Coronado Brewing Company is based out of Coronado, California. It started in 1996 as a brewpub founded by brothers, Ron and Rick Chapman, and grew a distribution arm in 2003. In 2012, Coronado added a 30-barrel brewhouse and now has national distribution (thanks to Stone, if my memory serves me). I’d heard good things about Coronado, so when I was at my local last week I saw a couple bottles from them and decided to give them a shot. I picked up one each of their Mermaid Red (an American amber ale), Islander IPA (an IPA, duh), and Idiot IPA (an Imperial IPA).
Instead of splitting this into 3 separate beer reviews, I thought I’d give you my quick thoughts on each of the 3 beers.
Mermaid Red. An American Amber Ale that was is a clear, ruby color with a thin, white head. Mermaid has a malty smell of caramel and toffee. There is a spicy character in the flavor, presumably from the hops. There is a slightly sweet toffee taste as well, and a touch of citrus, floral taste and bitterness. Though it was a pretty good match for the Indian food I had with it for dinner, I thought this was a little too hoppy.
3.5 out of 5.
Islander IPA. Citrus and pine on the nose. Some tropical fruit aromas as well. The taste is bitter and fruity, but manages to finish sweet and not too dry. The flavors are sharp and crisp. Islander is pale orange in color and light, but not clear – a bit hazy. Very bright. Hints of orange. Good carbonation and a medium light body. This was my favorite of the three; I’m not sure what more you ask for from an IPA.
4.5 out of 5.
Idiot IPA. An Imperial IPA, despite only being 8% ABV. Same color as the Islander, but somehow slightly clearer. Same mouthfeel as Islander as well. The taste was too bitter upfront and came across as less nuanced than Islander. There is less citrus flavor in Idiot, but it comes out more as the beer warms. Not a bad beer, but not as good as the Islander, similar without being an improvement.
3.75 out of 5.