Beer Review: Full Pint Tri-PA

A new twist on the Imperial IPA from the Pittsburgh brewery


Full Pint Brewing Company is a relatively new brewery on the Pittsburgh, Penn. beer scene that released its first batch of barrels in May 2010. Featuring the collaborative efforts of five brewers with a collective 50 years experience, Full Pint’s roster of beers are widely available in the Western PA region and are now reaching points beyond.

Tri-PA is the brewery’s unique take on an imperial IPA, and is actually a blend of three different batches of beer. Each batch uses a different hop and malt variety, producing three distinct flavors. The blended batches are then dry-hopped (dried hop flowers are added during fermentation) with all three varieties, creating a strong, hoppy-yet-sweet beer.

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle, Tri-PA appears in the glass like most imperial IPAs, with a rich amber hue and resilient white head. The nose of the beer is sweet malt, accompanied by a big load of hops. Where some imperial IPAs depend on citrus notes and dry flavors to balance the bitterness, Tri-PA uses sweet malt flavors to balance out the strong hop schedule.

After a few sips this beer is more sweet than biting, and the hops become part of the flavor profile, as opposed to the lone focus. Due to the strong malt presence, this beer finishes very sweet and lingers on the palate with a slightly astringent and tacky mouthfeel. As is expected with the style, this beer packs a punch at 9 percent ABV.

Pittsburgh is producing some great beer of late (if you visit, be sure to check out East End Brewing Company too) and Full Pint is a welcome part of the craft beer boom. Tri-PA is a bold, unique statement from a brewery gaining wider distribution and recognition. Look out for these new beers as they make their way into more and more regions.

— Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation

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