This is a paid, sponsored post presented by our friends at Rogue Ales.
Deep in the woods of Mount St. Helens lives a monster. Part bat, part flying primate, Batsquatch roams the woods searching for their prey.
Last seen decades ago, a massive sea serpent became legendary for terrorizing sailors and gorging on local salmon. Like the Loch Ness Monster of the Pacific Northwest, Colossal Claude is a mythical creature occasionally spotted in Oregon.
According to legend, a humongous hairless bear preyed on lumberjacks in America in the early twentieth century. Known as Gumberoo, this ravenous giant devours anything in its path. Including humans.
What do all these creatures have in common?
Besides being folklore of the Pacific Northwest, Batsquatch, Colossal Claude, and Gumberoo are all brews affectionately known as Rogue’s Monsters of IPA.
Now for the first time, Rogue will pit each beer against each other to see which beast reigns supreme. In an epic “Battle of the Beasts”, fans can help choose the winner by checking in their favorite monster beer on Untappd or voting at monstersofipa.com.
Will Batsquatch, Colossal Claude, or Gumberoo be the cryptid champion?
What Is Monsters of IPA?
Based in Newport, OR, Rogue Ales has grown up around these local lore. Tall tales of rarely seen beasts trickle out of the deep, dark forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Rogue wanted to capture these incredible legends the best way they knew how…with legendary beers.
“It’s about sharing these stories of these crazy creatures and cryptids that have been spotted in the Pacific Northwest and in our backyard…tying them into some of our great products,” says Evan Bartholomew, creative director at Rogue Ales. As a part of the Monsters of IPA project, Bartholomew created all the monsters seen on the cans.
But how do you brew liquid equal enough to represent such mammoth mutants?
“It’s like brewing some of the biggest, best, baddest IPAs,” says Joel Shields, brewmaster at Rogue Ales.
That was Rogue’s with Monsters of IPA when the brewery released Batsquatch in early 2019.
For Rogue, their own legend starts with an equally legendary beer style…a hazy IPA.
Batsquatch: The Big Bad Hazy IPA
When Rogue brewed its first hazy IPA, the brewery knew it had to go big.
How much bigger can you get than “beerifying” a cryptid that’s part bat and part Sasquatch?
Allegedly reported flying around Mount St. Helens in the 1980s, the legend of Batsquatch remains…well, a bit hazy. “While there are many tales of Batsquatch, they are all a bit hazy on the details, which makes the truth such a juicy mystery,” writes Rogue about Batsquatch. “So what better way to honor the elusive legend than with a hazy IPA?”
“Batsquatch was our first foray into hazy IPA, so we wanted to make sure we did it well,” says Shield. Which meant Shields and his team took several years to dial in the recipe.
“When hazy first started, it was…hard to get stable hazy, put it in a package, and make it look presentable after a month or so,” says Shields. “It took a lot to figure out what ingredients and hops to use…to feel comfortable putting something in a package that tasted good and looked good.”
Shields eventually settled on a mix of Mosaic, El Dorado, Belma, and a touch of BRU-1 hops.
Mosaic and El Dorado are common hazy hops, but BRU-1 “gave a little more haze than others and that one has a good pineapple note that blends well with the tropical notes of El Dorado,” says Shields.
The real wildcard hop here though is Belma.
According to Shields, when Rogue first brewed Batsquatch, Peterborough Farms in Yakima, WA, was the only farm growing Belma.
Today, Peterborough Farms allows Rogue to cultivate a small portion of the wild hop on their own farm in Oregon. But, it’s still pretty exclusive.
“In light amounts, [Belma] has more strawberry, ripe melon, or overripe melon that blends well with tropical flavors and gives an extra fruity punch,” says Shields.
Overall, the hop combination gives Batsquatch an incredibly juicy, “smooth, almost sweet mouthfeel with just enough hops to balance out without being overly bitter,” says Shields.
Pouring a slightly hazy light straw color with a nice thick white head, Batsquatch is just a damn fine, approachable hazy IPA.
And so far fans agree. Batsquatch took flight pretty quickly, catching on in Oregon and around the country; the beer currently ranks as one of Rogue’s best sellers.
