Bar Review: Bloodhound Bar- Fortitude Valley

Bloodhound Bar

A good friend of mine who lives in Singapore recently returned to Brisbane for another friend’s wedding. Having left Brisbane a few years ago and subsequently lived in Sydney and then Singapore, he has certainly got used to have a great amount of cultural variety to choose from.

When he left Brisbane, the craft beer scene was really just starting to kick off and he has missed out on it blossoming into what it is today. So when he suggested we go out to dinner, Bloodhound Bar quickly popped up (oddly suggested by him!)

Bloodhound Bar is a relatively new player on the scene but has already made quite an impression on the craft beer community. Opening in May 2015, the bar has already hosted a number of ‘tap takeovers’ for local brewers which is great for supporting and encouraging drinking fresh.

To say that these guys have nailed ambience would simply not be doing them justice. This is clearly a bar that has given a lot of thought to how they want their patrons to feel when they are enjoying their food and beverages. For those of you who are Brisbanites, you may know the venue as the old Tibetan Kitchen and may recall that the building is built a little awkwardly. The front bar could not be faulted but the back area feels a little secluded from the main area. This is unfortunately a hangover from how the bar was laid out previously and without substantial demolition work, really couldn’t be changed. That being said, the addition of great lighting and fixtures has made this a pretty good area.

The bar has 10 taps which seem to rotate and offer a great selection of beers. I started with a Brewcult ‘Can’t Fight the Funk Farmhouse IPA’ and things only got better from there! As I write this, the tap list (on Now Tapped) lists Stone Brewing’s Ruination Double IPA, White Lies XPA, and Code Red by Black Hops Brewing amongst others. To say this bar puts on interesting beers would be an understatement! Although I didn’t get into the bottles I did sight some great favourites including Epic Hop Zombie.

Beers!

Saving the best for last, I need to talk about the food. Bloodhound bar has bucked the trend and have decided not to serve American food. Whilst I am a HUGE lover of American food, it is starting to become a saturated market and the last thing we probably need is another craft beer pumping out wings and ribs. Instead, Peruvian chef Gabriel Escalante-Gafau has created a latin-american inspired menu centring around Mexican soft corn tortilla tacos.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting much of these and thought they would simply be a great filler to wash down excellent craft beer. I was very wrong. These were AMAZING! They were so flavourful and each taste complimented the other. Pairing these with hoppy IPAs seemed to further bring out the complex varieties of flavour. To put it into perspective, I would return here to eat even if they served bad beer. The fact that they have good beer just makes this place perfect.

I highly recommend you check out Bloodhound Bar and support a bar which seems to genuinely care about delivering a great experience for the customer. Especially in the valley, this is quite a refreshing experience and shows how much Brisbane’s bar scene is becoming more sophisticated.

What about you, have you been to Bloodhound Bar?

The ‘How to All Grain Homebrew Series’: #5 Fermentation

Temp Controller

For those who haven’t read my blog before, the ‘How to All Grain Homebrew Series’ gives a basic run down of the all grain brewing process. By no means is this an exhaustive description of the process but does set down a basic structure to allow the reader to have a bit more context of the brewing process.

I find when people ask about homebrewing, they want this kind of high level overview of what you do to make a brew. In later posts, I will likely explore each element in a lot more detail. Today we are going to talk about what is likely the most important part of the process, fermentation.

If you read enough beer blogs, you will come to see the same wanky bits of advice pulled out time and time again. One particularly wanky comment I see all the time is ‘Brewers create wort, yeast create beer’ or something similar. Whilst my first reaction is ‘Cool Story Bro’, this comment does highlight that this is the part of the process where you give up control of making the beer.

For those who don’t know, fermentation is the process of allowing yeast to consume the sugars in your beer and create alcohol. Not only does yeast create alcohol it creates a number of by-products which contribute to the taste of your beer. Different yeasts give off different qualities and are therefore are used for different styles of beer. This is why beers can taste so unique even though they are made with similar ingredients.

