap, bubbly and rocky recedes slow with plenty of swirling foam left-overs.

The nosr has a very bold and pleasant, hop dominated style aroma. Plenty of earthy and hearty notes, corn husk and dry leaves, along with a dense, tropical fruit style sweetness, pine sap, evergreen and spruce tips and citrus that order.

A fresh, clean but hearty mouthfeel, dry, earthy hop flavor's with wild field grains hit the palate first. The Unfiltered, left over yeast presence goes a long way, which I tend to really enjoy. Peppery citrus, tangy fruits and pine flavor's from a rich combo of hops. Citra late in the boil brings anout the pine, tropical edge, dry hopping with mosiac and Centennial brings more earthy, piney bitterness to the fold, and a seriously complex hoppy ride. A clean, light malt and heady yeastie effect brings this IPA into some intetesting and unique spaces flavorwise. The complexity is actually pretty high, each sip worth savoring, eventhough it's crazy crushable.

Eventhough you won't find this on any BA's "want list" I highly recommend giving this a run through. The extra yeast charecter and crispy body is highly enjoyable. I like me some Switchback.

 1,454 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Holiday Inn in South Burlington, VT.

This one pours a very slightly hazy orange, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells and tastes like like pine resin, slightly sweet malt, orange citrus, and slight dank.

This is very drinkable, and crisp, with a smooth finish.

This is a surprisingly decent IPA from a brewery I didn't figure could do this well.

 373 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Harvest Market. I went to open this yesterday but there were a ton of floaties in the bottle so I let it sit overnight to try to get them to the bottom. Hazy deep golden color without much of a head. Big citrus and resinous pine with a solid bready sweet malty backbone. Lingering lightly harsh bitterness. Better than I expected.

 342 characters

Photo of ichorNet
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Haven't had a new Switchback beer in quite a while, so I picked up a single of this to give it a shot. The stubby bottle, cool label (though it's a near dead-ringer for a Green Flash beer) and hop choice (Citra in the boil with a Mosaic + Centennial dry-hop) definitely drew me to this one, but what really convinced me to put it in my basket at Craft Beer Cellar was its hilariously unfiltered look when held up to light. This reminds me of old, old Heady Topper! The pour is incredibly chunky with unabashed sediment suspended and freely-floating around the attractive orange-leaning color of this brew. The lace here is spectacular, as is the long-lasting head which bears a bone-white appearance and which leaves behind chunky swaths of foam.

The nose is... surprisingly not at all what I expected. Now, granted, this bottle is about a month old and the unfiltered nature of a beer like this can certainly change how it smells and tastes over time, but this feels really musty and leafy. It has a dank, stiff and herbal character that I actually quite like. Some pine sap and light candied grapefruit come out as it comes to cellar temp from the fridge, but this certainly shows how Mosaic and Centennial play together in a dry-hopped IPA environment. If I think about it that way, it's actually not too weird, but still, this was quite interesting. It's not quite catty, but I also find it interesting that I pick up some of those elements from the Citra hops even though they claim to have used them late in the boil. Their Citra kellerbier had some similar aspects, so perhaps it's just a Switchback thing. Quite interesting.

The flavor is crisp and engaging, with a surprisingly strict and defined malt profile that highlights biscuity and bready grains against a backdrop of ripe ruby red grapefruit, tart guava and lemon with some support from the tannic and dank hop aspects I noticed in the nose. Glad I finally found some of the tropical fruit notes they were talking about on the label... it's likely that they were a bit more delicate and hidden behind the yeast presence. Spicy and resinous with strong pine and light green onion/scallion notes too. As with many Mosaic-focused beers, this can feel a little "all over the place," but its dry and stingingly-bitter finish anchors it firmly in the realm of drinkable. The carbonation here is quite well-balanced, and the body is supple and well within the desired stylistic realm of "medium" despite the hefty yeast presence in the appearance. I probably wouldn't revisit this one, but it's a good one-and-done in a session, and a solid IPA from a brewery that has mostly succeeded on the backs of its flagship beers for quite a while. Good on them for thinking out of the box a little bit. Hope to try more new stuff from them soon.

 2,799 characters

Photo of edward_boumil
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a killer beer. Tons of fruit on the nose, tropical fruits, stone fruit, berries and pine. Clean and balanced flavors, bitter finish but smooth and easy to drink. Soft bitterness. Just a nice solid ipa with great flavors and great drink ability.

