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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Commercial Brew Discussion > North Peak Diabolical IPA
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default North Peak Diabolical IPA



Until very recently I had no idea that North Peak had upgraded their liquor license to allow for off-premises sales. It used to be strictly on-site.

Well, a friend recommended that I try the IPA, and he also mentioned that it came in a cool stubby bottle. I found it for sale at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids and grabbed a couple.

The bottle is cool! Looks just like the old Pabst bottles that my grandpa used to drink. Plus, the label designs hearken back to a bygone era as well. But how's the beer?

Well, the first bottle I tried seemed very harsh. I understand IPAs are goign to be bitter, but this started out with good hop flavor, then disintegrated into nothing but harsh bitterness. I would ding it points for that. However, I would say that it certainly meets the requirements for an IPA.

Interestingly, I tried the other bottle last night and did not experience that same harsh bitterness in the after-taste. So I'm not sure if it was something I ate or what. I did enjoy the second bottle much more. It's maybe not my favorite IPA, but I would def buy it again, if for nothing more than for the cool stubby bottles. (But at $1.98 a bottle, it would be nice to get a "great" beer and a cool bottle too...)

They also had an Amber Ale I think. I will definitely want to keep my eyes open for more of their beer. After having ate there a few times in my life, I can say that they are not my favorite brewpub, but not terrible either. They have usually been pretty busy when I've been there, so that may speak to their popularity.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:49 PM   #2
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I found this at a local supermarket recently, and I must say it is fantastic!

HUGE hop aroma and flavor, and a good bitterness too! One thing I find odd is that it's unfiltered, which I've never seen in an IPA.

"COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The devil made us do it. From the ABV and IBU figures to the fiendish use of Cascade, Perle and Willamette hops, Lucifer was whispering in our ears the entire time. Citrus and pine scents greet you and are followed by the sharp bitterness expected of an IPA. The beer’s true wickedness is revealed in the smooth Pale, Crystal 30 and wheat malts that surreptitiously broaden the beer’s appeal to more than just hopheads."

now if I could only find what proportions they used. I would love to find a clone recipe of this delicious brew!

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:40 AM   #3
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We have their Diabolical and their Vicious here in Columbus, OH. The Diabolical is solid, nothing out of the ordinary, but solid. The Vicious is ok, just a little odd to me - I get lots of dry-hop Cascade flavor (which to me is always too grassy). Glad to see another brewery expanding though!!

P.S. - The Red Stripe'ish stubby bottles are kind of cool, however they should have made them 12oz instead of 11.5...

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Old 03-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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I know North Peak, up in Traverse City, uses open fermentation. I have not met the brewer, but she has been there for a while I think. I'd give a call during brewing time and see if she is open to helping a homebrewer copy the beer. I have not met a craft brewer who hasn't at least given some advice on making their beer, even if they have never given an entire recipe.

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Old 03-10-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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Chiming in to add that while I have not had this beer, I too noted a harshness in their hoppier beers when I was at North Peak last summer. One of the brewers(who incidentally used to work down here at Arcadia and at Bell's) was sitting at the bar so I mentioned it to him and asked about their water. He looked at me funny and said "I don't know, we use city water. I tried a few other styles and they were all pretty pedestrian. We didn't eat but the menu looked good and the bar had a nice feel with the brewhouse right out front. All in all it was a disappointing trip to TC because we also visited Right Brain(basically right around the corner) and even though their lineup looked more interesting their beers were mostly pretty nasty. In their defense it seemed like they were going through transition of staff because when I mentioned my thoughts to the bar manager she gave me a knowing look and said "did I mention we're hiring".

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Old 03-10-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuinrearview View Post
Chiming in to add that while I have not had this beer, I too noted a harshness in their hoppier beers when I was at North Peak last summer. One of the brewers(who incidentally used to work down here at Arcadia and at Bell's) was sitting at the bar so I mentioned it to him and asked about their water. He looked at me funny and said "I don't know, we use city water. I tried a few other styles and they were all pretty pedestrian. We didn't eat but the menu looked good and the bar had a nice feel with the brewhouse right out front. All in all it was a disappointing trip to TC because we also visited Right Brain(basically right around the corner) and even though their lineup looked more interesting their beers were mostly pretty nasty. In their defense it seemed like they were going through transition of staff because when I mentioned my thoughts to the bar manager she gave me a knowing look and said "did I mention we're hiring".
Well, RBB let John Niedermayer go last summer and although I haven't been back since he left, I've heard mixed reviews on the beer since then. I'm curious to go back and check them out.

And I have heard from a few people that North Peak's beer is ok, but the food is worth going there for. For some reason, we always seem to make it to Mackinaw Brewing Company to eat and have a beer. Beer is pretty good, but your basic styles, and the food is not bad either. I think North Peak has been more like a night club when we've gone there.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:08 PM   #7
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I think this is an interesting thread,i am planning to move to Traverse City in the upcoming year. I will be opening a microbrewery and bar in that area. I am talking to the bank about funding right now, and if all goes well I will be seeing you all very soon. I have been to the two breweries right downtown.

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Old 03-10-2011, 09:16 PM   #8
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I live in Traverse City, so I think I can comment on the aforementioned.

The 'North Peak' line of beers is actually made by Jolly Pumpkin, which they have a brewery out on Old Mission Penninsula (And Dexter, MI I believe). Most of their beers are pretty solid, nothing too exceptional but decent enough. Jolly Pumpkin's beers are pretty good though.

Aaaand sorry about hijacking a little..

The microbrew (North Peak) itself has very hit or miss beers. Their food is pretty exceptional, but I wouldn't make a break strictly for the brews anymore.

Right Brain's beer has pretty much gone right down the toilet after John left, its pretty sad. I mean, its not terrible, but its certainly not what it was. From what I hear, John is in the works of opening a new brewery somewhere in town?

I don't know what is up with Traverse City becoming this beer epicenter though. There is Shorts in Bellaire, Mackinaw Brewpub, North Peak Brewpub, Jolly Pumpkin, 3 Sergeants, Right Brain Brewery and rumor of 2 more going in soon here?!

Its good to be local!

Edit: Should mention, if you liked Diabolical IPA, try 'Furry.' Its a black IPA and it is delicious! They came out with another one recently too that my sister brought over for a taste test and it was better than both of 'em!

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Old 03-11-2011, 01:41 PM   #9
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Jolly Pumpkin also has the place in Ann Arbor, downtown. Real close to Arbor Brewing (which is better IMO). I'd like to get up there and try some JP beers, but I'm real excited to try the Shorts stuff. I hear they have some good stuff on tap.

And I'm excited to hear about John opening up a new place, but I haven't heard exactly where or when. Last I could find out he was getting zoning and applications, but I don't know exactly where.

And that's a LOT of brewpubs for the TC area... I'd complain some more, but since Big Rapids is going to open one this year, I really can't. I just wonder if it's "too many", if you know what I mean.

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Old 03-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
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Yep - that other Jolly Pumpkin is down in Dexter area somewhere; i've heard its much better than the Northern Michigan offering.

Shorts is simply amazing. Joe is a beer nut and a mad innovator at that. Visit the brewpub sometime, they have a lot of eclectic offerings that don't make it out and about.

Last rumor I heard is that John's place was going out on either 3-Mile or 4-Mile but again, just a rumor.

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