"'Tis But A Flesh Wound."

Brewery and Country of Origin: Opa Opa Brewing Company of 169 College Highway, Southampton, Massachusetts 01073, USA

Date Reviewed: 3-26-15

Later this year, the first F-35 fifth generation fighter jets are scheduled to be deployed with the United States Marine Corps. This will be the F-35B variant, which is perhaps best known for its short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) capabilities. The stealth F-35 Lightning II is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and while it is not the most expensive military plane ever made, its program, including research, development, and procurement, is expected to cost more than $320 Billion, making it the most expensive defense program in history. The United States government is expected to purchase around 2,400 F-35s and partner nations are expected to purchase at least 800 more, making it one of the most widely produced modern jets. The F-35 is designed as a multi-role fighter which will replace many existing jets within current air forces, including the F/A-18 Hornet, F-16 Fighting Falcon, AV-8B Harrier, and the A-10 Thunderbolt II. And while the F-35 has the carrier compatibility of the F/A-18, the maneuverability and versatility of the F-16, and the vertical capabilities of the Harrier, it has its work cut out for itself replacing the A-10. The Warthog, as it's more commonly known as, has been in active service since March of 1977. And even though it's been flying for almost forty years, it has remained the US Air Force's workhorse for close air support thanks to its cost effective design, high capacity air-to-ground weapons load outs, and powerful anti-tank capabilities. The jet was designed around its primary weapon, the 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger Gatling cannon, one of the most powerful aircraft cannons ever flown. It can simultaneously deliver a considerable amount of cluster bombs, laser-guided missiles, and hydra rockets as well as air-to-air missiles for self-defense.

But perhaps most important, the A-10, unlike the extremely complex, high tech fighters of today, is impressively durable. It comes equipped with double-redundant hydraulic flight systems on top of a mechanical backup system if hydraulics are lost. Vital portions of the plane including the cockpit are protected by 1,200 lbs of titanium armor (almost 6% of the aircraft's empty weight), built to withstand armor-piercing rounds up to 57 mm. The plane was designed to fly and land property with one engine, one tail, one elevator, and half of one wing missing. Because the landing gear protrudes somewhat from its storage areas, landing with them up (in the case of them malfunctioning) is easier with the A-10, and causes less damage to the plane's fuselage. The unique location of its two jet engines on top of the fuselage also lowers their risk of sucking in debris causing failures. All four fuel tanks are located near the aircraft's center (rather than embedded in the wing), and contain self-sealing capabilities in the event a projectile penetrates one of them. These and other safety related engineering items that the A-10 can boast, has led to real combat examples of the jet's survivability saving lives, including a notable incident during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Captain Kim Campbell of Hawaii was flying over Baghdad on her way back to base after a mission when her A-10 suffered extensive damage caused by flak cannon fire. A fire had damaged one of her engines, the hydraulic system was disabled, her speed brakes as well has her landing gear brakes and steering were gone, holes and cracks lined the fuselage, and large pieces of the wings and the stabilizer were missing. Yet, despite the damage, Campbell flew the plane for nearly an hour manually and landed safely in Kuwait. She is one of the only pilots to ever land an A-10 in without the use of hydraulics, and for her heroism over Baghdad, she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by President George Bush. Campbell, who has been flying since she was 13, still serves as a senior pilot in the 357th Fighter Squadron, which still flies the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, having first received them in 1979.
Date Sampled: 12-17-14 At: 7 Priscilla Road, Brighton, Boston, MA 02135, USA
Beer Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 10.00%
Serving Type: 22 oz Bottle, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 3.60


The A-10 pours fairly choppy with a medium amount of carbonation action, generating a half inch tall foam head with a white color, a medium high density, a slightly creamy texture, and a good amount of retention. This beer displays a fairly full amount of lacing on the glass, and has a clear and filtered appearance. This beer gives off a light amber colored shine with no visible sediment, a medium amount of effervescent effect, and a bright glow against the light.


As with all strong IPAs, this beer's aroma is quite bitter and gives off an immediate, strong presence of clean, piney hops mixed in with small amounts of slightly grainy pale malt which a hint of sweetness. There are also some floral notes and some citrusy fruity secondaries as well. This is a medium strength aroma overall that does not include any alcohol tinge despite a double digit % ABV.


This is a medium bodied brew with a below average viscosity, a medium weight, and an average amount of carbonation. This beer features a very dry finish which lingers for a good amount and comes with a bit of alcohol bite and a good amount of warming, which is expected with high strength ales. This beer also offers a bit of crispness at the close. This beer drinks easier compared to most of its style and strength, but we still recommend it more for the colder weather, and it is definitely enjoyed more slowly.


Immediately present is an overly strong bitterness derived from this beer's piney and somewhat citrusy fresh hops. This beer's mostly bitter flavor profile is kept in somewhat balance with a bit of sweet pale grainy malt as secondary, and some spice undertones as well. This beer's flavor is strong, and without the distraction of any really noticeable alcohol flavor, relative to its strength. This beer has a dry finish with a good, clean malty aftertaste toward the linger.

Our Take

Though this beer may not pack as big a punch as the real A-10, don't expect this to be a forgiving beer in large quantities. The A-10 is an imperial IPA which is best enjoyed as a sipping beer, but not so much that you won't be able to enjoy a meal with it. On the face of it, this beer is crafted mainly for those looking for a pretty strong hop filled experience with the alcohol bite needed to either start their night off on the right foot, or survive the 2015 Winter's arctic temperatures. Thanks to this beer's understated, yet always present pale malt secondary, this is actually a fairly balanced beer with no real overpowering flavors, and no level of bitterness that the average beer drinker will find alienating. Still, if you are looking for a sweeter, maltier, or fruitier beer, definitely look elsewhere. Overall, this is a good beer which can be enjoyed all year, but as we said before, it's better when the weather outside is frightful. This beer's bitter overall flavor, accented with a bit of spice and some pale malt, makes it a good pairing option for smoked, salty meats, hearty BBQ, blue cheeses, cheesecake, and Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout Cookies.