Tag Archives: hops

Fruit Party Ale

As promised here is the recipe of the second beer I brewed for a recent party. It was most popular, although I probably wouldn’t brew it again for myself.

Fruit Party Ale
1053 OG, 1015 FG. 5% bottle ABV. US05.

Fermented at 23°C from:

37% :: American Ale Malt
37% :: Pilsner Malt
26% :: Raw Cane Sugar

30m single infusion mash with calcium chloride added.
60m boil with 21 IBU of Horizon hops @ 60m.
Dry hopped with 70g of Victoria’s Secret hops for six days.

For this post I tasted the beer out of a bottle that was filled from the remnants of the party keg. As a result it is slightly oxidised, leaving the peppery, harsh bitterness some will be familiar with at the base of the tongue. I remember how the beer tasted on the night and it was much fresher, much more alive.

This beer is completely clear and a very pale yellow tint. A decent head recedes quickly but leaves a floating yacht of microbubbles. Looks the goods, in other words. Its aroma is extremely piney with a small smattering of grass trailing behind. The Victoria Secret hops come through characteristically. It is clean of esters or any malt/yeast aroma.

In the mouth only a light bitterness complements softer malt flavours – which are overwritten in turn by pine and lime hop flavour. It is very dry in all, but this is a faux dryness, due to the high percentage of simple sugars. There are residual sugars in there, just not as much as expected for the alcohol.

It’s an alright pale ale that will appeal to the less craft/flavour inclined. Good picnic beer. Good party beer!

Dainton Bastard Brother

The Dainton brewery is one of the funnest outfits in my home state of Victoria. Their attitude is positive but harbours a dark, edgy theme right across their beers. They are also one of the only Australian microbreweries to stress the “family” nature of their operation; reminding me of the millions of “family” restaurants dotted across the United States. It’s taken me a while to write a tasting post for these guys, but I picked a winner: their latest beer is the Bastard Brother Belgian Rye IPA. It’s big and it’s good!

However, it’s neither particularly “Belgian” or “rye”. Instead it feels more like a typical U.S.-style double IPA. I don’t know if this is simply another case of naming the beer after the wrong ingredients i.e. it is meant to taste this way, or if they were were simply subdued by the brutal malt and hop bill. Regardless the beer presents the grandest, tightest head I have seen in a while. It neither thinned nor changed in the twenty minutes it took for me to drink my pint: it just sat, dense, foreboding.

The beer is a piercing orange with a whopping citrus hop aroma, bringing pineapple, grapefruit, cane sugar and wet carpet in equal measures. It’s a phenomenal aroma pushing into barley-wine territory: rich, rich, rich. It wafted across the table, it swirled through the air, it thickened the very atmosphere of the place. Gooood.

A haze is definitely present. The beer is not clear at all – my glass was ice cold, so it could be chill haze, but is more likely from wheat in the grist given the Belgian designation. A super bitter punch of hops still manages to sit under a sickly cordial sweetness – there are a lot of residual sugars, nothing dry about it. Hints of orange peel but so so so small you wouldn’t notice if not looking.

This is a punishing IPA perfect for winter’s eve. I got nothing interesting from the supposedly Belgian yeast, and it could be a touch drier, but it’s a damn fine drop and comparatively cheap to boot.

I drank a pint of this draught beer at Carwyn Cellars, Thornbury.

Hoyne Brewing Down Easy

From yet another brewery on Vancouver Island – a bit of a mini-theme on this blog recently – comes a beer with a mouthful of a title: Hoyne Brewing Co. Down Easy Pacific Northwest Ale.

Now the Northwest of the North American continent certainly has its own thing going on, but not too many of the breweries there explicitly market their pale ale as a “Pacific Northwest Ale”. I think Hoyne has actually changed the beer’s name in months subsequent to this tasting … but anyway, this is what I drank and the bottle looked the goods. I opened it up expecting … well, HOPS of course.

An initially confusing, finicky pine and spice hop aroma first confronted me when I poured this beer. Cascade is in there of course, but adjusted in a combination I was unused to. The liquid was a reflective bronze, deepening the aroma away from a muddle and more firmly in the direction of pine. A low carbonation – for easy drinking? – was present, whirling bubbles through this excellently poised beer.

Caramel sweetness and only light bitterness shake hands on sipping; an even keel of goodness that gives more malt than anything – roast pumpkin even. It definitely goes down easy. Esters were barely present but sort of there; hard to pin down.

I drank this bottled beer in Kitsilano, Vancouver and bought it from the Liquor Depot.

Longwood Brewery The Big One

The Longwood Brewpub is located on Vancouver Island and uses a 10hl system to pump out a number of brews, most of which are heavy on Maris Otter malt. They have four or five regular beers and also do a bunch of seasonals. I liked the look of their Steam Punk Dunkel, but tried their Big One IPA instead. When in the Northwest, do as the Northwest does.

This beer ostensibly uses only hop flowers and is supposed to contain an English element within the American IPA style. I actually noticed this with the smell – there is only a mute hop aroma, with pear esters coming through instead. The Big One IPA looks a delicious bronze with good carbonation and a funny pock-marked head. It’s very bitter but a pleasant bitterness that sits on the back of the tongue long after the tasting.

A solid medium malt profile helps this beer along. There’s nothing to complain about, but nothing to rave about either. It’s a reasonably big one at 6.5% but not a remarkable example of a Northwest IPA.

I drank this bottled beer in Kitsilano, Vancouver and bought it from a nearby Liquor Depot.