Payette Brewing Co. is kicking off 2017 with a can-do attitude.
The Boise brewery at 733 S. Pioneer St. has unveiled a new year-round canned beer, Recoil IPA. Sold in six-packs and on tap, it’s a tasty, modern alternative to Rustler IPA, Payette’s flagship product.
Old-school diehards might recoil in horror at the prospect. Like, why create an in-house competitor to Payette’s popular Boise classic?
Because tastes change. Payette introduced Rustler, originally called Outlaw, at the start of the decade. Idaho’s largest brewery now distributes beer in seven states. When Payette started trucking beer into Seattle in early 2016, feedback made it clear that a different IPA might better serve a contingent of the region’s palate.
“Rustler is a lot more balanced IPA,” Payette Brewing founder Mike Francis says. “You might even call it malty. Whereas, Recoil is very hop forward. Five years ago, almost six years ago when we opened, Rustler was a pretty hoppy IPA. Now it’s definitely more on the malty side of the IPA spectrum.”
Crafted with Citra, Calypso, Eureka and Mosaic hops, Recoil initially was brewed in one 60-barrel batch and sold on tap last summer. It’s brighter and more floral than Rustler. Recoil clocks in at 80 IBU (International Bitterness Units) and 6.5 percent ABV (alcohol by volume). The nose is like a stroll through a botanical garden. The taste lands squarely in that Northwest hop-junkie wheelhouse, but it’s certainly not over the top.
I prefer Recoil over Rustler. Call me a sheep for enjoying this style of IPA, but I’m a sheep that grazes in hop fields.
So what’s up with that name: Recoil? Think firearms. “Just like a gun recoil, this beer leaves you with a kick of flavor,” explains Paige Coyle, Payette’s marketing director.
That said, I would not recommend shotgunning Recoil.
Incidentally, Rustler fans need not worry. Payette’s most widely distributed beer isn’t about to play second fiddle to its new cousin. You’ll still see Rustler everywhere. “It does great for us here in Boise,” Francis says, “and continues to.”
Another new Payette beer
Recoil is one of three canned beers that Payette plans to push heavily in 2017. The other two are Blood Orange Rustler IPA (watch for new 24-packs this month at Costco) and Rodeo Rye Pale Ale.
A popular seasonal beer until now, Rodeo Rye was recently deemed a year-rounder. Meanwhile, Payette Pale Ale is officially on hiatus.
Newcomer High Side American Wheat Ale will take Rodeo Rye’s place in the seasonal rotation. It’s being sold in sixers, twelve-packs and on tap from January through March.
Along with Payette’s head brewer, Ian Fuller, Francis had never been completely satisfied with his wheat beer recipes. “We kind of gave up on wheat beers,” Francis admits.
Then Payette brewer Darrin Goodrich delivered High Side. It’s refreshing and quaffable with a pleasant, grainy sweetness in the distance. Not a fan of wheat beers? Try it, anyway. I was surprised to find myself popping a second can. And why not? At 5.3 percent ABV, High Side is appropriate for repeat performances. And apparently, river rafting, based on the label.
More Idaho beers in cans, bottles
Edge Brewing Co., 525 N. Steelhead Way in Boise, recently start offering two beers in 12-ounce cans. You’ll find sixers of former summer seasonal Hopkiss Dry Hopped Session Ale (5 percent ABV, 25 IBU) — now a year-round beer — and Obligatory Double IPA (9.2 percent ABV) at area stores such as Whole Foods, Boise Co-op and Trader Joe’s.
Victor’s Grand Teton Brewing will introduce its new Teton Range IPA (6.5 ABV, 62 IBU) in 12-ounce bottles starting in March. Grand Teton also is retiring three beers: Trout Hop Black IPA (in May), Howling Wolf Weisse Bier (in September) and Snarling Badger Berliner Weisse (a summer seasonal to be replaced by a new sour). I’ll miss that Badger.
Founders comes to Idaho
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders Brewing Co. will start distributing its beers in Idaho next month.
Watch for Founders kickoff events in mid-February, including a tap invasion from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at Whole Foods’ upstairs River Room.
The first beer I hope to grab is a four-pack of Founders Breakfast Stout. A monstrous, big-bodied double stout brewed with flaked oats, chocolate and coffee, it’s rich, delicious — and 8.3 percent ABV, so go easy.
The unforgettable label on the bottle shows a bib-wearing baby hungrily gobbling up a bowl of oatmeal. So wrong yet so right.
Whole Foods stout sale
Whole Foods, 401 S. Broadway Ave. in Boise, will hold a beer sale Jan. 13-15. All porters, stouts and winter beers will be 20 percent off. Uh-oh, time to take out a second mortgage, right? I’m planning to limit my purchases using calculations based on credit-card interest rate versus ABV. I’ll let you know when I’ve perfected my formula.