Glassware: Lil Heaven, while it is a light session beer, delivers a big hop aroma. Sure you can get a sense of it from sticking your nose in the can, but to fully experience it glassware is a must. The Spiegelau IPA glass is a great choice and always the go to for any IPA. However, a snifter or nonic pint glass are also great selections. Of course drinking a deliciously crushable beer from a can is always enjoyable when relaxing with friends.
Description: Two Roads Lil Heaven pours a hazy golden copper hue with an off-white foamy head that leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hop forward in a welcoming manner with bright tropical fruits on display and a subtle semi-sweet caramel malt note present. The taste follows the aroma with tropical fruits hitting the palate up front with passion fruit leading the way and hints of grapefruit, lemon and pine present creating an invigorating hop flavor. The key with this beer though lies in the balance against the semi-sweet caramel and biscuit malt flavors that keep the hops in check and provide a perfect body for the beer. The moderate carbonation is very refreshing and perfectly calibrated to create a world class and very sessionable IPA. The balance within this beer is the true selling point. In a market that is beyond saturation with IPA’s it can become difficult to find a true go to, but after one sip of Lil Heaven this just may become your new favorite beer!
Food pairing: Lighter beers such as session IPA’s can sometimes become a difficulty when pairing with dishes due to their delicate nature. Many session IPA’s have a thinner body can easily be overwhelmed by a variety of dishes. However, Lil Heaven have a strong enough flavor profile and hefty enough body to stand its ground with many pairings. Lil Heaven is, well, a heavenly pairing with many spicy Mexican dishes. The tropical fruit hop profile lightens and deepens the flavor profile of even the spiciest of dishes while the semi-sweet malt backbone keeps any spices in check and cleanses the palate perfectly. Any final backyard BBQ’s before the fall season settles in completely are made better with this session IPA. The sweet BBQ sauce and natural caramelization from the grill will be enhanced by the sweet malt profile and delicate hops and again do not worry about overwhelming this beer. As with all IPA’s this is a phenomenal beer for Friday night gatherings with friends, a movie, and pizza piled high with any topping your heart desires.
The Final Word: Session IPA’s are a very difficult beast to tackle from a brewers vantage point. The trouble is getting a beer that has enough body to balance the hops to prevent a taste of hop water while still having a hop forward IPA. This becomes a challenge because even the slightest move towards too much malt or hops throws this light beer off. Two Roads has not only perfected the balance but the hop selection makes this a session IPA that stands tall above the rest. Two Roads is new to the area as far as distribution goes. Hop lovers who are looking for a beer that packs a punch in the flavor department but allows for large consumption without bad after effects will want to try this delicious beer.
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.
Brewer- Two Roads Brewing Company
Beer- Lil Heaven Session IPA
Style- American IPA