Well, it's that time of year again. Basically X² is Mordue Brewery's entry to this year's Battle of the beers at Newcastle Beer Festival. Last year some may remember my post about single malt beer Killswitch 51. Well this year the rules are slightly different; the beer entered has to be between 4.5% and 5% abv and brewed with two malts and two hops.
Tight rules maybe, but the scope for diversity here could be huge. Think speciality grain, adjuncts, spices, process changes and variable yeast strains that can be employed. Think Belgian spiced blonde, wheat, rye or spelt beer or even a strong mild. However this time I chose the other route, I chose to think simplicity. To me this seems fitting from a brewery known for its straight-forward flavourful beers to come out with a straight forward competition entry.
Simplicity can be quite a powerful thing. I remember Andy McNab once mentioning that the more complicated something is the more likely it is to go wrong. Kind of true. I also love brewing simple beers. Beers that just work the way they are without turning to multiple numbers of ingredients. Don't get me wrong, as much as I love the complex master plan recipes I do admire simplicity.
So no, there's no algebra involved here, X² is basically a 4.7% IPA brewed with two base malts and two of my favourite hop varieties. Am I naive thinking this could possibly win? Well given last year's result, it can be safe to say this is anyone's prize.
|Mashing in: Pale malt and lower colour pale malt|
|Can never get enough of these|