Glassware: As with any IPA the aroma is the first noticeable characteristic. Glassware that helps to trap the aroma should be used, especially with Giant Juicebox’s huge fruit-forward notes. The Spiegelau IPA glass is a perfect choice but, sadly, due to its delicate nature, many bars do not offer it. A snifter or Willi Becher Tumbler are great choices, a nonic pint glass will also suffice. The key is in trapping that wonderful aroma!
Description: Giant Juicebox pours a cloudy orange hue with a wispy white head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing on the glass. The aroma is citrus forward with strong notes of oranges and backing hints of tropical fruits such as pineapple with a touch of hop resin and sweet malts. The taste follows the nose with a huge hop hit up front with notes of fresh oranges, tangerines, and pineapple with a dank hop bitterness dancing in the background. The sweet malts follow to sooth the palate, but the balance in this beer is incredible, the hop presence is there but the bitterness is perfectly kept in check. The moderate carbonation and medium body create a beer that is highly drinkable with no appearance of the 8.5 percent ABV. This is a beer that is a must try for all lovers of hops.
Food Pairing: The big nature of this beer gives it a lot of heft to hold up against a variety of foods and the juicy mouthfeel adds a flavor depth to many dishes that make for a dream pairing. An evening out enjoying Mexican food is always a good night and when pairing with some Giant Juicebox the night gets even better. Try pairing with an authentic pollo asado dish with a side of rice. For the unfamiliar, this is a chicken dish that is given a hefty dosing of citrus (orange juice, lemon, and lime juice) and grilled with a lot of spices. The citrus notes in the beer and the dish will grab onto one another and the orange flavors will truly shine and the spices will be kept in check with the solid malt backbone. A beer such as Giant Juicebox allows for a pairing with pizza that is piled high with toppings without fear of overwhelming the beer and the smooth mouthfeel also cuts through the greasiest of fried foods. Feel free to chow down on chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, or even scotch eggs.
The Final Word: Sole has quickly built up a loyal following in a short period of time and they did it the old fashioned way, by brewing incredible beer! Earlier this year the brewery released their Juicebox IPA to rave reviews and the demand has grown steadily and has reached a peak state. Despite all the hype, the brewery is able to back it up with world class beers brewed in NEPA. Giant Juicebox is a beefed up version of its original Juicebox IPA and while it is most definitely a DIPA, it drinks easy and is approachable, even to an IPA novice. While many breweries have sought after releases that have fans lining up for hours to get it, we are lucky to have Sole in our local area and while getting cans may require a bit of waiting, the drive isn’t too bad!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Sole Artisan Ales
Beer: Giant Juicebox
Style: American Double/ Imperial IPA