Beer Reviews

Nines are Wild (Cold DIPA)

Well, it’s been a wild ride…

Nines are Wild (9%) comes on like a breath of cool rain and creosote wafting in on the dry desert breeze. Clean, bready malt undertones are punctuated by bright, citrusy hops and a crisp finish—a refreshing oasis for thirsty travelers on life’s dusty highway. It’s nice to hop out of the saddle, take in the scenery, and jaw a bit over a cold beer, but we better get movin’…so long, pardner, and happy trails. Here’s to another wild nine years and then some! 

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

Malts: Pilsner, Dextrose

Hops: Centennial, Citra, Motueka, Nelson Sauvin

Nines are Wild is a Cold DIPA. What is a Cold IPA? What does it bring to the table, stylistically?

Created by head brewer Kevin Davey from Wayfinder, Cold IPA is meant to be the “polar opposite of a hazy IPA,” in his own words. The malt bill is the same that would be used for West Coast IPA, utilizing light malt and dextrose to increase alcohol content while minimizing malty character. The hop regimen is also similar to a West Coast IPA, with large amounts going into the boil, followed by heavy-handed dry hopping after fermentation. The main innovation that differentiates Cold IPA is that the beer is kept at a much lower temperature during fermentation, a temperature much closer to that used in lager brewing. Using a yeast that can tolerate this lower temperature is important, with some breweries even using lager specific strains to ferment Cold IPAs. Fermenting at a lower temperature means that the yeast will produce far fewer esters— the fruity compounds that mostly differentiate the flavor profile of ales and lagers. In turn, the hops become the entire focus and dominate the flavor profile completely. 

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Intense hop aroma and flavor stand alone with just the slightest hint of crackery malt. The lack of malt sweetness skews this beer towards bitter, which enhances the West Coast character of the hop profile, amplifying the nuances and intensifying the flavor.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

This beer was brewed for the hop connoisseur, especially those who love traditional West Coast IPAs. The hot weather has me reaching for something crisp and refreshing, but still flavorful and unique. Nines Are Wild checks all these boxes and more.

Are there any other Cold IPAs you dig?

With it being such a new style, the options are limited. Cold IPA from Wayfinder literally created and defined the style. Cold Hearted from Bell’s and Knuckle Buster from Rogue are both widely distributed, delicious examples of the new style.

Appearance: Very light gold with excellent clarity and a thick layer of dense, white foam.

Aroma: Absolutely loaded with resinous pine, grapefruit zest, melon, and peach, with just the slightest hint of light malt.

Taste: Moderately bitter and extremely dry with intense hop flavors of pine, white grapefruit, and peach.

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, crisp, and effervescent.

Overall: This Cold IPA is loaded with hop driven aromas of resinous pine, grapefruit zest, melon, and peach. The malt bill is intentionally light to enhance bitterness, while maintaining a dry, crisp finish. This allows the hop profile to dominate both aroma and flavor, leading to a quick, refreshing finish.

What foods would pair well with Nines are Wild?

This beer would go great with spicy buffalo wings, with enough flavor to cut through the spice while also providing some refreshing crispness.

Ideal glassware for Nines are Wild?

An IPA glass with an inward curve at the rim will help trap and release all those wonderful hop aromas.