Sunday, 28 September 2008

Anniversary of the Book.

It was only the other day when I suddenly realized I had missed the chance to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of myself reviewing beers in my personal beer diary, which I commenced on the 18th of September 2005. Since then I have nearly filled 4 volume in small pocket sized jotters and volume 5 is defiantly on its way. Not only do these books hold dear memories of some of the finest moments in my beer drinking days but also autographs of head brewers and other important people in the brewing industry. Autographs so far include:

John Keeling: Brewing director of Fullers.
Ken Don: Ex head brewer Youngs.
Vankatesh: Head brewer Leeds brewery.
Craig Witty: Head brewer Daleside brewery.
Tom Hicks: Head brewer Allendale brewery.
Martin Dickie: Head brewer Brew Dog.
Brian Westcott: Head brewer Alley Cat brewery (Canada).
Roger Protz: Beer Writer.

Many of these I have considered selling copies of on e-bay but am not sure how much they would make, anyone with offers let me know. I shall also note that since it is IPA month I have decided to home brew my own interpretation just yesterday. My approach has been to make a classic British style IPA of gravity 1.070 and bitterness units appox 70IBU using Challenger, Target and First gold hops. So far it looks like a hell of a lot of trub material has been thrown off by the cold break, probably due to the heavy late hopping. I shall keep all informed on how this one turns out.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

India Pale Ale

Greetings once again readers, as you may have guessed this is my first entry in along time now, and that is because I have been preoccupied with end of year project as well as starting a full time job at the Daleside brewery in North Yorkshire. Another thing you may have realized is that I have decided top appoint this month as India Pale Ale month, as it is harvest season and the fresh 2008 harvest hops will soon be out and available to brewers worldwide. But as many will be familiar with IPA as a pale ale that’s higher in alcohol and hop bitterness than usual there are others only familiar with the more modern English IPAs (e.g. Green king IPA or Deuchars IPA) which are basic low gravity pale ales re-labeled.
Over the past decade or so the so called modern style IPA has been fairly common however there has been exceptions in the bottled beer market of stronger ones and of recent times I have noticed some cask version creeping up in gravity to closer to the 5%abv mark. OK, don’t get me wrong I am not discriminating against low gravity IPAs as many modern low gravity IPA interpretations are of great quality. But by definition a traditional IPA should be of considerable strength and hopping rate to enable the beer to survive the duration of long shipping voyages from England to British troops in India during the 1800s. Non the less hopefully this month I shall be brewing my own interpretation of the style at my very own Panda and frog home brewery (/kitchen) which shall be over 70 bitterness units and 7.3% abv. Although the hop combinations have not been fully confirmed, as a first attempt at the style the results should be interesting.

Stone Brewing Ruination IPA a modern extremist version of the style (termed double IPA).