Welcome to "Draft Pick," a column by Gut Check contributor and craft-beer aficionado Richard Haegele. Periodically, Richard will profile the most exciting new draft being poured in St. Louis, how it was made and where you can find it.
2nd Shift Brewing certainly knows a thing or two about hops, as evidenced by the fantastic India pale ales they make like "Art of Neurosis," "Brew Cocky," and "Ratsalad." So when the folks at the International Tap House (16 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-4827) wanted a hoppy brew to serve during World Cup matches, they tapped the brewery to make them an exclusive beer. The caveat: it had to be sessionable, or low-ABV, so that patrons could drink plenty of it during the games.
The resulting beer, dubbed "iBallz," packs all the wonderful hops you would expect from a regular IPA into an amazingly compact 4.3 percent. Floral and citrus dominate the aroma, then segue into honey and malt as you sip. Many breweries have put out a "session" IPA over the last few years, but this is the first that Gut Check has tried that delivers on both hops and malt of a regular IPA.
You can currently enjoy a pint or three of "iBallz" while taking in a World Cup match at all four International Tap House locations.
Box Score Beer: iBallz Brewery: 2nd Shift Brewery Style: American IPA ABV: 4.3 percent Price: $5/pint
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