Texas Ale Project’s 50 Ft. Jackrabbit Is Big On Hops.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Texas Ale Project‘s 50 Ft. Jackrabbit.9685_6Fast Facts on Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit.
Style: American IPA.
ABV: 7 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 70.
Color: Deep gold.
Availability: Year-round.

Texas Ale Project released 50 Ft. Jackrabbit in 2015, and it has taken us this long to review it. But that’s OK, right? In our earlier review of their Payne Pils, we gushed on the beauty of this brewery, along with TAP’s step mashing and its overall badassery. So I won’t spend too much time on that part.

What I will mention is that I got to volunteer on the canning line for a batch of 50 Ft. Jackrabbit several months back. I even got to meet a couple guys from Armadillo Mobile Canning, who ran the canning line that day. I arrived a bit after 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and head brewer and overall nice guy John Sims was already there with a couple people. We folded an endless pile of boxes and did other non-brewing stuff, and then the canning line fired up! My volunteer post consisted of weighing cans as they came off the end of the canning line’s crimper. So you know, cans are supposed to be in a certain weight range in order for product consistency and quality standards. So I weighed cans — a shitload of cans — and then sent them on down the belt to the Packtech machine. The Packtech machine that TAP owns is one of those giant uni-taskers (but a major time-saver) that corrals cans of beer into six packs, and then sticks on those clamp-from-the-top six-pack plastic can holders.

Pretty exciting stuff!
9685_3Background on American IPA.
This style is known to have a slightly more aggressive American hop profile than an English IPA. The malt profile is also turned down just a little bit so the American varietals of hops can shine through. Weirdly though, lots of American IPAs use new world hop varieties. Say what? I think what the style guidelines means is Australia and New Zealand. This area of the world is cranking out some unbelievable hop varietals that contain tons of citrus, resinous melon aromas and excellent bittering power. Unlike the English IPA style, the American style usually has a smaller emphasis on toasty and caramel malt flavors. The finish should be dry to medium dry. This is a clean beer, after all, and the star of the show in the American IPA is the hop aroma and flavor.

Most of the other times I have tried 50 Ft. Jackrabbit, it has poured clear out of the can. The photos in this review show a beer that really wants to clear up. Is it chill haze? I don’t this so. It’s particles, visible particles! The beer is translucent for sure, but it’s not the brilliantly clear beer that I was hoping for. Maybe I got a six pack from the later stages of a canning run, something with a little bit of particle funk in it. Ah well, I will give the clarity category a pass this time, because I know that this beer is normally a lot more clear. Another important thing to note is that this beer’s foam has legs for days. As I take a sip, a thin blanket of foam separates on the side of my glass as fat rings magically appear. This is a good sign9685_4Aroma.
50 Ft. Jackrabbit hits me in the kisser with pine and citrus. I feel like the piney, resinous aroma beats out the citrus, but your results may vary a bit depending on what you might detect in the aroma department. If I were blindfolded and asked to take a whiff of this beer, I would say that this has West Coast IPA written all over it. It smells of floral and pine hop aroma through and through, and the malt, while present, doesn’t get in the way at all on this beer.

Just as the hop aroma plays an aggressive role in the sensory experience, the hop flavor also takes on the major role in the flavor. The hops dominate this beer, but not in a bad way. The malt is clean and non-intrusive, and I like that it gets out of the way to let the hop flavor shine. And while the hops do dominate the flavor profile, I don’t feel like this beer is unbalanced for an American IPA at all. It’s clean, a bit spicy-piney, a little bit resinous, and a kiss of citrus on the swallow.

50 Ft. Jackrabbit seems to bit hitting all the major style points right on the money, and the mouthfeel is no exception. This beer finishes crisp and dry for its 7 percent ABV. While both the ABV and IBU are on the high end of the range for this beer, they provide a nice balance and an enjoyable beer. The aftertaste sticks around forever, in that there’s a slowly dissipating hop tinge that’s still dancing across my tongue. The carbonation is also in-style, and remains bright and contributes to a creamy-smooth medium body that keeps me coming back.9685_5Overall Impression.
So I poured a second beer — with less vigor this time — into a pint glass. The particles and haze persist, but I am not deterred from the haze. If anything, this beer sort of takes on that Vermont-style hazy IPA; I seriously doubt that this is what the brewer is going for with this beer. I wasn’t expecting a clear beer, since this next can was filled right when the other was filled. No big deal, TAP, pass on the clarity this time! The other sensory gems, like the endless foam, the hop-head dreamy aftertaste, and the wallop of hop intensity I get on my tongue are more than enough to impress me.

Do you have an all-around IPA that you reach for? Is 50 Ft. Jackrabbit on your short list? It is for me — I’m a fan of this beer. Cans seemed a little bit hard to find early on this year, but I’ve been seeing TAP cans available at more and more places. I guess its sales staff has been working the hustle or it got a distribution deal lined up.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit an 8.9685_1 9685_2What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Friday, September 30. Live Remote Broadcast by 1310-AM’s The Hardline at Wild Acre Brewing.
• Friday, September 30. Brew-Haha Comedy Series at Rabbit Hole Brewing.
• Saturday, October 1. Four-Year Anniversary at Revolver Brewing.
• Saturday, October 1. Crunktoberfest at Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery.
• Saturday, October 1. Texas Beer Camp at Long Road Farm.
• Sunday, October 2. Two-Year Anniversary at Cold Beer Co..
• Saturday, October 1. Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk.
• Saturday, October 8. BeerFeast at Flying Saucer Fort Worth.
• Saturday, November 12. Untapped: Dallas at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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