Just what the heck is a Quad IPA anyway? I’m certainly familiar with Belgian Quads, and Triple or Imperial IPAs; but a Quad IPA? When I joined a group of bloggers yesterday to sample Valiant Brewing’s newest bold creation, I had no idea what to expect. Head Brewer Brian Schroepfer is onto something though; Alpha Overdrive is a unique experience in the landscape of Orange County IPAs.
Our sample came in a small goblet along with a Session IPA made from the second runnings of grain from the Alpha Overdrive brew, as well as Overdrive’s base beer, Alpha Drive (a Double IPA). Having had their regular Alpha Drive before, thinking it was on the sweet side for a Double IPA, I surmised that the Quad would have same characteristics.
The color of Overdrive was deep amber, becoming crystal clear as the brew settled after pouring. The nose picks up sharp pine flavor with hints of citrus. I feared the taste would be too sharp and astringent at this point, but upon my first few sips those doubts were quickly quelled. The scent hides a smooth caramel-like sweetness that contrasts nicely with the Centennial and Amarillo hops that push through a strong bitterness. If this brew is 220 IBUs like our host explained, you wouldn’t be able to tell; the balancing act between the sweet and bitter plays our beautifully. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, moderately carbonated and little to no astringent flavors. The high ABV (14.3%!) is very well hidden, only leaving a slight lingering burn in the chest as evidence of the beer’s strength.
From the Press Release;
“Our quadruple IPA was designed to put Orange County on the map when it comes to craft beer. Orange County is already full of breweries waiting to blossom and that number will just continue to grow. At Valiant Brewing Company we believe that bigger is better and our Quad IPA is just that. It is an expression of our personality and a small taste of what Orange County has to offer.”
Valiant Tasting Room
It was admittedly hard to find my way to the tasting room, even though I had been there several times before. Fortunately on days the brewery is open to the public there is signage along 2294 N. Batavia Street to direct imbibers to the brewery. Of the buildings in the industrial complex, Valiant is located in 2294C, the garage door will also be open to the seating area and taproom.
Once in the tasting room, those looking for bold and fierce beers are in for a treat, few of Valiant’s creations are under 7- 8%. In a time where sessionable beers are becoming more and more popular, head brewer Brian Schroepfer is bucking the trend. That is not to say these beers will scorch you, the strength is hidden extremely well. The beers of Valiant are not just powerful, they may be holy as well. The Schroepfers and Valiant maintain a close connection to Orange County Catholic churches. Upon opening, The Order of Norbertine Monks from St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado came to bless the brewing equipment and fermentation tanks. Valiant also promotes local small businesses by promoting their food delivery to the tasting room. Popular deliveries include delectable BBQ from Smoqued and delicious Italian from Wiseguy Pizzeria, both in Orange.
Alpha Overdrive will be released to the public on Friday June 27th, doors open at 4:00pm. The first 30 customers on Friday will be able to fill a 32oz growler to take home; be sure to get their early. This first 15 BBL batch is draught only, but plans to bottle Alpha Overdrive are in the works. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Valiant products in well stocked bottle shops and bars in SoCal, the Criterion Belgian Amber is a personal recommendation.
Valiant’s tasting room is only open Thursday (5-10pm), Friday (4-11pm), and Saturday (12-11pm). Along with nearby Noble Aleworks, Bottle Logic, and Anaheim Brewery, Valiant is another jewel in the crown of Orange County craft brewing.
p.s. BRING BACK PATHOS!