Post-Texas Beer: La Cumbre Elevated IPA
Many of the best beers are exclusive to a small radius of where they are brewed. This is of course due to fun stuff like laws and taxes. But that’s OK; it makes that particular place that much more special.
A friend of mine returned from New Mexico last summer with a treasured handful of Elevated IPA. I was fortunate enough to try one, and six months later, as we slowly meandered across the giant state of Texas, I found myself yearning to reunite my right hand with a can of La Cumbre’s award winning brew. The blessed reunion would have to wait, at least until we crossed in to New Mexico.
Although our current expedition is quite the deviation from our last two, the objectives were similar. We loaded our bikes (this time in the back of a quickly cobbled camper van) and set off with the intention to see new places and ride great trails. First stop, Texas.
I wasn’t expecting what we found in the Lone Star State. Surprisingly, many of our experiences were not unlike those we’d had in South Africa one year prior. The two places actually share many striking similarities… idiosyncratic social and political oddities, amazing dramatic desert landscapes, a lot of fenced land, expansive spaces, fantastic mountain biking and bikepacking, and some of the most accommodating and friendly people in the world.
Here is the rest in pictures with more about the beer below:
La Cumbre Elevated IPA
This is the beer that beat 175 others in the American IPA category to take a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011. It falls into the elusive realm of beer that draws people to where they’re made. It’s a finely tuned fresh IPA that compares to other greats such as Heady Topper and Noda Hop Drop.
I won’t go into the aroma/color/flavor bit; I’ll just add what La Cumbre says… it pretty much sums it up: “Did someone ask for hops? Tired of beers that promise a full lupulin experience, but never deliver more than richly malted bitterness? It’s no secret that this is what we excel at. We’ve been brewing world class IPAs for years. Our flagship is the culmination of a decades worth of studying and brewing. Take a step above and acclimate to what an IPA should be.”
And with that, I’ll stow as many cans as I can afford, ration one daily for a few days, and then start eagerly awaiting my return.
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