Based on the success of Batsquatch, Rogue added another tale to its Monsters of IPA series, releasing Colossal Claude in the spring of 2021.
Colossal Claude: A Colossal Monster, A Colossal Double IPA, A Colossal Dose of Hops
Topping Batsquatch—the fable and the beer—could have been challenging. But with Colossal Claude, Rogue went over the top, designing a double IPA recipe with hints from both East Coast and West Coast IPAs.
It has been several decades since someone last spotted this slithering sea serpent. But Rogue believes the mighty monster is laying low off the coast, gorging on unsuspecting swimmers and sailors.
In 2021, Rogue released Colossal Claude, a double IPA with a colossal amount of Cascade, Chinook, Belma, Eureka, and Strata.
Hops are truly the star of this imperial IPA.
“Belma gives that ripe fruit punch,” says Shields. “[While] Eureka is a newer one with a little bit of dank notes and some fruit too, and then Strata I almost describe as orange juice; it’s really fruity and orangey.”
All contribute to an imperial IPA packed to the gills with clear citrusy, fruit notes up front and slightly dank notes in the back.
Be careful as you bite into this beer because, at 8.2% ABV, Colossal Claude will surely bite back, dipping its ferocious fangs into your tastebuds and refusing to let go.
But as of 2022, Colossal Claude and Batsquatch aren’t the only two monsters you’ll need to watch out for in Rogue’s lineup.
The Piney and Protective Gumberoo: A West Coast IPA Through and Through
Have you ever heard of the Gumberoo?
As Rogue tells the story, “Three loggers were camped in the woods drinking beers and entertaining the idea of illegally harvesting old growth sequoias for extra cash when the ground suddenly shook with a heavy footstep. Bigger than a bear with wild eyes and jagged teeth, the Gumberoo rose from behind a stump with a mighty roar. As the loggers scrambled to escape, beer spilled onto the fire causing smoke to fill the air. Some say the forest only wanted to send them a warning that night as this stroke of smokey fortune helped hold off the Gumberoo while the loggers got away.”
It’s a cautionary tale that reminds folks to respect the forest and those within by putting out your hot fires and drinking cold beer.
Paying homage to this gargantuan black bear / wild hog, Rogue returned to its roots when it released Gumberoo in early 2022.
A West Coast IPA, Gumberoo features Mosaic, Simcoe, Belma, and Idaho 7, adding to that classic palette. “Simcoe is one of my favorites for classics,” says Shields, who has been brewing since Simcoe first became popular in 2008. “I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for that one.”
In terms of the other hops, Idaho 7 has a great spectrum of different flavors and aromas while “you can’t go wrong putting Mosaic in a beer,” says Shields. “It’s everyone’s favorite hop.”
To emphasize that Gumberoo is a good ol’ fashioned West Coast IPA, Shields dry hops Gumberoo at a clip of three pounds per barrel.
“This one pours a little dark, a light amber color, and on the nose has a little bit of pine and citrus, but finishes nice and crisp,” says Shields.
After the first two monsters stormed and smashed their way through fans’ fridges, Gumberoo promises to add another tremendous monster to the mix.
But beyond the beer itself, Rogue has done an incredible job of bringing these monsters to life on the outside of the can.
Making the Monsters of IPA Come to Life
To truly tell these incredible stories Rogue went all out for the artwork around Monsters of IPA, tapping creative director Evan Bartholomew to illustrate each monster.
“Batsquatch first came to me as a name,” says Bartholomew, who had to Google about sightings and the history behind the creature. “Batsquatch is this 9-foot tall Sasquatch thing that’s half bat, so I looked at gargoyles and all kinds of monsters trying to visually compile what this might look like.”
Bartholomew settled on almost a cross between a yeti and a bat complete with dripping fangs, menacing wings, and razor sharp claws.
After getting into the groove with the first monster, Bartholomew says Colossal Claude was a bit more straightforward. “It’s a serpent-like creature, so I looked at dinosaurs and prehistoric-looking sea creatures.”
