Peticolas' Thrilla In Brazilla Is A Championship-Level IPA.
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 Peticolas Brewing Company's Thrilla in Brazilla.
Fast Facts on Peticolas Thrilla in Brazilla.
• Style: India Pale Ale (IPA).
• ABV: 7.5 percent.
• International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 75.
• Color: Pale Golden Amber.
• Availability: Special release for the World Cup.
Those of you who know brewer Michael Peticolas know that he's a bit of a soccer nut. So it's not really surprising that he would create a beer called Thrilla in Brazilla specifically in honor of what's arguably the world's biggest sporting event.
In fact, Peticolas even took things a few steps farther: He only distributed the initial kegs of his new IPA to bars that agreed to hold a watching party for the first match of the cup, with the volume turned up.
Now with the tournament is underway, Thrilla should be available a bit more broadly — but you still may have to work a little to track it down. Your best bet for finding it is still likely to be at the bars that are showing World Cup games. And you better act fast, as Thrilla in Brazilla will only be available for the length of the World Cup.
Background on India Pale Ales.
For an overview on India Pale Ales, see our review of Community's Mosaic IPA.
Thrilla pours a pale golden amber with a thick, mousy white head that lingers before fading back into the beer. It's slightly hazy, too, which is appropriate for the style.
Thrilla smells of faint citrus hops with undertones of peach, grapefruit and hints of very fresh, biscuity grains in the background. More important is that its smell is very clean and subtle. This beer definitely practices a bit of refined restraint, though the style calls for quite the opposite.
There's some great bitterness up front here, and lots of pine, resin and grapefruit notes with a little bit of fresh cut grass. The 75 IBUs are ever so slightly on the high end for the style — really more in line with an Imperial IPA, but, frankly, you wouldn't know it. You won't exactly be forgetting that it's an IPA, but the bittering hops are expertly balanced with just enough malt sweetness to provide needed balance without bogging the beer down in the type of sweetness that would ultimately drown out the wonderful hop flavors. Thrilla's hop flavors linger across the tongue and back of the throat for quite awhile. As is generally the case with Peticolas beers, Thrilla is hop-forward, yet still remains balanced.
Thrilla's got a medium mouthfeel with medium levels of carbonation. In other words? Everything here is on point for the style.
Much like the World Cup itself, this beer's presence in North Texas is fleeting, yet precious. Mostly, it's just a shame that Thrilla in Brazilla is only around for a month.
With Thrilla, Peticolas has created an IPA that can stand its ground against some of the best IPAs in the country. Were there a World Cup for IPAs, Thrilla would certainly compete — and dare we say, win — any vaunted “Group of Death” you could imagine.
Thrilla's ultimate strength is that it has no glaring weakness. It's exceptional in most areas (see: its flavor, balance and appearance) and good in others (see: its aroma, which is nice but perhaps a bit muted). And it’s this overall balance that would make Thrilla in Brazilla so dangerous in a competitive environment — and, ultimately, what makes it such a great beer.
If you do one beer-related thing between now and the end of the World Cup, do yourself a favor and drink a pint or two of Thrilla while watching some of the best soccer the world has to offer.
It'll turn you into a fan, I promise.
Well, of the beer, I mean. No promises about soccer.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give Peticolas' Thrilla in Brazilla a 9.5.
What's happening in the area beer scene this week? (Powered by Dallas Brew Scene.)
• Thursday, June 19. Revolver Pint Night and One-Year Anniversary Celebration at Dallas Beer Kitchen.
• Saturday, June 21. Best Little Brewfest in Texas.
• Saturday, July 5. Dallas Brew Bus 'Murica Tour.
Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Peticolas' Royal Scandal: 10.
• Community's Mosaic IPA: 10.
• Peticolas' Velvet Hammer: 10.
• Community's Ascension Porter: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Temptress: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Goatman: 9.5.
• Community's Public Ale: 9.5.
• 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.
• Deep Ellum's Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Rahr's Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• 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.
• Peticolas' Wintervention: 8.
• Armadillo Ale Works' Brunch Money: 8.
• 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.
• Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
• Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
• Lakewood's Till & Toil: 7.
• 903 Brewers' The Chosen One: 7.
• Martin House's Gateway XPA: 7.
• Armadillo Ale Work's Quakertown Stout: 7.
• Community's Pale Ale: 7.
• Peticolas' The Duke: 6.5.
• Deep Ellum's Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
• Cedar Creek's Elliott's Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Lakefire: 6
• Lakewood's La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• Miller Lite: 1.