Breaking Bud IPA

Review Date 5/19/2018   Last Updated   2/1/2021 By John Staradumsky

I sure love Knee Deep beers. Knee Deep, of course, is an Auburn, California brewer. For a time, they sold their beers in Georgia, but as often is the case, they withdrew when sales slowed. And why not? Craft beer drinkers are a fickle lot. They will flock to a new beer they’ve never tried, then quickly abandon it for the next new beer to show up.

The disappointing thing here for me was that I really wanted to try Knee Deep Breaking Bud India Pale Ale, a play on the TV series Breaking Bad. Being a big fan of that show, this was a no-brainer for me. So, when I saw it on tap at Wild Hare Beer Company in Spring Hill, Tennessee, well, you know I was all over it.

Knee Deep says:

Old school meets new school in this fresh approach to the classic IPA.  At 50 IBU’s and 6.5% ABV, Breaking Bud features the restrained bitterness and alcohol of a classic IPA with newer tropical fruit hop flavors and aromas of Mosaic.  Also in the hop mix are Simcoe and CTZ, creating layers of mango, passion fruit, pine and dank. A malt bill with a pinch of crystal malt and a hefty dose of flaked wheat keeps the beer crisp while adding flavor complexity.

Knee Deep has been selling Breaking Bud without issue since 2015, but in April of 2018, Sony sued them over what they are now calling a trademark infringement. They are demanding damages be paid and production of the beer (at least under the name Breaking Bud) be halted.

Breaking Bud won’t break the bank, but it’s not exactly cheap in cans. Total Wine sells it in 4-packs of pint cans for $13.99, and at $7.50 for a bomber bottle. The latter is not so bad as those go. I got a 32-ounce growler fill for $8 at Wild Hare, not so bad that.

Knee Deep Breaking Bud India Pale Ale pours to a pale golden color with a thick creamy head and a tropical papaya nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a thin to less than medium maltiness with tropical fruits of papaya and passion fruit and a hint of citrus. It finishes grassy herbal bitter. Tasty, a decent modern IPA but I want more malt folks.

Knee Deep Breaking Bud India Pale Ale is pretty much just another modern namby pamby no malt fruit loopy IPA. I like these well enough now and again, though I do not appreciate the dearth of malt. That said, would I buy it again? I think I would, if I can.

Update 2/1/2021: And you know what? I can buy it again, at least at And I did.

My latest can of Breaking Bud pours to a hazy golden color with a thick fluffy white head and an earthy and tropical hop aroma in the nose. Taking a sip, the beer is light to medium in malt with a bit of tropical pineapple (just a hint), grapefruit rind, pine, and a dry bitter finish. Thick Brussels lace forms on the sides of my glass and follows the liquid all the way down to the bottom.

I think I like this even more than before, and as the bomber price still runs around $8 a bottle, I am kicking it up from 3 1/2 stars to 4.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned