Review: Bridge Brewing Sidekick North East Session Ale

Well, this is a bit of a coincidence.. my most recent review (aside from this) was a review of a beer by a Bridge Brewing alumnus. I never expected it.. in reality I needed to get reviews out of the way and I decided the first beer I saw would be the beer I'd review.

Today I'm checking out Bridge's Side Kick India Session Ale. Sidekick is a cloudy North East Session Ale that combines a juicy flavour with a balanced bitterness from a variety of hops. Notes of melon, berries and stone fruit. Brewed with: North Shore water, Pale Malt, Flaked Oats, Caramel Vienna Malt, Oat Malt, North Shore Water, Pale Malt, Flaked Oats, Caramel Vienna Malt, Oat Malt, Acidulated Malt, Columbus Hops, Ella Hops, Amarillo Hops, Simcoe Hops, Mosaic Hops, London Ale III Yeast. 4.2% ABV

Appearance: Pours a kind of but mostly light hazy orange body with a decent amount of clarity to it.. buuuuut as soon as I pour in the last sip's worth of beer, that's where all the sediment is so the beer goes from decently clear (but not really) to a hazy orange juice-like beverage. The head is a frothy, off-white/beige.. good amount of foam but gradually diminishes to just give off a whole finger's worth. If you're wondering about the carbonation in the beer's body itself (you aren't), it's a good amount of carbonation that reminds me a tad of a lager before the last bit of beer was added.. but you honestly don't care.

Aroma: This is a sweet, up-front tropical "North East"-style IPA.. good deal of tropical fruits such as pineapple and orange, with a bit of a Five Alive aroma to it. Light amount of grass hop profile, not really that much bitterness.. so for the most part I'm getting a tropical fruitiness from this beer. Light amount of morning cereal vibe to it thanks to all the oatiness, decently sweet.. that's about it.

Taste: Tropical and fruity up front - a good deal of pineapple, oranges and a tad bit of grapefruit to add a bit of bitterness to it. A hint of I think melon/guava to give it a mildly vegetal fruit presence to it. There's a moderate amount of graininess that I can only describe as my childhood as my dad mainly grew oats as a grain crop.. and I'd grow a tiny little plot of oats right next to the grainery only to have the horses or the cows get overly excited and eat it all in one swoop... I know those horses and cows tasted some nice grain back then. There's a mild bitterness from the hops, as a bit of a straw profile to it.

Overall:  Not overly sweet, nor bland.. for a session it's pretty solid. The oats are a lot more dominant in this beer than most NEIPA/IPAs with oats added.. it kind of felt like oats could've been the dominant malt profile but we know it's not.. but growing up in an oat family, it's nice to see oats becoming much more present in beer than ever before! Decent tropical presence of orange and pineapple fruits.. oaty and a tad caramelly aftertaste at the end.

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