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Stickin’ It To The Man Extra India Pale Ale

Tyranena Brewing Company
Lake Mills, WI

Style: Imperial/Double IPA

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Pair With:
Ah yes … “Brewers Gone Wild!” It’s about time somebody produced a video featuring Prince Fielder, Ben Sheets, Francisco Cordero, and the rest of the gang from Milwaukee frolicking on the beach during Spring Break, exposing themselves and participating in various homo-erotic shenanigans.

Ok—upon further review, apparently this isn’t a porn video featuring the Brewers using their bats in most inappropriate ways, (sorry to break the news, Eddie), but rather the name of Tyranena’s limited edition line of specialty brews. Referred to as “a series of big, bold, ballsy beers” by this Lake Mills, Wisconsin brewery, the BGW Series has created some interesting and powerful offerings that have helped elevate Tyranena to new heights within the craft beer community. Already a producer of some finely hopped selections, including Stone Tepee Pale Ale and Bitter Woman IPA, Tyranena has easily secured the title of “King of Hops” in the state of Wisconsin, and ranks among the best in the Midwest in this category following their entries in the BGW Series.

This being summer, I was a bit curious as to what Tyranena would come up with for the June 1 BGW release. “Big, bold, ballsy beers” are great and all, but I’m not looking to drink an Imperial Stout, Porter, or IPA in the summer months. I’d like something a bit lighter, a bit lower in ABV, and somewhat refreshing. The folks at Tyranena apparently heard my internal pleas, and created a beer they call an “Extra India Pale Ale”. No, this is not an official beer category, but then “nu-metal” and “crunk rap” aren’t official music categories, despite the fact that the corporate labels try to pass them off as such. I found this referred to as a Double IPA on a few websites, but I would wholeheartedly disagree with that assesment. This is clearly a standard American IPA, and an excellent one at that.

This is the part where Nigel becomes a bit blasphemous. After sampling Stickin’ It To The Man, I would have to say this is the closest anyone has ever come to replicating Three Floyds masterpiece, Alpha King. Now, before ya’ll begin to inundate my inbox with hate mail, I’m not saying this is as good as Alpha King or is trying to copy Alpha King. It’s not. It fails to completely capture the orgasmic experience of drinking a glass of Alpha King, but to Tyranena’s credit, they apparently attempted to create a brew along those lines. Stickin’ It To The Man is a heavily hopped brew that is dark in color, but fairly light on the tongue. I couldn’t find an official listing of ABV, but I’m guessing it’s quite manageable for the style—between 6 and 7 percent (still ballsy, but not excessive). It goes down very smooth and is refreshing on a mild summer evening. Truly the perfect brew for a summer release.

Tyranena calls this brew “ruby red.” If this is ruby red, then Dorothy was wearing some ugly-ass slippers while she turned tricks on the Yellow Brick Road. It’s more of a deep amber color with a bit of cloudiness aided by some chunkage common in an unfiltered brew. Mild head on the pour quickly dissipates, leaving a slight white trace on the top and edges of the glass. It is a fine looking brew, just not ruby red. The smell is exactly what Sir Nigel, King of Hopheads was hoping for. Bitter, piney hops burn the nostils just a tad, which means I won’t need to trim my nose hair in the morning, so hooray for that. Very aromatic, but not overpowering, the floral hops are underscored a bit by a somewhat sugary roasted malt. The taste is excellent. Again, despite its style and dark color, this is a surprisingly light brew. The hops are by far the dominant flavor, as this is a very bitter brew, but still quite flavorful overall. Nice citrus hints are topped with a decent amount of roasted malt, making for a brew far more complex in flavor than just simply being a hop monster. Tyranena describes its creation as “nearly medium-bodied”, and I can’t argue with that assessment. This is probably in the medium-bodied range, but is much lighter than you would expect. It goes down smooth, with a mild aftertaste.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with Tyranena’s attempt to create a fine IPA that is drinkable during the summer months. I will gladly listen to anyone who disagrees with my comparison to Alpha King, but as a conceited Englishman, I will not back down from my wild accusations. If you’re able to locate Stickin’ It To The Man, it’s definitely worth a try, even during these dog days of summer.


Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on June 28, 2007.
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