Fracture Double IPA — Amsterdam Brewing Co.

I love hops, and I hope you do too.  In fact, I have three hop plants on order from Toronto Brewing as we speak.  I also have a hop vine at my mother’s house.  So, you would assume that I was a pretty big hop head.  Give me the biggest, brashest, hoppiest thing you can find.  No malts, they’re for the weak. Etc.  But I’m not.  Actually, I value balance and subtlety a lot more, as I spend more and more time drinking excellent beers.  Anybody can make a basic beer and chuck a crate of hops in it, but crafting a balanced beer, even if it is hop-forward, is no small feat.  Because of this, I tend to prefer American Pale Ales over IPAs and Double IPAs.  I find I get more well crafted pales, compared to more carelessly over-hopped IPAs/DIPAs.  I know I’m generalizing here, in fact I mean to. Because this week I already reviewed the very nice, well made 6-4-3 DIPA.  And last week, I popped by Amsterdam’s brewery in Leaside to say hello, and Kody passed me a few bottles, including their Fracture Double IPA.  If you read this blog enough, you know I have a somewhat indecent love for Amsterdam, so instead of worrying about it being a one-dimensional hop bomb, I was excited to see what the folks who brought us Boneshaker would do with a Double IPA.

Fracture Double IPA — Amsterdam Brewing Co.

Fracture Double IPA — Amsterdam Brewing Co.

From a blank (sample) 341ml bottle, Fracture Double IPA pours a deep copper brown, brilliantly clear. About 1.5″ of dense head dropped to a thick layer of foam that left a bit of lace on the glass.  Aroma is such a lovely balance of sweet caramel malts and fruity citrusy hops, but they’re hitting you full in the face.  Super clean, with no alcohol heat, it’s hugely inviting.  Taste is more of the same, massive, with beautiful sweetness at the front of the palate, giving way immediately to tropical fruity goodness, with just a touch of pine, and a big dry bitter bite.  Actually, it might be one of the most well-balanced double IPAs I’ve had, with the sweetness from the malts blending seamlessly into the tropical fruits, hitting on grapefruit, mango, and star fruit.  It’s like a big beautiful, carbonated fruit punch, with a huge bitter hop finish.  Just a bit of heat from the massive 9%abv  Medium-heavy mouth-feel is brightened a bit with a gentle carbonation.  Lingering hoppy bitterness and just a touch of malty sweetness, that is nearly brown sugar-like.  Marking the second really really well made double IPA I’ve had this week (the first being Left Field’s 6-4-3), I’m on a roll with a style I generally shy away from.  These beers are converting me!  True story, I just got word from Iain that this beer is clocked in at 115 IBU.  Which is crazy.  I can’t imagine how much malt must have gone into this.

Yup, this is beer, turned up to 11.  But it remains approachable.  It isn’t a massive shot of hops with nothing to support it, or a giant boozy hot beer.  I assume if I grabbed an innocent can of Amsterdam’s Blonde, it would probably go down like water after this.

Cheers to Iain, Kody (for thinking of grabbing me a few bottles) and the whole crew at Amsterdam.

Buy Fracture Double IPA

I’ve seen tweets/untapd check-ins that Volo has (or had) a cask of Fracture, so it’s worth checking out.  Aside from that, Iain says there will likely be more made, once the brewpub is running.

Drink It With

This is tricky.  It’s really really big.  I always say spicy with big hoppy beers, but I’m not sure that’s the answer here.  But maybe.  It really is screaming for a big funky farmhouse cheddar, like one with a ganky grey mottled cloth wrapping.  Stinky, you know?  But for your meal, I think I’m going to say a big mean butter chicken.  Like, learn how to order “butter chicken” in a convincing Punjabi or Urdu, then learn how to say “and I want you to make it hot, like I used to have in Rawalpindi”.  Because, the heat/tandoori spices and the hops will work well together (as always) and the sweet heavy beer will balance well against the rich heavy sauce.  I think.  If you try this, let me know!

About The Brewery

Amsterdam_logoThe Amsterdam Brewery is an independently owned and operated craft brewery that is deeply rooted in the city of Toronto. A pioneer of the craft beer revolution in 1986 and initially called the Amsterdam Brasserie and Brew Pub, The Amsterdam was the first of its kind in Toronto to offer patrons hand crafted lagers and ales that were brewed ‘in-house’. Today they brew over ten different beers including their flagship lager – Amsterdam Natural Blonde, the award winning Big Wheel Deluxe Amber, Boneshaker IPA and multiple year-round and seasonal brews. The Amsterdam Brewing Company uses only traditional brewing methods and their beers are made with four all natural ingredients – malt, hops, yeast, and water. All beers are GMO-free, without preservatives, and never heat pasteurized.

To learn more about the Amsterdam Brewery visit
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But these go up to eleven….


  1. Posted May 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice post as always Chris! I hope I get a chance to try this one soon. I’ve stepped back a bit from hop grenades as of late but if it’s as balanced as you say than it’s definitely worth a try.

  2. chris
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jason! Reading other people’s reviews online, I’m hearing people draw comparisons to an American Barley Wine, where the malts are big and sweet and the hops are big and bitter. It mathematically clocks-in at 115 IBU, but definitely doesn’t drink like a killer resin bomb. Not for the faint of heart, but also not totally inaccessible. If you find yourself in Leaside on a Friday afternoon/evening, they do free flights at the tasting bar, and one of the them is Market Pale, Boneshaker and Fracture. A great way to try all three, and hopefully leave with some bottles for the weekend!

  3. Maria
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    I need to find this. I’m a huge fan of Boneshaker, and Fracture sounds just delightful. And thanks for the butter chicken ordering tip. I will definitely do this (haha!).

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