It’s noon on a Monday and I’m sitting at Gaslight drinking alone to create content for our website. If you would have told me during college that my future career would be taste-testing alcohol in the middle of the day at an empty bar, I would have been thrilled that my post-grad accomplishments so closely aligned with my after school activities.
Today, I’m trying out Evil Twin Brewing’s IPA Kolata, a tall boy with pleasing packaging described as a beer inspired by "an iconic tropical cocktail with a twist of what a modern beer should taste like." I’m not sure what the taste palette of a ‘modern’ beer is supposed to include, but this one says it has added coconut extract and pineapple, so maybe it will taste more like a piña colada and less like a natty lite. The back of the can states that this beverage is "annoyingly good," which seems like a pretty bold statement, but I’m willing to look past this blanket statement and see if this drink is worth the hype.
I notice the smell first. If the packaging wouldn’t have mentioned pineapple, I would have been able to figure it out on my own based on the citrus scent that filled my nostrils immediately after opening the can. This doesn’t bother me. In fact, I enjoy it, for it could be the final moments of joy before bringing a can of a drink I notoriously dislike to my lips and hope that this IPA is a pleasant surprise. I decide to play Jimmy Buffett, something else I consider ‘annoyingly good’, to heighten the tropical experience I am being promised by Evil Twin Brewing.
The first taste is not bad. The citrus is there, albeit not as much as I was hoping (of course, I’m always praying my beers taste more like juice, so take this preference with a grain of salt), and the underlying coconut is present but subtle. The combination of fruit, coconut, and beer originally confused me, but after downing a little bit more, I can see how it works together to make something different. Continuing with the theme of light beers I’ve been on, IPA Kolata pours golden and doesn’t feel like a meal going down, which are both aspects I generally prefer when it comes to my limited knowledge and experience in the subject.
This beer is refreshing and light enough that it makes me wish I had a slice of pizza to enjoy with it, and this is the first time I’ve wished for a food pairing with my alcohol (ordering pizza at 2am to eat with my nightcap doesn’t count). It still gives me that ‘bread-y’ aftertaste that I’m not too fond of, but I think that with food, this beer and I could get along just fine. It seems like a perfect match for picnics and day drinking and being outside in general, so if you’re the person in charge of alcohol for picnics and family reunions, this is the type of drink that would probably be well received by your friends and family.
Rebecca Davis is the current Event Promotional Manager for Gaslight. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2017 with a degree in journalism. Rebecca loves dive bars, singing 'Linger' by The Cranberries at karaoke, and pineapple on her pizza. Her dislikes include the Trader Joe's parking lot, accidentally falling asleep with socks on, and summing up her personality in third person self-written author bios.