Daredevil celebrates their first anniversary with Lift Off: West Coast Style India Pale Ale as their first in a line-up of 16 fl. oz. cans. We visited Daredevil at their production brewery in Shelbyville where the 4-packs were ready to find a spot on retail store shelves and in restaurants that are sans beer on tap. A full lineup of Daredevil brews currently is available on tap across Indiana.
We asked why a Hoosier-based brewery chose a West Coast innovation for their signature brew. "A brewer can be brash or artistic," replied co-founder/ owner/ brewer Michael Pearson. Bill Ballinger and I try to be artistic. We prefer to take down the alcohol and bring up the flavor."
Hence, Lift Off at a comfortable 7.2% ABV [alcohol by volume] offers a perfect balance between malts that provide a sunny hue and just right sweetness in concert with an array of bittering and flavoring hops growing on the US West Coast, and thus diverts somewhat from the harsher bitterness expressed by most other brewers.
One can describe Lift Off as a marriage between East and West Coast styles that follows Daredevil's creed that "Brewing eclectic, aggressively fun beers is not for the timid," which translates to following a style with a "daredevil" sense of innovation.
"You won't get palate fatigue," asserts co-founder/owner/brewer Ballinger. "Initial sip to finish, Lift Off is always fresh and inviting."
Identified by co-visitor Jill Ditmire as "awakening with a pink grapefruit tang and a calmer fruit approach" than most West Coast style IPAs, we identified an array of herbal and floral notes providing a longer than usual bouquet aroma for a heightened of appeal to all the senses.
"Both good beer and wine should have a crisp finish," adds Ballinger, who has more than a fleeting connection with wine, which might explain why Daredevil earned top billing in Food & Wine magazine along with three other Indiana breweries.
The October 2013 issue offers this comment: "Indiana has one of the fastest-growing craft beer scenes in the country. So we asked Indianapolis chef Micah Frank of Black Market, who is collaborating on a beer with Sun King, for some of his favorite Hoosier brews." Chef Frank listed Daredevil Muse, Union Brewing Apollo's Space Flight, Three Floyd's Alpha King and Flat 12 Pogue's Run Porter.
New on tap
Broad Ripple Brewpub's B.A.B. Honey Brown "made with honey from a local apiary owned by Greg Clark, a one time employee of ours. His business is called Bad Ass Bees hence the name. It's sweet, but not cloying," reports Billy Hannon, adding, "Maybe your Beer Buzz readers might like to drop by BRBP and help us with our annual Christmas charity, United Christmas Service for families in need. We raise money by selling paper Christmas light bulbs (however much they want to donate), which we display behind the bar after they decorate them. We've been doing it for at least 20 years."
Half Moon [Kokomo] has an American-style India Pale Ale that balances malty with hoppy, featuring Summit, Zythos, Cascade and Falconer's Flight hops.
From Lennies & Bloomington Brewing: "Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy Chef Fred's Filipino-inspired specials. We raised $2,178 to help the efforts to restore the Philippines. Fischer Farms Natural food donated the pork.