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Beer Tasting: 42 North Creekside Session IPA and Borderland IPA

Many local breweries have started canning beer- and that’s welcome news. It’s convenient to be able to enjoy a can of beer from your favorite brewery on your back patio. You can now add two beers from 42 North Brewing Company to the “patio-ready” list.

I had a chance to stop by the brewery on the day 42 North canned Borderland IPA. Breweries hire a company called Buckeye Canning that will show up at your brewery and can your beer in under a day (they were done by noon when I arrived). Then, the distributor’s truck will arrive and haul the beer back to its warehouse.

Here are some photos, and a video, from the canning of Creekside IPA and Borderland IPA:

42 North is canning for the first time. From left to right: Clay Keel, Matt Matuszewski and John Klanac.


A pallet of Borderland IPA is ready to ship.




Creekside is a Session IPA, designed to be imbibed in multiple can quantities. Creekside is 4.8% ABV and 55 IBU. The beer is made with Sorachi Ace and Citra hops.

Borderland IPA contains a higher alcohol percentage at 6.8% ABV and 72 IBU and is therefore not as crushable as Creekside. Borderland is made using a heavy dose of Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe hops.

42 North’s Creekside Session IPA and Borderland IPA.


I poured Creekside and Borderland into my Spiegelau IPA glasses for a side-by-side tasting. The two beers were nearly identical color (more on this later). Borderland is perhaps just a tad more opaque when held up to the light. With the Borderland, I did notice some small white particulates floating around. I’ve noticed this with other IPAs before, so I wasn’t concerned. Borderland had a thicker and longer-lasting head.

Creekside has grassy notes and the aromas were more accessible and stronger in this beer than in Borderland. Tropical notes were also detected. Borderland had a danker aroma and darker fruit notes.

On taste, Creekside contained up-front flavors that receded quickly- the beer finished dry. Borderland had a thicker mouthfeel as compared to Creekside and possessed rich hop textures filled with fruit tastes such as pineapple and stone fruit.

I found myself wanting even more fruit/tropical aroma and flavor from Borderland to balance out the bitterness. One advantage cans provide is the ability to shoehorn aroma right to the nostrils. Thinking that maybe I should have left this beer in the can and not poured it into my glass, I went back to the 1/3 full can of Borderland and dug my nose in. But I still didn’t really didn’t get that “hop pop” I was seeking. Maybe a few pellets of Mosaic or another complementary hop would have made the difference?

Another minor suggestion I have is that perhaps Creekside could be brewed lighter in color to distinguish it visually from Borderland. You can tell by my photo that there really isn’t too much of a difference in color. The color of a beer can be quite influential on customer choice.



Of the two, I like Borderland better. It packs more of a punch and is more well-rounded in terms of flavor than Creekside. Creekside will be very popular during the warmer months because it has a high drinkability factor. Creekside can be consumed quickly whereas Borderland is more potent and should take a little longer to finish.

In summary, Creekside and Borderland are both well-crafted beers and are quite pleasing. If you are a ‘hop head’, you will want to gravitate toward Borderland.

I commend 42 North for deciding on 16 oz cans versus 12 oz cans. I thoroughly enjoy 16 oz cans and think that you will see more breweries choosing 16 oz cans for its packaging.

Starting May 20, four-packs of 16 oz cans of Creekside Session IPA and Borderland IPA will be available at Consumer’s Beverages outlets as well as at the brewery in East Aurora. The price will be $9.99 for a four-pack of 16 oz cans.

About Buffalo Beer Biochemist

Born and raised in Western New York. Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Professor of Microbiology and Chemistry. And lover of beer.

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