Harvest Moon Delivers a Curiously Good Imperial IPA

Elevator Imperial IPA, Harvest Moon Brewing Co.’s latest offering to find its way to a six pack, is a curious beer.  If someone told me it was a Belgian Dubbel, I’d say the alcohol was a little high, but would have no other reason to question the diagnosis.

The beer pours a wonderful copper color, a bit cloudy, with a thickish off-white head that disappears fairly quickly in my glass. For an imperial IPA, I expected the aromas to be a mixture of caramel malt and a good punch of hops. What I got was a spicy fruit aroma with underlying malt, reminding me of a Belgian ale. The taste did nothing to disuade that idea. An initial thick malt flavor is followed quickly by fruity hops and a spicy Belgian-like flavor. A lingering, pronounced bitterness fills the finish along with a touch of undelying sweetness.  The alcohol is present, but doesn’t strongly contribute to the taste. Overall, I’d say it has a medium-full body and is very pleasant to drink.  I’m digging it and find it a rather curious interpretation of the style. Elevator’s stats are 8.7% abv and 78 ibus, according to John at Harvest Moon.

Late last year, Harvest Moon began an expansion to take the brewery from a 17 bbl operation to a 30 bbl one, allowing 90 bbls to be brewed in a day versus 34 under the old system.  The expansion is done and the brewhouse is in the process of commissioning.  Initially, the expansion lets Harvest Moon broaden its market area, but hopefully will also allow them to get back to more seasonals and specialty brews.  Harvest Moon recently released cans of Great Falls Select, an American Pale Ale, in some cool, nostalgic packaging.