As I sit here writing, leaning over my coffee table and taking notes on this duel, both beers are stationed in front of my notepad. The blended aroma hovers around me and I’m convinced that if there is a heaven, this is what it smells like. Today’s duel features Anchor Brewing’s Go West IPA and Lakefront Brewing’s Fixed Gear. Anchor’s claim to fame is that it’s America’s first craft brewery, a “San Francisco original since 1896.” While the brewery itself is over 120 years old, the Go West IPA was first brewed in 2015, presenting a new craft option from an old craft provider. You can read all about it here. Meanwhile, Fixed Gear is one of the more popular beers from my favorite Milwaukee-based brewer, Lakefront Brewing.
|Better label||Lakefront Brewing Fixed Gear|
|Better aroma||Anchor Brewing Go West IPA|
|Better taste||Anchor Brewing Go West IPA|
|Better finish||Lakefront Brewing Fixed Gear|
|Winner||Lakefront Brewing Fixed Gear|
Tell us about it
This was a hard duel to declare a winner. The flavor profiles are different, but each is outstanding. Lakefront’s Fixed Gear has a real creeping finish that slowly unwraps itself and lingers until you’re ready for another sip. The Go West IPA is so well carbonated that even after three quarters of it is gone, it was still bubbling nicely.
Each of these beers took enough categories to split the decision, but in the end I had to pick a winner. I think I have enough Fixed Gear in me that it’s become part of my DNA, so that’s the direction I went. I’d challenge anyone who enjoys a good IPA to try these together and discover for themselves which one they like more.