Beer: Old 21 by The Brew Kettle

  • Photo by Jodi Miller
By Columbus Alive
From the January 5, 2012 edition

About the brewery

The Brew Kettle is among the Cleveland-area breweries gaining a stronger presence in Central Ohio through upgraded production facilities and good reputation. Headquartered in Strongsville, the operation has won numerous awards, including silver and bronze medals at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

About the style

IPAs are known for highlighting the bitterness of hops — those piney, citrusy or tangy-tasting ingredients used to flavor and stabilize beer. Most imperial IPAs are simply traditional versions on overdrive. They’re bigger, bolder and often more potent.

About the beer

Old 21 boasts standard credentials for the style: It’s deep gold in color, clocks in at 90 IBUs and packs nine percent ABV.

Yet the beer is what’s known as a varietal IPA. Like a wine made with a single kind of grape, Old 21 is brewed using only Simcoe hops, in addition to malts, water and yeast.

For this beer, one type of hops was enough.

Its strong nose emerges with dashes of pine and inviting citrus smells that are also found in every swallow. Ruby-red grapefruit, orange rind and even mandarin slices swish through this beer and stow away traces of sweet, biscuity malt.

Pronounced hop oils and resins tingle the tongue and lock in the taste — a welcome reminder that you’re enjoying top-notch ale.