Different varieties of yeast prefer different environmental conditions to create a preferred taste. Generally ales will range from about 16 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius and lagers will be in the late single digits/early teens. Living in Queensland, we experience the perfect temperature for about 15 seconds of the year, so I would highly recommend you use a fridge and temperature controller to ensure that the yeast maintain the temperature you want. Too cold and the yeast will go dormant and struggle to perform, too hot and the yeast will perform too well and throw off a lot of off flavours.

blowoff

Yeast also require oxygen to ensure a strong fermentation and this can be achieved in a number of ways. The most popular (because it is the cheapest) is to splash and shake the wort and introduce oxygen in this way. There is a lot of conflicting information about how effective this method is but it is generally accepted that the best you can achieve is about 8ppm. How much oxygen you need depends on the Original Gravity of the beer but I find that this method seems to be sufficiently effective for your usual full strength beer. Where you start to run into trouble is with ‘Imperial’ beers of 8% or above and with lagers.

If you have one of these beers, it may be worth trying an oxygenation system (which simply puts air into the fermenter) or pure oxygen. I haven’t tried either so at this stage can’t really give you any recommendations. I am interested however in giving the oxygenation system a go and will do a post if I go down this path.

The final variable relates to the size and activity of your yeast pitch. I tend to use dry yeast a lot and pitch it far heavier than recommended. My readings have suggested at the homebrew level, it is very unlikely to overpitch whereas it is quite easy to underpitch. I’ll generally rehydrate 2 x 12g packs and pitch into a usual full strength beer.

If you are using a liquid yeast, it is generally recommended you do a starter and I will discuss this in another post.

Fermentation usually lasts about a week but the only way to know is by doing a hydrometer test. If the same FG is recorded over a couple of days, the beer is likely finished. It is generally recommended that you err on the side of caution and give the brew a couple more days even once its reached FG. In most instances, I will wait 2 weeks before I start doing gravity tests. From here I will generally ‘crash chill’ the beer which involves putting the refrigerator on full blast to drop out all of the material in the fermenter.

I will finally add a fining agent such as Gelatin before kegging or bottling. Sometimes I doubt how effective this is but tend to do it simply because Gelatin is so cheap and it adds very little time or complexity to the process.

Fermentation is probably the most important stage of the beer brewing process. It is the time you present up your wort and hope the yeast does what you want them to do. If all goes to plan, you are far closer to drinking that delicious, delicious beer that is waiting for you.

Feel free to post your questions below.

Starsan, is it made from the tears of a unicorn?

Star San

You know you’ve stumbled onto a great blog when it talks about cleaning and sanitation. Nothing excites the masses more than detailed, long, scientific discussions regarding cleanliness. Nevertheless, if you’re a homebrew nerd like me, you’ll know that cleaning and sanitation is the difference between a great beer and a terrible beer.

This week I’m going to give you the run down on ‘Starsan’. For those of you who don’t know, Starsan is a sanitizer produced by Five Star Chemicals. Now before we start, you might be wondering, what is the difference between a cleaner and a sanitizer? A sanitizer is NOT designed to clean the gunk off your equipment. Once it is already clean, a sanitizer is meant to remove the nasties which could infect your beer.

In terms of sanitizers, Starsan is likely the most popular product used by homebrewers. The major stand out benefit of Starsan is that it is ‘no rinse’. This means you can soak your utensils in it and then put the beer on top without rinsing. WHAT! BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BUBBLES! Go on any homebrew forum and you’ll find hundreds of people questioning whether the bubbles could affect their beer. The concept that the bubbles would not at least add some off tastes just confuses people.

Up until recently I have just accepted this blindly and assumed like everyone else, that Starsan is made from the tears of a unicorn and is therefore magic. Everyone knows that if you add anything magic to your beer it is impossible for off flavours to be added as a result. It really seems logical if you think about it. Whilst this answers is sufficient for me, I thought I would have a look on the web to find out why you don’t have to rinse it. Finding information was really hard but the generally accepted attitude is that because the main ingredient is phosphoric acid, when you add beer the acidity is diluted/lowered to a level that doesn’t affect the yeast. Further the yeast uses the phosphates produced as food. Even though I totally understand every aspect of that (I don’t), I’m still going to stick with my magic reason.

Starsan is quite economical with only a really tiny amount required (approx. 30g per 19L). To be honest, I’m not overly particular about the mix ratio but try to adhere to the above loosely. I suspect this is what most people do.

