Lakefront Brewery was founded in 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisc. Bottling began in 1990 with the help of refurbished machines and by 1998 they were producing 3,000 barrels of beer per year. The brewery moved, new equipment was eventually brought in and Lakefront Brewery has been at the forefront of the craft beer explosion that has gripped the United States and in 2012 they produced 33,368 barrels. Today, they produce a large variety of beers, from year-round brews to gluten-free, to limited releases. Up for review today is one of their year-round offerings, Fixed Gear, an American Red IPA.
The beer pours an amber color with hints of red and caramel depending on the lighting. There is a creamy, tannish-colored head that rose to about two fingers at its height. The head shrunk fairly quickly, which I blame on my glass. However, there was a nice foamy layer that stayed on top throughout and laced my glass enough to make Prince consider wearing it.
There is a pleasant aroma of hops and malt. You get the grassy, earthy nots of the hops followed by caramel notes of the malt. There is also a fruity sweetness in the nose as well.
The first sip gives you citrusy hops, followed by caramel malt, a little bread flavor, then a dry, hoppy finish. It isn’t overly hoppy. It is a variation on an IPA so you expect some hops and this definitely allows the hops to come through. However, they don’t dominate like they do in various IPAs. The malt and hops play along very well here. The beer is medium-bodied with a slightly creamy feel in the mouth. It finishes on the dry side from the hops.
Overall, this is a fairly complex beer. I wasn’t expecting it to be so sophisticated but it was certainly a fun beer to drink. It looked good in the glass and the flavor profile kept you coming back for more as it played well with the taste buds. The heavy lacing on the glass was also very nice. I would not mind having this again. At 6.8% ABV it is a good beer to sit back and enjoy.