Lakewood Brewing Company’s Recently Released Lakewood IPA Packs A Hoppy Wallop In Its Flavor And Carries Lingering Notes Of Citrus Peel And Mango In Its Aroma.

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 Lakewood Brewing Company’s IPA.

Fast Facts on Lakewood Brewing IPA.

Style: American IPA.
ABV: 7 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 50.
Color: Orange-ish / deep gold.
Availability: Cans and draft.

Remember when Lakewood Brewing opened? I do. I remember drinking a lot of Hop Trapp, one of Lakewood’s first beers it released. It was a fun play on the IPA style with nice boil and aroma hop additions and a Belgian twang that stood out amongst other similarly situated hoppy beers on the scene at the time. But I guess Hop Trapp didn’t have staying power. And neither did its later release, Hopochondria, an imminently crushable, sessionable IPA with late hop additions. Both were pretty A-OK beers. But as breweries do – and because the beer-drinking public is a finicky and fickle, unpredictable sort – Lakewood has made a pivot and retired these two IPAs. And with the gap left from Hop Trapp and Hopochondria, Lakewood has now launched its IPA, a new flagship American IPA. I feel excited to see a major push like this, because as a major DFW brewery launches a year-round flagship beer, it sends a signal that the brewery has spent a lot of time dialing in a recipe and done its research.

Background on American IPA.
For a primer on the American IPA style, check out our reviews of Texas Ale Project 50FT Jackrabbit or Braindead Brewing P-Wing. The American IPA style is an aggressively-hopped, cranked version of a more standard pale ale that uses American or New World hop varietals to create some interesting results. Lately, the superstars of the American IPA hop showcase seem to be varietals like Mosaic, Galaxy, Bravo and Hallertau Blanc. I see a lot of brewers focused on making IPAs with a tropical bent to them, and many of the hop varietals listed above can provide tons of flavor and aroma additions to push a beer over into tropical territory. Granted, there are tons more hop varietals, too many to list here, and it’s difficult to keep up! The grain bill on an American IPA shouldn’t get too crazy, as the grain bill is here mostly to support the hop situation. However, it should be dialed up enough to provide balance to the hop flavor and aroma. ABV range on an American IPA is 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent. This style is typically fermented with American Ale yeasts or English Ale yeasts, both known to attenuate nicely and provide a clean to somewhat fruity drinking experience.

Lakewood IPA pours a light orange-ish into my glass. There’s a brilliant amount of clarity here. I must say that amidst all the haze craze that’s going on with the IPA style – and I’m looking at you, New England IPA – it’s nice to see a brewery come out with a beautiful, clear IPA. Foam situation is on point. I poured this beer from a crowler purchased at On Rotation, and I poured it rather hard to see what sort of foam situation I am dealing with here. And Lakewood IPA does not disappoint. There’s a pillowy blanket of white head that stands up on top of the pour and it settles down to a manageable, thin coating as I start my way through this first beer. Lakewood Brewing would probably prefer that this beer was served in a non-Belgian type glass or shaker pint, but hey, it’s what I have on hand at the moment.

Hops are the star in the aroma department for Lakewood IPA. Its hop aroma focuses on the tropical side, with notes of citrus peel and bright mango. There’s also a classic, welcoming hop aroma that also hints at this beer’s pending, aggressive but not overpowering hop flavor that’s to come. The grain bill adds a touch of restrained, warming aroma that smells clean but also gets the hell out of the way for the hops.

I’m not going to say that this beer is aggressively-hopped in a too much way, but it certainly is bold. And I dig it. On its tasting notes page, Lakewood states that this beer is made with Bravo, Citra, Mandarina and Mosaic hops. And while many of these hops are well-known for their tropical and fruity intensity from an aroma perspective, they also add massive amount of flavor that give this IPA a balanced, yet complex hop profile. For the amount of hop character I get on the nose, the hop bitterness is restrained, and I mean in a good way. Tropical fruit notes jump out of this beer and grapefruit peel lingers on the aftertaste. The malt profile tastes clean and provides enough oomph to keep pace with all of the intense hop flavor here. The fermentation profile is clean, and I get a tiny bit of alcohol warmth on the swallow.