To properly sanitize an item, the Starsan only needs to make contact for 30 seconds. A great way to do this is to make up a spray bottle and simply spray down the items you need to sanitize.

Taste_of_hops_grande

If you’re trying to brew and you don’t have Starsan, you are playing with fire. For a relatively small investment, you can make the process of sanitizing one of the easiest parts of your brew day.

If you have any questions let me know but fair warning, if they are scientific in nature, I am likely to just make something up.

My keg set up and what it cost me (please don’t judge me)

Kegerator

To say I love showing off my kegerator is probably a bit of an understatement. Much to my wife’s dismay it takes pride of place in our house. It tends to attract a bit of attention, particularly from Coles delivery guys who I am told ask my wife about it every week.

The question I get from my mates however that I am a bit sheepish to answer is ‘how much did it cost’. I would like to preface this blog article with the comment that I prefer to ‘buy once and buy right’. I’ve spent a large part of my youth buying the cheapest things I could get and I have always come to regret it. With this is mind, the kegerator was to be a long term purchase.

I got my kegerator from Craftbrewer. Picking it up required a friend with a ute and I am eternally grateful to my mate Geoff for doing so (and even without any promise of beer!). The whole package set me back $1600 which is more expensive than it could have been if I had gone barebones but which I don’t regret.

A major cost was the kegs themselves. The kegs are second hand and were previously used as soda kegs by the major soft drink companies. Unfortunately, they no longer produce these kegs for soda so as demand goes up and supply goes down, they are climbing in price. Each keg was $80 which was multiplied by 4 (3 for the beer on tap, 1 for beer waiting to go on tap). In hindsight I probably could have got 3 and would still be happy.

One part that was more expensive than I expected was the C02 bottle. Having bought gas cylinders in the past I mistakenly thought these would be cheap. $260 later and I had a very different opinion on how much these cost. In addition, the regulator set me back $105 which wasn’t cheap.

One of the costs incurred because of my ‘buy once, buy right’ policy related to the taps. My understanding is that Craftbrewer gets the fridge and taps from Keg King who import them from China. Doing a cursory internet search suggests the taps are woeful and will immediately cause you issues. When Craftbrewer receives them they take the taps off them and throw them in a big pile. They strongly encourage their customers to update the taps because they know they will be disappointed if they go with the originals (which internet forums seem to confirm). This cost made up the majority of the major expenditure.

Shut up and take my money!

So am I happy with my purchase? So far very much yes. One minor issue I am coming up against relates to the fact that I try to limit my beer intake (did you know there were calories in beer?!). If I leave the taps too long between beers they tend to stick a bit. I now know I maybe would have been better off getting ‘forward sealing’ taps which are even more expensive. But for the moment, I am happy with this set up.

I also very quickly got a font snake to ensure consistent carbonation and will talk about this in another post.

Has this made a difference on my brewing? When it comes to time I don’t necessarily think I save that much more time. Cleaning a keg is reasonably time consuming if you want to do it right. What I can say however is that is has improved the quality of my beer immensely.

Kegging my beer has resulted in me getting brilliant clarity, consistent carbonation and generally having better control of how my beer turns out. Weirdly I also find people who haven’t drunk homebrew before seem to treat your beer differently?

My next step is to get a beer gun or something similar so that I can start bottling off a few once I get to the end of the keg. Would love to hear any suggestions below on how to approach this if you have any! As always, please let me know if you have any questions or if you’re considering getting into kegging.

Review: Digital Homebrew Font Snake

Font Snake

This post is a bit of a follow on from my previous post, ‘My keg set up and what it cost me’. If you haven’t read it, check it out. During this post I mentioned that I had bought a Font Snake. There was a bit to talk about for the font snake so I thought it would be better placed in its own post.

So what is a font snake and why would you need one? When I got my kegerator I was pretty excited to start putting beers through it. However, I quickly realised I was having issues with carbonation. Whenever I poured a beer I would get a glass of foam and it wasn’t until the second or third beer that the foam would calm down. A quick google search revealed I was definitely not the only person with this problem.

My keg set up is a traditional kegerator with a 3 tap font on top. The insides of the fridge keep the kegs cool but the problem is as the beer rises through the unrefrigerated font, it warms up and starts to release carbonation meaning that you end up with a glass full of foam. The reason this would improve after a couple of beers is because the cold beer will have cooled the lines and the font. A suggestion that popped up over and over again was to get a font snake/fan.

