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Getting to Know Steep Coast Zappa DIPA With Oskar Blues Brewer Scott Johnson


July 11, 2019

The newest release in the Steep Coast Double IPA Series, Steep Coast Zappa DIPA, is an 8% ABV brew packed with complex, provocative Zappa hops along with Sabro and Medusa for a total hop load of nearly six pounds per barrel. All three varietals belong to the Neomexicanus family, a hop subspecies native to New Mexico and Colorado. These distinctly American hops, characterized by low alpha acids and high oil content, make for a dank, citrusy, expressive DIPA experience. We caught up with Oskar Blues Brewer Scott Johnson for the details on Steep Coast Zappa DIPA:

What dishes would you pair with Steep Coast Zappa?
Something salty, as bitterness can enhance the flavor of a salty dish. My go-to would be slow smoked brisket slathered in bourbon BBQ sauce. A strong, pungent cheese such as Brie would also make a good pairing. For dessert I’d go for a rich cheesecake with caramel sauce.

What is the ideal time and place to enjoy a Steep Coast Zappa?
Venice, under a harvest moon with the love of your life. Or a backyard BBQ – whichever is more convenient.

There are lots of DIPAs out there – what makes Steep Coast Zappa special?
It showcases hops named after the musician Frank Zappa himself, which were recovered from the wild in New Mexico. The hop evolved independently and developed its own unique aroma and flavor characteristics. [It] boasts an alluring spiciness, heavy mango, sharp citrus and strong pine. A very savory hop indeed.

Can you describe what it’s like to drink a Steep Coast Zappa?
Visual- light orange color with moderate haze, no particulates, small amount of thin light brown foam, minimal lacing.

Aroma- heavy tropical punch to the nose (pineapple, mango, passion fruit, papaya, grapefruit, orange, peach, apricot, melon, honeydew, banana, guava), followed closely by resinous pine, biscuit, fresh cut grass, white pepper, caramel, cedar and a hint of mint.

Flavors- gently sweet, biscuity, toasty, with light, lingering bitterness and a slight warmth from the alcohol that leaves you feeling like Anton Ego from Ratatouille after his first bite of said ratatouille.

If Zappa wore clothes, what would it wear?
Unicorn onesie.

If Zappa was cast in a live action movie, which actor would play it?
Jason Statham, but only if he was dressed in a unicorn onesie for the entire movie and no one acknowledged that it was out of place or weird.

There you have it. The Steep Coast Double IPA Series exhibits a wide spectrum of hop flavors, with the goal of diversifying the craft beer lover’s Double IPA experience. Southern Passion and Enigma variations will appear in the rotating Steep Coast Mountain IPA Series later this year.

Steep Coast Zappa DIPA is now available in select markets on draft and in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans. Find it near you via the beerfinder or contact Aaron Baker at aaron@oskarblues.com with questions.