Let me cut to the chase: Snake River Brewery’s Pako’s EYE-P-A is my all-time favorite American-style India Pale Ale beer (so far).
I first tried Pako’s on draft at the Snake River Brewery in Jackson, Wyoming in January 2011 while on a ski trip with my buddy Brian after ripping deep powder all day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
We dropped into the brewery for some aprés ski beers. I noticed Pako’s EYE-P-A on the beer list above the bar and promptly ordered one. The first thing I look for when a bartender serves a beer is the head. Nothing irks me more than when a bartender serves a beer with liquid to the rim and no head. Thankfully, my Pako’s had a perfect white, creamy head about an inch deep that persisted nicely.
As the bartender set the pint down I immediately noticed its pungent woodsy/citrusy aroma, like freshly cut pine with notes of pineapple and grapefruit, all compliments of its Simcoe and Columbus hops which are perfect for American-style IPAs.
I observed Pako’s slightly cloudy and golden color before taking a nice big drink. I relished the strong, bitter hop flavors with essences of orange, grapefruit, pine and slight malt with just a bit of sweetness. I got a lively and clean mouthfeel with the wonderful hop flavors lingering after swallowing. I was in love.
For hop lovers, Pako’s isn’t as bitter as say Stone Ruination IPA or Pyramid Breweries’ ThunderHead IPA. Pako’s is way more balanced and complex than those and other American IPAs that just blast you with bitterness.
Primal Conclusion: if you love American-style IPAs then Pako’s is a no brainer. I never tire of its endearing taste. My girlfriend Mountain Kait and I bring it along on many outdoors excursions since packing cans in and out is so easy. Its 6.8 percent ABV also provides a nice buzz post-ski/ride/hike.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy Pako’s anywhere except in Wyoming. If you can’t make it to Wyoming then you can order Pako’s online and have it delivered for $40. That’s steep, but if you’re a beer connoisseur it’ll be well worth it, and it would make a great gift. Imagine opening up a 12-pack of Pako’s on Christmas morning.
- ABV: 6.8 percent
- IBU: 60+
- Container: cans (or draft)