This IPA is imminently drinkable. Its medium body provides support and balance for the hop intensity. I don’t perceive anything out of balance here with the mouthfeel; the beer finishes bright, carbonation is medium and dialed in just right.

Overall Impression.
I’m a fan of this beer. It checks off a lot of boxes for me from an overall standpoint. In fact, this beer is now on my short list for a local American IPA that showcases big tropical flavors but also provides a large sweet spot for most fans of the IPA style. I don’t think you’re going to get beer geeks lined up around the block waiting for this beer, but I don’t think that’s what Lakewood is going for. This is a flagship, year-round beer, meant for everyday sort of purchases from stores all over. So while this beer isn’t very experimental or wacky, it does provide an even, clean and very enjoyable drinking experience. Hopefully Lakewood Brewing has good deals on hop contracts to support this hop wallop of a beer because I will keep on buying it.

Score. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Lakewood IPA a 8.75.

• Martin House Brewing Company’s The Morrigan: 9.25.
• On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
• Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
• Braindead Brewing Company’s Dr. Dreipricot: 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.
• Bankhead Brewing Co.’s Giggle Water: 9.
• Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
• Cedar Creek’s Poblano Paradise: 8.75.
• Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest: 8.75.
• Lakewood Brewing Company IPA: 8.75.
• Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
• Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
• Community Beer Company’s Passiflora: 8.5.
• Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Community Beer Company’s Wit ‘N Wild: 8.5.
• Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
• Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
• Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s Winter Warmer: 8.25.
• Noble Rey Brewing’s Barampus: 8.25.
• Bankhead Brewing Company’s Aoogah!: 8.25.
• Lakewood’s Peach Artsy Tarsty: 8.25.
• Lakewood Brewing Grand Allowance: 8.
• HopFusion Ale Works’ Hairpin: 8
• Armadillo Ale Works’ Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale: 8.
• Community’s Texas Helles: 8.
• On Rotation’s Moar Blackberry: 8.
• Peticolas Brewing Company’s Doctor’s Orders: 8.
• Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
• Bishop Cider Co.’s Sour Cherry: 8.
• Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
• Pegasus City Brewing’ Nine Volt: 8.
• Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
• Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
• Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
• Pegasus City Brewery’s Cannoneer: 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.
• Four Corners Brewing Company Homie Brew: 7.75.
• Community Beer Company’s Snickerdoodle: 7.75.
• Pegasus City Brewery’s High Point: 7.75.
• Cedar Creek’s Grapefruit Haze: 7.75.
• Martin House Brewing’s Big Hoppa: 7.75.
• TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
• 3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
• Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
• Chimera Dirty Dog: 7.5.
• 3 Nations Brewing Company’s Imperial Milk Stout: 7.5.
• Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
• Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
• Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
• Martin House Brewing’s Pretzel Stout: 7.5.
• Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
• Texas Ale Project’s Good To Go: 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.
• Cedar Creek Brewery Clover Kicker: 7.25.
• Noble Rey Sex In A Canoe: 7.25.
• Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
• Deep Ellum Rye Pils: 7.
• 3 Nations Mango SMASH IPA: 7.
• Legal Draft Chief Justice Stout: 7.
• Panther Island Brewing’s Sweet Fang: 7.
• Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
• Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
• Wild Acre Brewing Company’s Billy Jenkins: 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.
• Community Brewing Company’s Silly Gose: 6.75
• HopFusion Ale Works’ Feisty Blonde: 6.75
• Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
• Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
• 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.
• Four Corners’ Celebración: 6.5.
• Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
• Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale: 6.5.
• Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
• Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
• Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
• Cedar Creek’s Maui Wowie: 6.25.
• On Rotation’s Mexican Barleywine: 6.25.
• 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
• Cobra Brewing Company’s Dawn of the Dank: 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.
• Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
• Legal Draft Beer Company’s Smash & Grab IPA: 5.
• Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 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.
• TUPPS’ Day Off: 4.75.
• Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
• Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
• Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
• Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
• Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
• Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
• Good Neighbor Brews Slim Sweetness: 3.
• Good Neighbor Brews O’Carrol’s Irish Red: 3.
• Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• 903 Brewers’ Mythical Creatures: 2.5.
• Miller Lite: 1.

All photos by Ben Smithson.

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