Friday, 3 August 2012
As many of you may know, yesterday was IPA day. At first I was a bit miffed at this. I mean what's it all about? Why isn't there a Stout day? Lambic day? Weizen day? Why IPA? Well all the information you need can be found on the Beer Wench's site and it seems the US craft beer scene event has found its way over the the UK with various venues around the country doing something for it.
Sadly I didn't get manage to get myself to Newcastle's The Free Trade Inn for their IPA showcase as I must remain in a constant state of standby (baby/chestbuster due to arrive any day now). So alternatively I decided to head to Coppers 8 till 8 to pick up just a few IPAs.
So to start things off we have Shipyard IPA, An American IPA brewed in the style of a classic British IPA (an increasingly rare style variant these days). The word fuggles on the label suggested that this would be the best one to start things off with. Pouring a pale gold in colour it sure has plenty of carbonation. Subtle caramelised malt, earthy yeast and hops open things up then the finish turns slightly astringent, sour and a tad cardboard like. It was obviously past its best.
Anyhow, moving we have the bad-ass beast that is Summer Wine Reaper Red IPA, even the name sounds bad-ass. Deep bronze. Aromas of pungent tropical, red fruit and lychee. This is more like it. It opens with a full on assault of resiny citric hop resins, berry fruit and heavy malt backbone before a another huge sappy snap of juicy hops hits you in the finish. A 7.4% no nonsense package of shock and awe that packs a lot in. The echos of the impact last long after the swallow.
So after the throat attack it was time to notch things up for the finale, Arbor Ales Down Deeper 10.4% monster promised much but surprisingly didn't come across as all that aggressive. It pours a pale gold with a slight haze from me accidentally pouring in some sediment. The aroma is straight forward citric hops with fruity esters (apples, pears) yet not as massively pungent as expected. The beer's overall feel is heavy, bold and boozy with lots of fruity viscous alcohols mingling with smooth grainy malt and resiny lime and citric hops. It finishes bittersweet with more tangy lime and citrus hop notes. Well hopped strong ale, yes. Double IPA... Maybe when it was younger.
So that was my contribution to IPA day, normally I would have preferred a more varied range but like I say I have stay on standby.