Beer Reviews

Flamingo (Tropical IPA)

The result of experimentation with Omega’s Cosmic Punch Ale yeast, Flamingo (6.4%) invites you for a creamsicle cruise over lupulin lagoons toward sherbet sunsets. Bright, juicy, and blushing with vivid fruit esters—everyone knows that the best way to take the vibe to eleven is with a few well-placed Flamingos. Flamingo is a limited release, available on draft and in cans exclusively in the Hop Box. 

Reviews are done by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone and FoBAB judge.

Malts: Pilsner, Munich

Hops: Citra, Galaxy, Idaho 7, Cascade

We’ve been brewing Flamingo for a bit, but this is the first time it’s been canned! Flamingo is available exclusively in the Hop Box: can you talk a little bit about what the Hop Box is all about, and how Flamingo fits in?

Rhinegeist opened at a time when highly hopped beers— like IPAs and American Pale Ales— were incredibly popular. This worked out perfectly for us, since we love brewing these styles of beer. While the classic styles have made a bit of a resurgence, we still love experimenting with all the new hop varieties that are being released every year. The Hop Box is a variety pack featuring some of the most interesting uses we’ve found for hops. Truth is our flagship, a classic West-Coast IPA that’s loaded with notes of Grapefruit and Pine. Mathlete is a low calorie IPA, with restrained bitterness, allowing hop-derived aromas like lemon zest and peach to dominate the profile. Vision, a Hop Box exclusive, is a West Coast Pale ale that shows how light, cracker-like malt can play off hops to create an incredibly refreshing brew. And, to round it out, Flamingo is joining the Hop Box as another exclusive, meaning you’ll have to grab the  variety pack if you want a taste of either it or Vision! (Or head down to the taproom and grab a flight of all 4!)

Flamingo is the product of experimentation with Omega’s Cosmic Punch Ale yeast—can you explain what role the yeast is playing in this IPA?

Cosmic Punch is a “thiolized” yeast, meaning it’s been specifically developed to create compounds called “thiols.” These compounds contribute bright, vibrant tropical fruit notes, like juicy passionfruit and fresh guava, that accent the aromas and flavors in highly hopped beers. Their structural similarity to ethanol, the alcohol produced during fermentation, allows yeast to create these aromatic compounds through a process called “biotransformation.” All ale yeast strains produce other aromatic compounds while also producing ethanol— many Belgian ale yeast strains, for example, are well known to contribute notes of banana and clove. Cosmic Punch utilizes this process to create very specific compounds that enhance the fruity, juicy character that results from heavy hop additions. 

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Notes of juicy mango, fresh papaya, and bright citrus absolutely jump from the glass. The amplified fruit character that the Cosmic Punch yeast imparts is as impressive as it is impactful, adding a dimension to this beer that’s usually only achievable through real fruit additions. And because it’s yeast providing this intensity of fruit flavor, not just hops, it also means that the bitterness is lower than expected, increasing the drinkability and allowing a slight perception of sweetness that adds to the experience. 

What are some other Tropical IPAs that you dig?

MadTree Midwest Luau is a great local offering. Tropical Torpedo from Sierra Nevada is also a fantastic beer.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

While IPA lovers will certainly enjoy this beer, the unique fruity thiols produced by the Cosmic Punch yeast elevate Flamingo to another level.

Appearance: Light gold with great clarity and fluffy white foam.

Aroma: Fresh mango, juicy papaya, and tons of zesty citrus.

Taste: Medium bitterness and just the slightest perception of sweetness from the overload of fruity thiols.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin, with medium carbonation and slight, lingering fruit character.

Overall: Light gold with great clarity and fluffy white foam, Flamingo bursts with notes of fresh mango, juicy papaya, and bright citrus. Medium bitterness and the slight perception of sweetness lead to a slight lingering fruitiness in this medium-thin bodied tropical IPA.

What foods would pair well with Flamingo?

The bright, tropical aromas in Flamingo would accent a Thai coconut curry perfectly.

Ideal glassware for Flamingo?

A shaker pint would work fine, but a glass with a slight inward curve at the rim will capture and enhance all those thiol–rich aromas.