A font snake is a little mini fan (think PC fan) which has a tube attached to it. The fan gets placed in your kegerator and the tube runs up the font thereby blowing the cold air from the kegerator up the font. As with all things in homebrew, there was two ways I could approach this, either build one myself or buy one.

Now for those of you who read this blog regularly you will start to see a common theme…I’m not handy. I really am not. I try to be every now and then but usually end up spending more money trying to fix something I made badly resulting in me spending more money and ending up with an inferior product. Plus who has spare PC fans lying around? I was very surprised how the forums thought this was a normal thing…

Dancing Beer Bird

Anyway, my searches caused me to stumble upon digitalhomebrew.com. Digital Homebrew is a local company which produces homebrew specific items mainly the font snake and stirplates. A review of testimonials from other clients had nothing but positive things to say about them and they seemed like a trustworthy company. I also like to buy local when I can and support small business. The font snake set me back $79.45 including delivery which wasn’t the cheapest. That being said, I was willing to pay a little bit more for the confidence I was getting a good product from a local business. The price has gone up a little and as at today was approx. $89. This is because the Australian dollar is getting smashed and he has had to change the prices to USD. If you are interested as to why, check out this blog which more than explains why this was reasonable: http://blog.digitalhomebrew.com/2015/08/27/its-all-about-the-benjamins/

So did the font snake sort out my woes? 100% yes. As soon as it was installed I noticed the difference. My carbonation became uniform and my beer was colder when it hit the glass. What I also liked about the font snake was there was an easy to reach switch and variable speed allowing me to turn it on and off if required and cool quicker if need be.

If you have any questions about font snakes or kegging in general leave it below!

The ‘How to All Grain Homebrew Series’: #6 Bottling

Bottling

This is the last of a 6 part post on the ‘How to All Grain Homebrew Series’, a series designed to provide a basic overview and structure to do your first all grain home-brew. If you haven’t seen this before, I recommend you go check out #1 Mashing which will give you a lot more context.

Today we are going to talk about bottling. Bottling is one of those things that doesn’t get enough attention. After having spent hours slaving over your beer trying to make it perfect, its amazing how many people don’t give a second thought to bottling. Another option apart from bottling is kegging and I will talk about this in a later post, but if you’re a beginner, you are likely bottling.

When bottling you essentially have 3 major goals. The first is to successfully get the beer off the ‘trub’ which is the mixture of yeast, hops and gunk at the bottom of your fermenter. The second is to ensure the beer is being provided with enough additional sugar to ensure sufficient carbonation of the beer. The third and rarely explained in beginner material goal is to ensure you minimise oxygen pick up. Oxygen is the enemy of beer and should be avoided at all costs. This is particularly relevant for those beers that are particularly vulnerable to oxygen such as IPA’s.

There are 2 popular ways to bottle from your fermenter, bulk priming and individual priming. When you individually prime, you put the required amount of sugar in each bottle to ensure sufficient carbonation. If you are just starting I would recommend doing it this way. Whilst it means you may end up with slightly inconsistent carbonation (if you don’t put the same amount in each bottle), it will minimise the opportunity for oxygen pick up. You can either measure out the sugar using a sugar scoop or alternatively use sugar drops. The sugar drops are even more inconsistent and are expensive but can be massively convenient during a less than fun task.

When you bulk prime, you essentially work out the right amount of sugar for the whole batch (including any beer you intend to leave behind in the fermenter), boil this in water and then add to a second ‘bottling bucket’. You can then rack your beer on top of the sugar to ensure sufficient mixing of the material. I would not recommend this for beginners as the opportunities for oxygen pick up and the opportunity to fail to mix the items is far higher than individually priming. After you have got some practice, maybe try bulk priming. Or do what I did, decide you hate bottling and spend an extraordinary amount of money on kegging gear.

craft-beer-hobby

When filling anything, make sure you do so from the bottom ensuring minimal splashing. You are probably seeing a theme here? When bottling it is ok to leave a little bit of oxygen in the bottles as the yeast will clean most of it up in the carbonation process but don’t let it go crazy.

To work out how much sugar to add either use a sugar scoop or carb drop, or you can find online calculators if you want to get advanced and carbonate for the particular style.