However, Gumberoo proved a bit trickier. “It’s been described as an obese bear with tough leathery skin or some sort of hog or wild boar mixed with a bear,” says Bartholomew, who notes getting the face right was the hardest part. Bartholomew didn’t want Rogue’s Gumberoo to look too much like a bear or too much like a pig, so he drew something in between.
Battle of the Beasts: Animating the Legends of the Monsters of IPA
In addition to the 2D artwork, with each beer release Rogue simultaneously launched an animated video depicting the tale of each cryptid.
For example, in the Batsquatch short an old-timer with a long beard, a missing tooth, and a hook for one arm offers up a little story to an unsuspecting drinker. He recounts how a powerful blast from Mount St. Helens ripped through the surrounding forest. As a plume of debris rose from the mountain, something woke up from deep inside the chaos.
And in the Colossal Claude clip the one-armed man returns to regale how 250 million years ago a violent sea creature flourished, eating everything in his path. Trapped in an iceberg during the ice age, Colossal Claude eventually thawed somewhere off the coast of Newport, OR. As the story goes, seamen spotted the serpent in March of 1934.
These are quirky cartoons aimed at bringing the Monsters of IPA to life.
On April 6th, Gumberoo will make its debut in a similar animated short, but with a twist.
Now, Rogue will pit all against each other in an ultimate ”Battle of the Beasts.”
And they’re asking for your help to decide the winner. Choose your favorite by checking in your favorite monster beer on Untappd or voting at monstersofipa.com.
“I love drawing these three awesome monsters and seeing them interact,” says Mel Purdy (they/them), graphic designer for Rogue Ales. Purdy joined the Rogue team in August to help create this epic “Battle of the Beasts.” “I’ve been trying to distill each with its own unique personality and behavioral characteristics.”
Batsquatch is the most human. “You can see the gears turn in his head in a way that’s more logical, they’re probably the most clever of the three,” says Purdy.
On the other hand, Colossal Claude is the least human. “Very scary and primal, Colossal Claude definitely strikes fast and unexpectedly,” says Purdy. “I think he’s the scariest, to be honest with you.”
Contrastingly, Gumberoo is Purdy’s favorite because the monster has “big sweetheart energy and all-around good-hearted intentions,” says Purdy. “I’m trying to stay unbiased, but Gumberoo is such a cutie with that little face!”
After the debut on April 6th, Rogue will release one new video per week.
The only question now: Which mythical monster will reign supreme in the Monsters of IPA?
Which Monster of IPA will be the Best of the Beasts?
With three monstrous beers and beasts, Rogue wants to pit each of its creatures and cans against each other for an epic battle of cryptids (century).
“Now that we have a power trio, they’re all going to battle to be the victor,” says Purdy.
It’s anyone’s guess who will be the best of the beasts.
“For me it’s been fun to see the three come together and interact,” says Bartholomew. “I think a lot of people want to see a battle; they want to see the three face off.”
Tune in on April 6th here as the Monsters of IPA battle begins.
What Is the Future of Monsters of IPA?
For now Rogue plans to ride the immense wave of success of the first three Monsters of IPA.
At the time of publication, there were no details on whether another monster would join the mix.
But it’s always a possibility.
“Three is a good trio to stick with, but we’re always open to trying new things and seeing what new things come up,” says Shields
Bartholomew agrees. “I think without giving too much away, the possibility is definitely there. We might…let these three get established…but definitely there is the possibility of more monsters down the road.”
Overall, Monsters of IPA is a fun series bursting with unique tales, crafty creatures, and intriguing plot lines.
For now, sit back, relax, enjoy one of Rogue’s Monsters of IPAs and watch which monster will reign supreme.
Unless of course you’re in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Then you need to always keep one eye open for Batsquatch, Colossal Claude, and Gumberoo.
Where Can I Find Batsquatch, Colossal Claude, and Gumberoo?
You mean besides roaming around the forests, mountains, and waters of the Pacific Northwest?
You can find Rogue’s Monsters of IPA–Batsquatch, Colossal Claude, and Gumberoo–in 6-packs with 12oz cans and on draft. All are available year round across Rogue’s entire distribution footprint.
Use Rogue’s Beer Finder to find the spot nearest you carrying these products.