Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Return of Pandamonium

That's right. The west coast-style IPA from last year is back by popular demand. Which is officially the first time in Panda Frog history that this has ever happened. For those unfamiliar, the 2013 summer release Pandamonium is more or less a total turn around from the last Panda Frog Endangered Species. It's pale golden and brutally hopped with US hops. The inspiration for this one was basically to brew my dream IPA, and although I've often craved brewing British IPAs I (back in 2012) ended up falling for the idea of my dream Californian-style interpretation.

The thing is back in the day Panda Frog beers have always been brewed on the 10 barrel scale (like a half batch), a proportion was kegged and bottled and the few casks remaining were of an exclusive nature. Recently however there has been a push for (wherever possible i.e. the mash tun won't overflow) to brew all Panda Frog brews as full twenty barrel batches. With Pandamonium our mash tun wasn't overflowing (5.5%) but the copper got a pounding. Pandamonium carries the heaviest hops per barrel ratio ever used in a single batch in company history. Even more hops per barrel than 2013's Operation Red Thunder (you big burly red 6.8% thing). So thanks goes to Charles Farham for allowing us that hop contact extension.

Later in the day we had a special visit. A visit from the big Pandamonium fan from 2013, it was none other than North East's Twitterati elite legend Gary A.K.A @TheAleTrail. He added the post-boil hops and asked various questions.

 The Ale Trail on the copper. He wouldn't be twitterati if he wasn't distracted by his phone.
 The Ale Trail came back a couple of weeks later for some sampling and even brought a few beers from London. He's a splendid chap, and we won't forget him from his stint on US television handing out a bottle of Workie Ticket.

End of the day copper dig out; this was very, very sweaty and not pleasant hacking through layer upon layer of hops each holding wave upon wave of heat. In future may consider subbing in some pellets

So be on the lookout for Pandamonium in cask keg and bottled forms. Like last year I bloody loved brewing this one.


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