Brew Review: Collective Arts Life in the Clouds
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Welcome to Brew Review: a regular feature here on the blog in which your two humble beer bloggers Amber and Des give you their honest opinions on the latest beers in stock at KOP Beer Outlet. Today's featured brew is Life in the Clouds, a tasty IPA from Ontario-based Collective Arts Brewing Company.
DES: Life in the Clouds is a soft and pillowy New England style IPA that features Simcoe and Mosaic hops. It's a year-round offering from Collective Arts and fits into a growing niche of “cloudy” ales without going overboard on the sweetness or ABV. Life in the Clouds has a fantastic juiciness to it that brings a punch of pineapple, mango, and peach. Normally, a higher ABV cloudy IPA like this one is full of add-ins that make it taste artificial–milk sugar and lactose are repeat offenders here, notorious for leaving an overly sweet taste in your mouth–but there isn't a trace of that in Life in the Clouds. The decision to go DDH (Double Dry Hopped) has benefited this beer greatly and allows a lot of the softer and subtle notes from the hops to come through. It balances out the heavier mouthfeel and leads to an overall satisfying experience. All too often, cloudy is used to describe milkshake style IPAs, pumped full of lactose or worse, oats or flour. Collective Arts seems to use the descriptor in a more traditional way: to describe the unfiltered qualities which have, in my very humble opinion, been a little bastardized over the past few years. Life in the Clouds is definitely worth picking up. Grab a four pack to try and see what you think.
Amber: I don’t love Mosaic hops—I guess I just don’t have Des’s fancy palate—so I’m always cautious when I first sip a beer that has “mosaic” written anywhere on the can, but Life in the Clouds doesn’t lead with Mosaic flavor. In fact, for an IPA, the hops are pretty mild. Instead, the Simcoe hops lead the way with a fruity, earthy flavor that doesn’t hit too hard or leave a sharpness in your throat post-sip. While mouth feel isn’t everything, it is the star of this mellow New England style IPA. There’s a softness when it hits the tongue that can really only be described as pillowy and I say that as someone who rolls her eyes at flowery superfluous beer marketing language. Life in the Clouds definitely doesn’t bring the sharp citrus, bitterness, or heavy hop flavor I expect from a double IPA. It’s refreshingly drinkable and, at 6.1% ABV, it won’t leave you parched, dizzy, or begging for water on a hot summer day.