Noon Day IPA

Review Date 7/21/2018  Last Updated 8/4/2019    By John Staradumsky

Well, did I hit the Nantahala motherlode or what? I was at the bar at Harrah’s Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center when I saw not one but two Nantahala beers on tap. In the yeas prior since Nantahala opened I had only ever seen their lightest offering, Dirty Girl Blonde, but tonight I had my choice of Bryson City Brown Ale or Noon Day IPA. So, of course, I had one of each.

As the hyperlink above implies, I have already regaled you with tales of the Bryson City Brown Ale, so I am here today to speak to the Noon Day IPA. Would this be a “session IPA”? The name *might* allude to that. A nooner glass is a 5-ounce sampler, implying a lighter sampler for early in the day. Sierra Nevada makes a Nooner Pilsner, another moderate beer. These were the thoughts going through my head.

However, I was not close to the mark. This is no session IPA, but instead a wonderful classic American IPA with MALT, the type of which I found so many examples of in Western North Carolina lately. The name comes from the translation of Nantahala from Cherokee: “Land of the noon day sun”, so called because parts of the forest floor only see the sun when directly overhead.

From the website:

Our flagship, an agressivly (SIC) hopped India Pale Ale. Piney, grapefruit flavor with a big nose.

An IPA brewed with pale malts, generous amounts of crystal malts and an abundance of whole hops. The hops are showcased through a hop back process, which along with dry hopping, produces a piney, grapefruit and floral aroma and helps contribute to a crisp, dry finish.

Nantahala Noon Day IPA has an alcohol content of 6% by volume with 51 IBUs. It was running $6.60 a pint at the bar, but I got it free (sort of) because I used casino comp credits. Total Wine sells it for $8.99 a six-pack in bottles.

My cup of Nantahalla Noon Day IPA arrived a beautiful orange amber color with a fluffy white head and rich caramel malt and piney resin in the nose. Taking a sip, there’s wonderful chewy caramel malt, grapefruit and to a greater degree resiny pine tar all culminating in a long dry bitter finish.

Western North Carolina brewers put out some fantastic IPAs, and this is one of them. A real treat not to be missed.

Update 8/4/2019: We just got back from a little North Carolina trip to Murphy and Cherokee. I picked up a six-pack of this beer because, hey, I love it, and it's as good in the bottle as it was on tap. Malty (remember malt in IPAs?), citrusy, resiny piney. Something you can really sink your teeth into! I got my six at a convenience store for $10.99, a bit more than Total Wine asks, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.


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.