Brew review: Left Hand Brewing’s Introvert IPA

Skyler Leonard

[aesop_quote type=”pull” background=”#ffffff” text=”#000000″ width=”100″ align=”left” size=”1″ quote=”This is a beer best left at home, Its hops are strong, with light foam, But with flavors complex, It is sure to perplex, This beer should be drank alone.” parallax=”on” direction=”left”]

Often beer commercials advertise their product as something to be consumed in the company of others, normally on a beach with the song of the summer played in the background. Yet Left Hand Brewing’s IPA, Introvert, — a word I normally associate with books, closed doors and awkward silence —  flips the summer stereotype completely.

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As the name implies, this beer is meant to be drank alone or in the very close company of others. For an IPA, it’s complex and wonderfully full of flavor. Ultimately, drinking this at a party would be like drinking merlot at a Miller Light affair. It just doesn’t work.

This is a beer where the more you drink it, the more you find to like about it. Tucked away are a variety of flavors that take time and attention to enjoy properly. The more you drink, the more the flavors of kiwi and papaya become apparent, both blended with an odd aroma of pine.

The first sip ends with clean-cut bitterness, something that is hard to enjoy alone. But this IPA is not meant to be judged off the first sip but more from the fifth. The honey malt and other flavors grow as you drink it.

My favorite beers have a way of altering my mood, not just in a drunken tipsy kind of way, but in a robust way in which the flavors are able to alter your state of mind in a fashion that a typical macro beer can’t. This IPA is one that I drank while enjoying a book. The two paired well, especially in late summer heat. It’s a mood that made sense for a beer called Introvert.

With all of this said, though, I’m curious about what I would think of this beer if it wasn’t called that. So much of what you enjoy can be boiled down to expectations. A prime example of this for me is Smart Water, a bottled water branded in a way that just looks so sleek and beneficial even though I’m sure it’s no different from tap water.

If this beer was called Extrovert, I wonder if I would have had a review with a completely different slant, capitalizing on the odd boldness of the flavors that should be enjoyed at a party. Maybe there are enough flavors in this beer to come up with either conclusion. But to me, at least, I think I’m OK with letting my expectations alter my opinion. If anything, it’s just nice to have a beer that’s an excuse to be left alone with a good book.

Collegian Senior Reporter Skyler Leonard can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @Skyler_Leonard.