563976246_1999574347_544503178_1283691042370By Julia Burke, Beer Editor

I couldn’t believe my luck at finding this relatively rare IPA at my local pub. A Brett-fermented IPA made with Citra hops at Ithaca Beer Company in June, this creation is the brainchild of a collaborative brew session with a guest list impressive enough to warrant an emergency nuclear attack escape plan: Ithaca’s own Jeff O’Neil and Eric Kugeman, Phil Leinhart of Brewery Ommegang, Scott Vaccaro of Captain Lawrence, Casey Hughes of Flying Fish, Phil Markowski of Southampton Publick House, and one West Coast representative, Steve Altimari of Valley Brewing in Stockton, CA.

Super Friends pours a lovely orange haze with a two-finger head and firm lacing that remains nicely stratified to the end of the pint.

The nose is the waxy orange/lemon bouquet of Citra hops (if you haven’t sampled a beer using this fairly new hop variety, check it out) with hints of florals and wild yeasty funk.

The first sip is like taking a punch in the face. Fierce, show-no-mercy hops, a sour Brett funk, wicked carbonation, and an acidic pucker of tart orange and grapefruit attack the palate like a barrage of gunfire — but it hurts so good.

A drool-inducing monster of a beer, this sour, Bretty IPA is a formidable collaboration of New York brewing talent. It’s also a great first-time sour for hopheads, since it combines the two flavors expertly.

Pair it with some creamy, earthy cheese. (A warning note: I had this beer with hot wings. Don’t do it, unless you’re a fan of crying at the bar — into your first pint.) 

Producer: Ithaca Beer Company 

Sample Size: 16 oz. pint 

Stemware: pint glass 

Price: $6 

Availability: Specialty

Grade: A-