Charles Dunkley

Wondering aloud with words and pictures

Ommegang Nirvana IPA


Ommegang Nirvana Packaging – photo by Charles Dunkley

Ommegang Brewery, nestled in the hills around Cooperstown, NY, is known for its fantastic  Belgian style beers.  Recently they decided to brew an American style India Pale Ale, their first non-Belgian beer.

Ommegang reached out to Boulevard Brewing, also owned by Duvel, to use their brewery to brew, bottle and package their new IPA.  Ommegang’s bottling line is configured only for 4 packs and they wanted their IPA to be in the more traditional 6 pack.

As part of their launch Ommegang opened a pop up store in SoHo in NYC where they sold Nirvana with custom engraved growlers.  Following this, Nirvana began to ship out to the stores carrying its regular Belgian lineup.

And so, tonight I walked into my local craft beer shop to pick up a 6 pack.  Ommegang is in my personal Top 5 Breweries so I was eager to see how they would do brewing an American IPA.

Here’s how Ommegang describes Nirvana:

Nirvana IPA is kettle-hopped with Bravo, Simcoe, Centennial, Topaz, and Mosaic, dry-hopped with Centennial, Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo and clocks in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. The flavor is hoppy, juicy and citrusy goodness – without harsh bitterness.

Nirvana is the brainchild of Innovation Manager Mike McManus at Ommegang. He developed the recipe in Cooperstown and brought it over to Boulevard in Kansas City, MO to brew.

Here’s Mike describing Nirvana IPA:

Innovation Manager Mike says the aromas of grapefruit, peach, pineapple and apricot are mouth-watering and the taste is a big citrus smack, rounded and juicy with tropical and floral notes and just a touch of honey malt sweetness. We’re sold.

My Impressions

Having poured Nirvana IPA into a tulip glass, taken in the aroma, and taken a couple of healthy sips, I’d had to say Mike McManus is spot on.  You definitely get the various citrus and tropical flavors with a velvety smooth mouthfeel.  And the malt backbone makes for a very well balanced IPA.


Ommegang Nirvana IPA in Tulip Glass – photo by Charles Dunkley


The beer pours a golden color with a small but firm head.  It’s pours clear with a nice steady carbonation.

Final Thoughts

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ommegang’s first foray outside the Belgian realm.  And as a big IPA fan I was especially curious how this would turn out.  Happily this is a really delicious IPA and one that I can see myself enjoying quite a few 6 packs of this year.  It’s light and refreshing and very well balanced.  Definitely a really well done IPA.  Cheers to Mike McManus, to Ommegang and to Boulevard for contributing to this new tasty addition to the IPA stable,

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Charles Dunkley

I blog about Craft Beer | Technology | Social Media | Music and a host of other topics.I work in the Information Technology field and I'm also a Moderator and Hangouts On Air Technical Producer for Craft Beer Nation.
Charles Dunkley
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