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Beermania: UFC 145 'Jones vs Evans' edition

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Welcome to the UFC 145: "Jones vs. Evans" edition of MMAmania.com presents "Beermania."

The plan is to rate and review two different styles of beer prior to each UFC pay-per-view (PPV) fight card, with one brand representing each of the two main event fighters. For this edition, I will present two top notch India Pale Ale (IPA's), both brewed out of the headliners' home state of New York.

Here's how it works.

When reviewing a beer, there are typically five categories of concern: Appearance (A), Smell (S), Taste (T), Mouthfeel (M), and Drinkability (D). After a brief description for each category, based on my tasting notes, I will assign a letter grade to each beer.

With any luck, I can convince some you to try out a beer you normally wouldn't have sampled at the local watering hole -- or keep you from making a huge mistake when ordering on the fly.

Follow me after the jump to get started.

Star-divide

Out of the red corner, representing the 205-pound champion and soon to be greatest of all time, Jon Jones, is Ithica Flower Power brewed by Ithica Brewing Company.

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From the Brewery: Ithica Brewing Company

Availability: Year Round
Enjoy the clover honey hue and tropical nose. Simultaneously Punchy and soothing with a big body and a finish that boasts pineapple and grapefruit. Flower power is hopped and dry-hopped five different times throughout the brewing and fermentation process.
ABV 7.5%
IBUs: N/A
Malt: 2-Row, Honey Malt
Hops: Simcoe, Cascade, Ahtanum, Centennial
Dry-Hop: Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook
Suggested Food Pairing: Accentuates hot and spicy cuisine like Indian and Thai curries or Mexican.
Recommended Cheese Pairing: Strong cheeses like Stilton, Danish Blue or Gorgonzola.
Awards: Silver Medal – TAP NY 2008

National IPA Championship Final Four:

2008, 2010, 2011

ShivanTiger's Review:

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice eggshell white head that fades to a layering and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

S: The aromas are big on the hops and a bit of sweet malt as well. I'm picking up grapefruit, floral hops, a bit of pine and a decent caramel malt backbone. There's a bit of tropical fruit in there as well. As I take more whiffs of this thing it gets more complex.

T: The exceptionally pleasant sweetness from the honey malt is exceeded only by its hop bill. Notes of citrus and bright tangerine dominate.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated.

D: Style points all over the board, even though it is at upper range of simple IPA at 7+ percent. Nothing outlandish, flamboyant or overdone, just a nice straight forward (if slightly balanced) and finely executed IPA. Drinkable in spades

Overall: If I had to pick one IPA to drink forever....well, that would be tough, but this is right up there!

Score: A+

And out of the blue corner, representing the number one contender, Rashad Evans, is Southern Tier IPA brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Company.

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From the Brewery: Southern Tier

IPA stands for India Pale Ale and ours is an American version of the classic style. IPA's namesake lies in its colonial roots. British soldiers on their way to India drank a lot of beer, but found it would go stale on the long voyages. Meanwhile, brewers knew that by adding more hops, the beer would stay fresh. Voila! A new style was born and it is one we are proud to brew. Southern Tier IPA is a triple-hopped on its journey to your glass for a fully aromatic experience. Alcohol by volume 6.9%

ShivanTiger's Review:

A: Copper/orange color that is quite clear. A one finger off-white color head that fades and leaves mega-lacing.

S: Mandarin oranges, a little pine resin, a little biscuit.

T: Very similar to the nose. The malts taste a touch lighter than in many IPAs and APAs. Grapefruit is a bit more prominent on the palate and a bit of pine compliments the resin here as well. A bitter finish lasts for a while and is complimented quite nicely by the peppery flavors.

M: Great mouth feel. Silky and soft with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Final word: It goes down so easily, I could drink this all night. It's simple enough to down a few, but keeps me entertained in the process. Great job, Southern Tier!

Score: A

Other suggested IPA's:

Sculpin India Pale Ale
American IPA / 7.00% ABV
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Blind Pig IPA
American IPA / 6.10% ABV
Russian River Brewing Company

Two Hearted Ale
American IPA / 7.00% ABV
Bell's Brewery, Inc.

IPA (India Pale Ale)
American IPA / 6.90% ABV
Stone Brewing Co.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale
American IPA / 7.00% ABV
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

That does it for this edition of Beermania. As always, enjoy responsibly. And go Jon Jones!

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