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Micro Cosmos: Silver Moon's Noble India Pale Lager 

The trend in IPA's over the past few years has been to go obnoxiously big, as evidenced by one local brewery's not so long ago

The trend in IPA's over the past few years has been to go obnoxiously big, as evidenced by one local brewery's not so long ago makeover of its IPA. This approach is generally embraced by Northwest drinkers who gobble up malt and hops like a pre-Subway Jared at an Old Country Buffet.

Tyler and the boys over at Silver Moon, though, went in the other direction for their latest specialty beer, the Noble India Pale Lager (N.I.P.L., for short). The crew used 30-plus pounds of hops on this beer, which clocks in at 5.3 percent alcohol. But this isn't your average, palate steamrolling IPA, in fact, as its name implies, it's not IPA at all. Silver Moon brewed the beer with lager yeast, which imparts a clarity and crispness not found in IPA's, making it an ideal summer beer for hop heads. It's also a good compromise for drinkers who can't fathom their contemporaries' love of face scrunchingly bitter beers. The NIPL arrives a transparent golden amber with a pillowy head and goes down smooth with a lager's signature crisp delivery. It has a definite hop bite, but none of the cottony aftertaste of a true IPA.

The only thing we could find wrong here is that the Moon, apparently didn't brew enough. There's just a barrel or two left of this summer gem. We recommend you get down there, before it, like summer, is just a memory.

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