 256 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz stubby bottle that was bottled 11/17/17. Sampled on December 17, 2017.

It pours a hazy looking pale yellow with sediments floating around. There is a tremendous white foamy head. This is unfiltered so the haziness is due to that.

Vibrant aroma of citrus and pine with a notable sourdough or white bread sweetness under that. Very inviting.

The body is medium to full but very smooth and easy on the palate.

The bitterness at the end is not as easy on the palate unless you like that sort of thing. Bready sweetness and hop characters in the taste with a long, lingering bitterness. Worth a try.

 616 characters

Photo of mister_moose
2.58/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Disappointed given the brewery and the reviews.

The nose is pure old-IPA. For an unfiltered beer it pours fully clear golden orange. It shouldn't be that clear. Taste is rasiny malt with a tasteless bitter remnant. This beer tasted old. I bought it in Rutland 2 days ago in an UNDATED bottle. I was hoping the beer was popular enough to keep stock moving and fresh. Not the case.

Switchback and I go back a long time, I am a fan of the original ale.

So it pains me to write this. If I either see a dated bottle, or taste a fresh one, I'll update this review. There are several brewers not dating their cans or bottles, and Switchback is one of them. With dry hopped IPAs dating is critical. If Switchback wants to be a player in the upper tier of the Vermont IPA market, they need to date their bottle.

Heady gets away without dating their cans because it never lasts in the store more than 1 day, if that. Switchback, you aren't Heady. Slap a date on your IPA. I bet the variation in taste I've noticed in the original ale is partially related to age. A date on that wouldn't hurt either.

I fired off an email last night to Switchback after this disappointing bottle. I just got a prompt reply from the president that included the info that 1) 6 packs carry calendar dates on the bottle, 2) 22oz bombers carry a Julian date, lower left. My bottle is 17174, which is the 174th day in 2017. That's 3 months ago. Glad to see Switchback has good customer response, and hopefully I'll find some fresher beer of theirs now that I know what to look for.

 1,576 characters

Photo of Holderness
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 19 days ago.

L -- Nice orange body and lasting white head, but holy hell is there a lot of sediment in this one. Switchback encourages you to mix it back in, but this sediment is reallllllly chunky.
S -- Malts, citrus rind, rubbery hop, pine
T -- Caramel malts upfront lead to a healthy dose of grapefruit rind and flesh, dank pine, and earth
F -- Really nice flavor balance and remarkably low bitterness for what is by-and-large a west coast-style IPA. Slippery finish. Medium+ carb, medium- mouthfeel
O -- After steering clear of this one because I assumed Switchback wouldn't do IPAs particularly well, out of the blue Draft Magazine names it one of the best IPAs in America. Glad they did! It might not be my personal favorite, but it definitely is the best Switchback has to offer


 803 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a becher pint glass, the appearance was a rust copper color with a sly transparency about it. Finger's worth of white foamy head slid off at a moderate pace to leave some messy lace, somewhat foamy but thin.
The aroma had a nice soft sweet citrus to sturdy bitter pine hoppiness. Mild sweet biscuit-like malt structured the backbone, semi-slightly.
The flavor brought the hop bittersweetness forward to kick the malt backbone a bit further back but it seemed necessary as the aftertaste seemed to speak with the bittersweet hoppiness.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied with a great sessionability about it. Carbonation felt great, non-distracting. ABV felt appropriate.
Overall, possibly Switchback's best beer and the reason probably being is that it's Sam's recipe when he worked there. In other words, if you like this beer, go test his own brainchild along with his buddies at Foam Brewers. Yes, that's right, a brewer from Switchback helped start Foam Brewers.

 982 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a hazy amber with a modest head, which leaves lacing as you enjoy it. Piney scents in the nose. ...and the mouth gets a healthy dose of nice bitterness and malt. Yum!

 195 characters

Photo of Jason
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Bottle was decanted carefully due to the sediment on the bottom. Pours a clear golden hue, head and lacing is spectacular. Big citrus zest nose, lime leaf, herbal tea, and a mild floral alcohol. Fresh citrusy zest, mint and rind, bitterness is pretty aggressive. Hint of bready crakery maltiness. Kiss of warmth from the alcohol and more citrus rind in the finish from the hops. A bit in your face but I'm diggin this brew.

 470 characters

Connector IPA from Switchback Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 71 ratings