It would not surprise me in the least if Colorado held the record for most craft breweries in one state. And they’re all good too. Well, at least the ones who send their beer beyond Colorado’s borders that I’ve tried. Pick Axe IPA, made by Tommyknocker of Idaho Springs, CO, a mountain town, is a great example of an easy drinking India Pale Ale that doesn’t lose any of its flavor of hoppiness. Often, a desire for more smoothness in an IPA leads to disaster but not with this beer. But the most important thing about a good IPA is always the hops so I’ll start there. Tommyknocker uses five kinds to make Pick Axe and it shows. There’s a complexity to the hop flavor aside from just bitterness. While the citrus-like flavors sit prominently on top there’s a nice undercurrent of earthier pine that helps to anchor the whole experience. The finish is crisp and pretty dry like you’d want in an IPA. As for the aforementioned smoothness, this beer flows easy and the malt makes itself known more as a texture than a flavor, which is a good role for it in an IPA. It should be there for balance and support of the hops. The relationship between the two should be sort of like that between the President and the Vice President…and not the Bush/Cheney version. Besides the hops and malts in Pick Axe IPA there’s a slight yeasty flavor going on but it’s very subtle and serves as a unique quirk more than a defining feature. For me, this is a good thing because beers that are too yeasty always have a negatively weird taste. If you’re looking for an IPA that’ll punch you in the mouth this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for one for more casual purposes than Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery is a good choice.