Once you have it in the bottle, use a bottle capper to seal the bottle. You should be clear on whether your bottle capper will work on twist tops as some will not. If not you will need pop top bottles which are a little harder to come by in Australia. If you’re looking for them, Coopers is your best bet.

The beer will need a couple of weeks to carbonate at room temperature (approx 20 degrees). If you’re really keen on knowing exactly when they are carbonated and don’t want to waste any bottles a good tip is to bottle one in a plastic bottle. When the plastic bottle is hard, your beer is carbonated.

Once again, sanitation is key to this. Make sure your beers and all your equipment is clean and sanitised with starsan. Whilst your beer will be a little more resistant to infections because of the alcohol and hops, an infection can still take hold.

Another tip is to always make sure your beer has finished before bottling otherwise you will end up with the dreaded ‘bottle bombs’. The way to know if your beer is done is to check the finishing gravity using your hydrometer over a couple of days and if you get the same reading, you are good to go. I would recommend leaving at least 2 weeks before you start checking this.

Obviously this is a very ‘High Level’ overview of bottling and we will get into more advanced topics such as cold crashing and finings in future posts. Once again, if you have any questions please hit me up below.

My Mighty New Stirplate!

Stir Plate

I remember a time when i first started home brewing when I thought that home brewing may lead to me SAVING money! Oh how I was wrong. What I never took into account was my unending desire for the perfect beer and the number of products I would want to buy to help me achieve that goal.

The next thing in my list of unending purchases was a stir plate.  If you don’t know, a stir plate is essentially that, a plate that will stir! Its purpose is to stir your yeast starter to ensure maximum yeast growth. Up until now i have been somewhat hesitant to use liquid yeast cultures as I didn’t have a stir plate and would need a pretty big yeast starter to get things going.

I was recently perusing my usual home-brew websites when I noticed a blog post from Digital Homebrew. You may recall I bought my font snake from these guys and have been really happy with the great products and stellar service. On the blog post, the owner explained that due to the ever declining Australian dollar, he has had to change the currency of the product to USD. This means the product was about to go up in cost reasonably substantially. This was incentive enough to pull the trigger and very soon I had a stir plate.

Flask

So is it any good? The first thing I did when I got it was obviously fill a glass with water and create a pretty impressive funnel. My wife looked at me like I was an idiot as I laughed a maniacal laugh reserved for those who have conjured the power to control the earth’s greatest resource, water. Once that fun was over, I quickly turned my mind to what to brew that would benefit from a yeast starter and a liquid yeast culture.

As this was leading up to Christmas and I had a few family members coming around who are exclusively lager drinkers, I thought a good lager was in order (as lagers need a heavy pitch of yeast). The yeast starter performed amazingly even in a 5L flask I bought for the lager starter. In fact, this thing is a little too powerful and I constantly had to keep winding back the power.

Could you build a stir plate cheaper? Most likely. Could I do so? Maybe not. Either way this has been a great purchase that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an out of the box solution.

If you have any questions on stir plates or brewing in general, feel free to pop them below. Until next week…

My First Yeast Starter!

Yeast Starter

So I have a confession to make. You’ve probably noticed I like to pretend I am an expert brewer. I am a giant nerd and regularly read everything I can find on brewing so its easy to talk the talk. But when it comes down to it you can know all you want but unless you can walk the walk, it really doesn’t mean anything.

One very basic thing I really should have done earlier in my brewing life is a yeast starter. Despite their relative ease, I just found the ease of dry yeast to be too tempting. Despite this, the allure of many different yeast options together with the option to overbuild starters (for harvesting purposes) was too strong. Also, considering I had just bought a stir plate it seems only reasonable that I would need to use it!

Recently I brewed a Samuel Adams Boston Lager Clone. Given Xmas was just around the corner it seemed like a great beer to be sipping on during those warm (hopefully dry) summer days. To get that crisp lager taste I wanted to try Wyeast’s Bohemian Lager (#2124).

I wanted to make a 3L yeast starter but quickly ran into problems. My first problem was that I didn’t have a pot big enough! Seems an obvious issue but I’ve always been a little special. Another problem I have is I have an induction stovetop so there is no chance of heating the erlenmeyer flask direct.

