Total Score: 8.8/10
Well one would think this little Australian-made American-styled IPA face-off between Bacchus Brewing JAF IPA and Modus Operandi Zoo Feeder IPA would be dead in the water after Bacchus JAF totally hit it out of the park, but then one would be wrong to doubt Modus. Don’t forget Modus are the brewers of The Former Tenant – still to this day my favourite Aussie Red IPA and #71 on my all-time list (ironically just bumped down from #70 by Bacchus JAF), so this little face-off is still in play. However I will admit my preference for East Coast over West Coast IPAs – I’m not a fan of overly assertive bitterness, nevertheless if anyone can bring home the bacon Modus can (they might even fry it in the pan if we’re lucky).
Poured from a 500ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Hazed copper-tinged amber body with a very respectable tight-packed 2 centimetre cream-coloured head that leaves a lace trail of near Guinnessian proportions… and yes: Guinnessian is now a word, thank you Colliers. 9/10.
S: Modus do like to bring the hop-stank, and hop-stank they’ve brought with this brew: Earthy, piney resin and cannabis hop notes to the fore. The freshness of these hops is uncanny – if I opened a bag of Simcoe hop pellets I wouldn’t be surprised to smell this aroma. Hints of citrus pop in for a visit as well. Much like the Bacchus JAF the malt base is obliterated by the hops. This is an outstanding West Coast IPA aroma – simply wow. 10/10.
T: Pretty f__king tasty, as we know Modus don’t do anything in half measures (apart from their shit Session IPA – but let’s be honest: all Session IPAs are shit), and this is another example of that gregarious hop ethos. Earthy/piney/cannabis/citric hops from start to finish – which is surprisingly not as bitter as most West Coast IPAs, at least it’s less bitter than their Sonic Prayer IPA. Malt base is in there providing a slight caramel FOB (Forward Operating Base) for those superb hops. This brew appears to be Modus’ love letter to American hops and I can certainly get on board with that. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with plentiful hop oils, and a light but dense carbonation. 8/10.
D: Overall this is almost the perfect antithesis to that Bacchus JAF IPA, and the only real thing separating these two for me is my stylistic preference towards East Coast AIPAs, however if you’re west-side when it comes to your AIPAs you will dig this brew BIG time. PS: I love AIPAs. 8/10.
Food match: I would hate to say Thai again, so Cambodian or Vietnamese 😛