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Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: Pipeworks Brewing MariLime Law Ninja

By Jason Baldacci in Food on May 24, 2013 8:30PM

2013_5_24_pipeworks.jpgAs this year's edition of Chicago Craft Beer Week comes to a close, we take this opportunity to hazily reflect on some of the great things we've tasted over the past week. While we're not ones to choose favorites, there was one beer that intrigued us to the point that we had to taste it twice instead of moving on to something different.

MariLime Law Ninja is a new Imperial IPA brewed with lime zest and lime juice from the guys over at Pipeworks Brewing. All of that lime is very present on the nose, along with some herbal hop tones. On the palate, that lime is definitely at the forefront, but we don't find it overpowering at all. If anything, the lime juice adds a pleasant freshness and some racy acidity, and actually tones down the hop profile a bit. Never fear hopheads, there is still quite a bit of high octane, tropical hop notes coming through, and they certainly linger on the finish, but there isn't a stringent bitterness in this beer. At 9.5 percent alcohol content, MariLime Law Ninja is an intense, yet fresh take on an Imperial IPA that we recommend drinking immediately.

As much as we love to cellar special brews, most beer is best consumed as fresh as possible. Hop aromas are one of the first things that will fade out of a beer over time, and hop flavors are greatly affected by oxidation. Oxidation is (rather obviously) what happens to beer when it is exposed to oxygen, and it can impart flavors of cardboard or wet paper into a beer. All beers are subject to oxidation—some more so than others—but certain beers don't necessarily oxidize in a negative way.

Barrel aged stouts and other high alcohol content, darker beers can taste wonderful with a little oxidation, but most hop-centric brews typically don't. While MariLime Law Ninja may be a beer you want to save for a special occasion, we highly recommend making that occasion happen in the very near future. If you really want to do yourself a favor, grab a few al pastor tacos to pair with it, sit outside somewhere, and enjoy.

Look for MariLime Law Ninja in 22-ounce bomber bottles and on draft in the weeks to come, and check frequently to see who has it available.