The Wrecked Palate Part 1: Knee Deep Brewing Company

Their sole mission in life is to twist tongues into a fleshy mess of simultaneous agony and euphoria. The palates left in the wake of Green Flash and Knee Deep Brewing companies are vast and severely satisfied.

It takes a highly, I dare say evolved palate to really appreciate what these maniacs are trying to do to us with their brew craft. The hopped up portfolio for Knee Deep consistently breaks the IBU scale with 100+ measured brews that hurt so good. The Hop De-Ranged is their self proclaimed quad-IPA that boasts an insane amount of bitter units that prompt you to “Ask Jerry”, the straight-jacket toting mad scientist on the label for the actual measurement. At first sip of this 13.1% ABV hop stew I swear one of my eyes went askew and my tongue swelled up like a slug in salt. There are beautiful fruit notes that keep the insanity at bay but your lips still pucker at every exhale. 8/10 on the UrD scale.

While Hop De-Ranged is at the top of the range, the rest of the lineup seemingly eases you incrementally almost as if in preparation for it. From their Citra Extra Pale Ale, Batch No: 138 IPA, and even the Hoptologist DIPA the bitter units are up there but not aimed at inflicting beautiful agony upon your palate. These brews all come in at 7.5/10 on the UrD scale. They start getting a little nutty now with their batches of triple IPA’s. The Hoparillo 3X IPA uses three different hop varieties in Amarillo, Mosaic, and Citra and has a glorious sweetness that is balanced by that Knee Deep bitterness. It almost has a spirit burn to it and at 11.1% ABV this bomber scorches in at 8/10 UrD. The Hop Shortage brew is made with Centennial and Chinook hops and from the state my palate was left in there might very well be a hop shortage now, because from the taste of it, I think they used it all. The 11.3% ABV is not as fiery as the Hoparillo for some reason but it is definitely mood changing and comes it at 8.5/10 UrD.

Finally, the Simtra Triple IPA. Another one of those “don’t ask, don’t tell” IBU behemoths that uses Simcoe and Citra hops… an obscene amount as a matter of fact. The combination gives it a citrusy and piney taste profile that helps to mellow out the death by bitters and the 11.25% ABV burns just right. I think it is safe to say that this is my favorite IPA from Knee Deep and it comes in at a palate wrenching 8.75/10 on the UrD scale.

Knee Deep does other beers exceptionally well like their Imperial Tanilla and the McCarthy’s Bane Imperial Red, but this is about the destruction of ones palate. I have dedicated this part of my life to the search for craft beer experiences that evoke emotions lasting in memory. Knee Deep has provided numerous occasions filled with elation and surprised exhales. Excitement, a whole lot of “You gotta try this” and I cannot wait to go back. In a sense, these brews have been destinations in a wonderful journey that have taken my breath away… or my sense of taste.


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