There’s no denying that IPA is the most popular style of craft beer, and there are quite a few variations on the style. We’ve got the good old standard IPA (West Coast IPA – Clear, hoppy and bitter), Double IPA, Triple IPA, New England Style IPA (single or double), Milkshake IPA (single or double), Session IPA, Brut IPA, Sour IPA and more. Personally, Double IPAs (both West Coast & New England Style) are my favorite. There’s just something about that intense flavor and hop character that I just love.
Sometimes though, I wish I could get the flavor and hoppy character I enjoy from a Double IPA in a Single IPA or, better yet, a Session IPA. Most Session IPAs I’ve tried are too light on the hops and thin on the mouthfeel for my taste. Even with lower ABV and/or lower carbohydrates, I still want full flavor and a hoppy punch. Well, Firestone Walker Brewing Company just announced a new IPA called Flyjack. It’s a Session IPA at only 96 calories and 5 grams of carbs, but it’s supposed to be big on flavor.
Here’s some more information about Flyjack IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Company:
Meet Flyjack, our latest innovation here at Firestone Walker. A full-flavored hazy IPA that flies in at just 96 calories and 5 carbs. Citrus, hazy, and crisp. Everything you want from a hazy IPA, with nothing to weigh you down.
Brewmaster Matt Brynildson and team knew the challenge of making a great tasting, easy drinking hazy IPA would be no easy feat. In fact, it was one of the hardest beers we’ve ever had to create.
THE CHALLENGE WAS FIGURING OUT THE RECIPE, DIALING IT IN, AND GETTING IT TO WHERE WE WANT IT TO BE.
To begin, we looked to our Mind Haze hazy IPA for inspiration. We knew we wanted to mimic its tropical fruit notes and hazy appearance, but how do you get those flavors while minimizing the calories? We had to eliminate the sugar from the beer so we use special enzymes that break down some of the larger sugars into one our house yeast strain would “eat” in the fermentation process, resulting in a dry beer. It’s pretty easy to make a 4% ABV beer, but it would have around 130 calories. 80 calories in Flyjack are directly from alcohol, so this only left us 16 calories to create a full-bodied, full-flavored beer.
Once the sugars were minimized, we added wheat and oats, both of which have protein which helps add body and haze to the beer. Next we’re using specific hops – such as the Strata hop – to offer a bigger mouthfeel and add a tropical, juicy aroma. Fortunately, hops don’t have calories when added to beer.
After multiple test batches, we had found the perfect recipe. Flyjack is brewed with a malt combination of 2-row, Wheat, Munich and Oats, along with a blend of Cascade and Callitsa hops in the kettle, plus Strata, Mosaic, Chinook and Sabro in the dry hopping stage. This blend of malts and hops allows for a crisp and hazy beer with hints of citrus. The low ABV of 4% and low IBU of 25 allows for a flavorful IPA but with almost half the calories as most others.
For us, Flyjack was the answer for those who want to enjoy a beer or two (or three) but without the worry of too much alcohol or an expanding waistline. For our brewers, it was a way to continue pushing innovation to the perfect beer.
At Firestone Walker, flavor comes first. But coming in at a close third comes a good looking can. So we’re confident that Flyjack is not just the best tasting full flavored Hazy IPA under 100 calories that you’ll ever have. It also comes in one handsome can. Just look at it. Stunning.
So, will Flyjack live up to my expectations? As some of you may know, I’ve been on a journey recently to lose a few pounds. That’s why I took a brief hiatus from September to December (I’ve lost 30 lbs since mid September). So I’d love to find a great tasting, low calorie and low carb IPA to help satisfy my IPA cravings. I’m hoping Flyjack will do the trick. It should start appearing on Seattle area shelves any day now. So be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I’ll share my opinions once I’ve had the opportunity to try it.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.