By Brandon Mercer

I’m a sucker for a good label as much as a good craft beer, and Heal the Bay IPA from Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles delivers on both with a beautiful label, and a powerful citrus explosion from Citra, Centennial and New Zealand hops.

The label features my favorite fish, the protected Garibaldi. Look down into the water at any of California’s Channel Islands and in a few minutes, you’ll see the bright orange fish darting around the dark blue water and green kelp. It seems to know it’s protected, because if you’re snorkeling it will come right up to your mask. It’s a great symbol of healing the bay, and a portion of every can sold goes to protecting the waters and cleaning the beaches.

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Now, the beer.

Heal the Bay is the best I’ve had from Golden Road. Some of their other IPAs seemed bitter for bitter’s sake, but the citrus–especially grapefruit–flavors from this seasonal IPA really impressed me.

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Maybe it was the hot day, or the fact that I spent most of the afternoon on my roof repairing cracked shingles with tar, but this beer just hit the spot. Perfect hop notes and aromas for hop lovers, and a smooth and balanced malt.

A note on the can: Beers in cans have the advantage of cooling down faster, being lighter for us backpackers, and most importantly for the brewery — featuring a larger canvas (CANvas) and thus can tell a really compelling story.  21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco capitalizes on this, as does Golden Road.

Details from
STYLE – India Pale Ale
OG/FG – 15.8/2.8
ABV – 6.8%
IBU – 65
MALTS – 2-Row
HOPS – Citra, Centennial, New Zealand Varieties

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The 2-Row pale malt body takes a backseat to Citra, Centennial, and New Zealand hops for a bright, citrus forward, summertime drinking IPA. A portion of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to our hardworking friends at Heal the Bay, a local organization committed to protecting the Southern California watersheds.