This IPA we are going to review is a great example of what craft beer has become in America, as the IPA revolution has mutated from something pretty unknown to something major.
This IPA surmises why people get so excited about new and unique IPAs and perhaps sheds light on the marketing possibilities in the IPA world.
The story starts back in the late 2010s when the IPA renaissance was slowly brewing into what it has become in our country.
Slowly replacing the Coors and Miller we once thought were the everyday man’s brew – now IPA is in town, and this brew goes to show why many prefer IPA to the domestic lager beers of yesteryear.
In any case, this is our review of the elusive ‘Zombie Dust’ from the brewers at 3 Floyds Brewing.
We’re going to cover the store around this brew and why it’s got such a cult acclaim to its name, surely you can buy it at the normal stores, right?
Keep reading to find out!
Tasting and Aromatic Notes
This is an American Pale Ale, which just means it’s an American style pale ale – Zombie Dust is actually rated as #2 by fans on Beer Advocates charts for American Pale Ale.
It is a very popular APA which is available everywhere now but was originally quite scarce, adding to the myth behind the brew. A true American Ale that is bold, brave, and proud.
Coming out of middle America, this brew does walk the line between the West Coast and New England styles that are common in most tap houses.
Zombie Dust generally has a pretty strong smell when opened, you get the hops and malts quite strongly on the nose if you are looking for it this does point to the flavor profile of the APA.
This flavor profile, as we mentioned, does well to walk the tightrope between the hoppy and fruity New England IPA and the caramel, malty and bitter West Coast IPA.
Zombie Dust remains pretty fruity and aromatic to the same degree, but is rather proudly bitter.
Having such a high ABV of 6.5% means that there is a heavy hophand which is needed in order to bring the sweetness of the grains down.
However, the IBU remains pretty level at 62 IBU which would suggest it would be less bitter.
However, it seems the fruity and piney flavors of those hops can bring some bitterness that harmonizes together well. Think Pliny the Elder but with more fruity and bitter notes. We think it’s pretty good, if unique.
Why The Cult Acclaim?
Back when IPAs were the hot thing for the craft beer hipster, we are talking back when the Pliny the Elder buzz started in the early 2010s.
Back in this time, IPAs were still a fairly new thing in America, and until people started trying them and talking to their friends about them.
And they started to become popular, they were really hard to get your hands on.
Zombie Dust very much had a similar rise to fame, and this is likely why the beer receives its high acclaim.
Many of those who love Zombie Dust talk of how they could never find any, and that the item was originally quite rare, or in brewing terms was a limited and small batch brew.
The name of the brand grew and so did the amount of people who wanted to buy it. Just like any good limited release many were searching the states high and low for a bottle or can, willing to pay top dollar for a crate.
Unless you could make it to the brewhouse in Munster, Indiana, where you could at the time grab a crate for a mere $10, you would really struggle to get any.
Although, some of the hip brew shops and taprooms had some bottles but you generally had to get your Ash Ketchum on and go Pokéhunting if you actually wanted to find a bottle!
It is this scarcity of a product that can really make them worth the wait. That sip will now taste 100 times better after spending months trying to find a bottle.
This scarcity approach is used by Supreme and other clothing brands who also find success in the niche amount of their products.
On top of this another reason IPAs get a lot of love is because of a similar marketing approach, one that really values design.
Obviously design is never hugely important for a product, but we all know that person who drinks Hennessy purely to walk around with the bottle.
This is a similar thing in the IPA marketing world, the cans or bottles are often laden with pop art skulls, ombré colors and wacky names.
These are all really important to sell the product, especially in the American market where many people are new to IPA and craft beer.
hey might just pick the can design they like, this is a good way to approach tasting as a beginner.
In any case, Zombie Dust has a pretty cool jacket or can design that is designed by a cmoc illustrator.
It may sound silly if you are new to this, but many people will seek out the brew just for these designs.
We loved Zombie DUst, who wouldn’t. It’s a really hop heavy APA that takes you back to those times where the IPA renaissance was just gaining speed in the US.
The Midwest brewers at 3 Floyds made a really sought after product that was desirable but scarce, this ultimately helped define the beer’ acclaim.
However, we should be clear that we think even without the cult acclaim this beer would still be in people’s favorites.
The way it walks between the overly herbal piney notes of hops, which many New England IPAs suffer from, and the too bitter and too sweet New England IPAs that ring in your mouth for days.
Much of this APA has something to shout about, from the flavor to the design to the original scarcity of the product.
What you will be really glad to hear is that the Zombie Dust is now much, much easier to get your hands on this once elusive beer.
There is one mild tidbit with this product that often was ignored when the product was scarce, but you may have to research this and try it out yourself.
Many customers suggest that they found a high level of variability among the product depending on its freshness.
Some found that super fresh bottles were much tastier and vibrant than the older ones, we’re not entirely sure if this is true, or if it was true and 3 Floyds have ironed this issue out.
Either way, you can buy it straight from the brewhouse here, ensuring that the product is super fresh.
But you can also buy it from other retailer outlets online such as Drizly where it may be less fresh.
Zombie Dust is a really nice and fresh APA that is pretty good to drink all year round.
The 6.5% ABV means it might not be the most sessionable but is more of a rare gem you want to try simply because you have heard too many talk about it.
Just like Pliny the Elder this brew from 3 Floyds brewery was caught up in the dust storm that was the IPA renaissance and the myth of this brew remains salient to this day.
Since the birth of Zombie Dust a while back, 3 Floyds have of course taken the hype train around this beer, and created a few new stops.
Now many think that ZOmbie Dust is perhaps not even their best brew anymore, with many, many more on their website.
While they ship out to many new and different locations in the US, making it much easier to get your hands on the cult acclaimed brew.
You can still pick up the freshest of fresh cans from their brewhouse for a very reasonable price.
This brew demonstrates to many why IPAs have grown in popularity throughout the years in the US. It is a good case study to help understand why people enjoy IPA so much.
Beyond its taste, and how its marketing remains an anomaly in the liquor market which many other alcohol brands could learn from.