Craft Beer Review: Drekker Ectogasm IPA
today at 11:05 pm
Let’s give a welcome to Drekker Brewing Co., which made their debut in the Chicago market this past month. They’re the first brewer I’ve seen here from North Dakota; Fargo, to be precise.
By explanation, I’ve been tracking the beers I’ve had since 2003 on the Ratebeer.com site. Among the nearly 3,700 different beers I’ve had has been at least one from each of 45 United States. Illinois, of course, leads the state tally with 1,179. But for the longest time, there were six states (plus the District of Columbia). These states simply have not built enough of a beer scene to have brewers with a distribution footprint to carry them to Chicago.
North Dakota did not get much in the way of a beer scene until the 2010’s, with Fargo Brewing (and Bismarck’s Laughing Sun) starting up in 2011, and then Drekker in 2015 (Thrillist). The brewing pioneers had to lobby for changes in the state’s antiquated production and distribution laws.
Drekker has been the first to get out-of-state distribution. It’s a Viking-themed brewery, started in a locomotive repair facility. They’ve got a lot in common with our area beers. Drekker is best known for hazy New England IPAs and juicy ales. I picked up a four-pack of their basic beer, Ectogasm, from Leo’s Wines in Woodridge.
Despite the brewer’s “extreme” reputation, Drekker notes that its Ectogasm IPA has a simple hop bill of Citra & Mosaic, toasty malts and a touch of oats.
I picked up a big hoppy nose right under the pop tab. Hops brought me a sense of plenty of pine and stone fruit, yet a standard American Pale Ale smell.
It pours a very hazy yellow beer under a thick, but fizzy head. The first sip yieleded a big smack of hop bitterness. The taste slowly settled down to more apricot, a bit of vanilla and Bit O’Honey. There is also some nice malt sweetness that leaves a thin coating on the lips and palate. It’s a great beer for sipping.
I also note that this is one of the first beer cans I’ve seen packaged with cardboard beer packing ringers. These are said to be more environmentally friendly than even the plastic snap-on rings now being favored. The ringers did do a nice job of holding the cans together so far. My attempt to twist that first can off may have been made harder by my not wanting to rip up the whole thing.