In an increasingly competitive beer market I think it is more important than ever for a brewery to have a clear vision of what they are as a brand. A small place that sells most of their beer on-premises can dabble in a bit of everything because a big part of what they are selling is the taproom experience (although that business model is being completely upended right now). Once a brewery grows to the point that distribution is a major part of the business plan they need to have a well-defined brand and a stable of high quality, consistently excellent offerings that help the brewery stand out. Strong flagship beers are a key piece, for reasons I wrote about earlier this year. Springdale Brewing launched a few years ago with a huge variety of ale styles, including tons of different IPAs, dark beers, sours, and other barrel-aged varieties. Many of these beers were excellent, but they were all over the map as far as flavor profiles. Springdale started this year with a brand refresh, and as part of this refresh they identified/introduced their core flagship brands. I was always a big fan of Springdale’s hoppy beers, I loved how each was a completely unique beer, hazy or clear, full-blown fruity or more balanced. I imagine some consumers struggled with this, so many breweries make slight variations on the same IPA, just changing the hop profile and can art, where these were drastically different beers. Now Springdale is focusing on two core hoppy beers, Springdale IPA, a more balanced beer mixing East and West Coast substyles, along with Rhythm Recipe, a rotating hazy IPA. I was able to grab some Springdale IPA on a recent beer fridge stock-up, it is available now in 16 oz cans!
Springdale IPA pours slightly hazy orange with a solid white head. The aroma features a hit of hops, fruity and floral. The flavor is also hop forward, notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and resin along with some late bitter bite. This beer is clearly an American IPA, blending some of the facets of the New England and West Coast sub-styles. The hops are balanced by a substantial malt backbone, touches of bread dough and cereal. Springdale IPA is medium-bodied, smooth and not overly boozy at 6.2% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. This is a good IPA, clearly aimed to hold up well in distribution and appeal to a range of drinkers beyond the haze-crazies. I personally prefer some of their originals, specifically Good ‘N You, but this is worth a try if you want a hop-forward beer that doesn’t taste like fruit juice. I look forward to sampling the rest of the revamped lineup soon! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Springdale Reviews:
Brewery Profile: Jack’s Abby and Springdale Brewing, Springdale/Against the Grain Any IPA, Springdale Maple Barrel Aged Brigadeiro, Springdale Desert Solitaire and Really Though, Springdale Solid State and Kreik Mythology, Springdale Amirite?! and Good N’ You?