Lil' Wrecker IPA stands up to stronger predecessor
Bentonville Brewing Co. has been fairly aggressive at pushing its product into the market as of late, with the recent releases of Natural State Porter and Lil' Wrecker IPA in bottles. I've seen both on the shelves of my local beer stores but have been reluctant to buy any, mostly because the price point is $1 to $2 higher than similar styles from Sierra Nevada, Stone, or any number of nationally renowned breweries.
I know I shouldn't be so frugal in regards to something that is relatively cheap to begin with, but nearly $12 for a six-pack of a moderate-ABV beer that's produced just a county away seems high. Sure that makes me sound like I'm 80 years old, but even at 40 I'm pretty set in my ways.
But don't get me wrong, I like Bentonville Brewing Co. I wasn't sure how much success it would have when it opened in June 2015, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of beer made by brewmaster Beau Boykin. Homewrecker IPA is solid, and Salted Cherry Sour has developed a bit of a cult following here in Northwest Arkansas.
Earlier today I found myself searching for a local beer to talk about here at Beer in Arkansas, and I once again came eye-to-eye with Lil' Wrecker IPA. I decided now was as good a time as any to take the plunge. So I shelled out $12 and some change (after tax) and left with what Bentonville Brewing Co. is calling the offspring of its higher-ABV Homewrecker IPA.
Lil' Wrecker clocks in at 6.4% ABV and 70 IBUs. It's a deep gold, almost copper color with a thick, pillowy head. The base malt is biscuit-like with a touch of caramel; really the classic backdrop for an American IPA (that is to say, fairly basic and not overpowering). I was a bit dismayed to see the hop du jour, Mosaic, used in this beer; but paired with Citra it's a bitter, tropical medley of hoppy goodness. It is the bitter antithesis of a hazy IPA with all of its juicy character.
Bentonville Brewing Co. did a really nice job with this one. At 6.3% it's not necessarily a "session" beer--as some might assume based on the name and the fact it's a pared-down version of Homewrecker IPA (7.5%)--but it is a crushable beer that can be had back-to-back-to-back.
I really haven't had a bad beer from Bentonville Brewing Co. I don't regularly search it out, but I certainly won't turn it away if it's available. In fact, Homewrecker IPA is an excellent beer in my opinion, and when offered in a crowded field of IPAs, is one that I more-than-occassionally order.
Hopefully Lil' Wrecker IPA finds its way to more and more retail accounts because it stands up to its stronger predecessor and is an excellent beer in its own right. And of course I'm also too lazy to drive to Benton County to get it at the source.