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Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: Penrose Desirous

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Jul 18, 2014 8:30PM

Photo Courtesy of Penrose Brewing, used with permission.
This week, we're taking a look at a style of beer that could easily become a fridge staple for the rest of the summer.

Desirous is a White IPA from Penrose Brewing Co. in Geneva. The aroma of this beer is absolutely delightful, with prominent notes of pineapple skin and floral spice. On the palate, there's an assertive bite of hop bitterness that turns tropical after a second, which lends a hint of earthiness. Despite that sharpness up front, the wheat used in the grain bill keeps the body of Desirous pretty creamy, which plays off the bright, fruity hops quite well, if you ask us. At 6.2 percent alcohol content, this might be as close as beer has ever gotten to tasting like a pina colada—we mean that in an incredibly positive manner. Don't be fooled by the beachside cocktail reference though, this is still definitely a beer for hop lovers.

With the craft beer industry booming, we're seeing more and more breweries dabble with the relatively new style of White IPA, which is essentially an IPA that's been brewed with wheat. Classic wheat beer styles, such as Belgian Witbier and German Hefeweizen, have long been considered great summer beers by aficionados and novices alike. These beers are easy drinking, as wheat tends to impart a sweeter, richer character than barley does on its own, and both of those styles are traditionally not hop-driven at all. We usually refer to wheat beers as gateway beers, not necessarily because they're something you have to graduate beyond, but because they're incredibly approachable. IPAs, on the other hand, are generally less palatable to beer drinkers (at least in the beginning), and the addition of wheat helps round out the body, adds a hint of sweetness to balance, and just might be able to open people's eyes (and mouths) to all of the different flavors that hops can impart.

Desirous is only available on draft, so check to see if a bar in your hood is pouring it this weekend.