Totally awesome brew review: Flashback India Brown Ale

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Colburn

Like way cool labels....duh.

“I wanna go back and do it all over but I can’t go back I know…

The sound of Eddie Money’s hit and a splash of warm water wake me from an epic slumber in the Jacuzzi. I was in charge of providing the “Good Suds“ and was the first to arrive. The words, “Hey Bud, lets party!” are the first I hear and they’re music to my ears.

Something’s amiss though, I scan the room for the beer tub and some of that intriguing India Brown Ale, but strangely see nothing but “rolled” acid washed jeans, jorts, and leg warmers. Must be an 80’s theme party and I didn’t get the memo. Thankfully I still live in that magnificent decade (according to many) and probably look the part.

A dude is sporting a mullet Billy Ray Cyrus would be envious of. He asks “Where’s the party?” and I remark that it’s in the back. Luckily, he gets the joke. I compliment him on his plumage and ask him where he got his wig. He laughs as he guzzles his 2-liter plastic bottle of strawberry Sun Country Wine Cooler. “Wow, I haven’t seen that stuff in years.” I tell him and inquire as to where in the world he found it. He replies “There’s a couple more bottles in the cooler, all I want is my two dollars.” I thank him for the offer and move on in search of ice cold ale.

Finally I find the beer tub containing the enticing Boulder Brewing Company Flashback India-Style Brown Ale. A babe sporting hot pink and green neon approaches and offers to trade me one of her Bud Drys for one of my brewskis. Her boyfriend with a bodacious “Flock of Seagulls” haircut wants one too. I oblige but decline the Bud Dry.

They ask me what this strange brew tastes like and I inform them that it’s a complex India Pale Ale/Brown Ale hybrid and delicious- probably an 8.5/10. They look confused so I say, “Caramel and citrus flavors hit the tongue initially, followed by some hop bitterness and chocolate notes mid-sip. It finishes dry with cocoa and a wallop of grapefruit. There‘s a firm bitterness throughout but it‘s well balanced by the dark malts.”

There’s now a curious crowd gathering around me as I hand out bottle after bottle of the Boulder. A greasy bohunk asks me if I’m some kind of beer geek, I sheepishly admit the fact but am told it’s hip to be square. So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice. At least I’m not a study in moppishness I guess.

It seems there’s a mixed response to the India Brown Ale, it’s like they don’t quite know what to think of it. Overall, this may not be the best choice for the Bud crowd. In time though, I know they’ll appreciate it so I relay to the group, “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”

The night started to get blurry after that. More and more bottles of brown nectar went down, mixed with some of that nostalgic wine cooler and even a token Bud Dry or two. I started to wonder if maybe this wasn’t an 80’s theme party after all. Maybe it was some kind of… beer tub time machine.

A cab picks me up and I give the driver my address and best route to take back. He interrupts with “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

He turns on the radio…“I wanna go back and do it all over but I can’t go back I know…”

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