Yeast Preparation

Accepting that I would need to do a couple of boils I had to first test how much water would evaporate during the 10 minute boil. I tried a 1.2 L boil and low and behold, it was the perfect evaporation rate.

Heating up 1.2 L of water, I then added 100g of DME. After the 10 min boil, I placed it in an ice bath and stirred until cool. The next problem I encountered was my inability to transfer to the flask! To say there was spillage was a bit of an understatement. In the end I ended up with 2.5L instead of my 3 but I wasn’t too worried.

Adding the yeast, I placed it on the yeast starter and set it going. After 48 hours it was ready to cold crash. Once crashed, I decanted off the yeast and wallah, a large amount of yeast!

So how was fermentation? Fermentation started strong after about 18 hours and kicked on strong until finished. My lager fermented out lower than I expected (3 points) which I am unsure whether is normal for the strain. Tasting the beer, I had no diacetyl or off flavours so considered it a win.

I will need to make a few tweaks to make my yeast starter process easier but other than that, the process was relatively easy and led to great results. Next I’ll look at building a larger yeast starter so I can start reusing yeast. That’s the great thing about this hobby, there is always one more thing to learn!

If you have any questions on yeast starters or anything else please feel free to leave them below.

Beer of the Moment: Pirate Life IIPA

IMG_1982When I first ‘discovered’ craft beer, like many people I naturally gravitated towards IPA’s. The insane amount of hops and flavour was such a stark contrast from the lifeless lagers I was used to consuming. After a year or two of consuming a lot of IPAs I was starting to get to a point where I was getting a bit over them. Partly because I had drunken a few but mainly because a lot of local examples don’t seem to be very good or very fresh.

Lately I’ve had a bit of a craving for a good, fresh IPA. I’ve been finding some great local examples and they are very fresh. I think the breweries and the bars are starting to understand a bit better how vulnerable these beers are and how to treat them right.

One beer I kept seeing around the traps and wanted to try was Pirate Life’s IIPA. Pirate Life is a brewery out of South Australia that is making waves quickly. The brewery has only been in existence since 2014 but is already securing good distribution throughout the country. Pirate Life’s IIPA would have to be one (it not the main) flagship beer. Coming in at a hefty 8.8%abv this is not a beer for the weak.

The first thing that struck me about this beer was the can design. It’s really pretty impressive and around the ring of the neck, it contains the process of how the beer was made including all the ingredients. Being a beer geek, I love things like this because I can then consider whether I am getting these flavours and whether I want to make one myself!

So how was the beer? I wrote down my tasting notes knowing that by the end of this can I was definitely going to lose focus. The aroma off this beer is what you will expect. I got a resiney, piney smell which I love about IPAs. The hops listed are Centennial, Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe which seems consistent. The beer has a strong bitterness about it which balances the hefty malt bill. The colour is darker than a lot of IPAs giving a dark orange. I definitely picked up some alcohol notes which were not at all unpleasant and completely expected in a 8.8% beer best consumed fresh. Best Before was listed as April 2016 which makes me wonder when the beer was made. I would be very interested to try this at the brewery to really get that hop punch in the face.

This is a solidly put together IIPA which was very enjoyable. I gave it a 4.25 on Untappd but tend to rate beers really well when I’m a bit drunk (I’m a friendly drinker). I think my only criticism would be the freshness of this can as I expected a stronger hop aroma. In hindsight I would probably reduce the rating of this can to 3.75.

If we aren’t friends on Untappd yet, please feel free to add me: @benbrett1. Its always fun to have people as nerdy as me to talk beer with.

 

Beer of the Moment: 4 Pines West Coast Red Rye IPA

IMG_1992

There is very little 4 pines can do wrong at the moment. Apparently being one of the best craft beer producers in the country isn’t good enough for this Manly, NSW based brewery, instead they continue to produce banger after banger and the Australian beer scene is definitely taking notice.

You may know 4 pines from their Pale Ale, a beer that year after year rates in the top 10 of Australian craft beers (last year ranking 3rd). Whilst 4 Pines has great distribution of its core range, it continue to produce its ‘Kellar Door’ series which has produced some excellent beers over the years.

My Beer of the Moment is the West Coast Red Rye IPA. Coming in at 7.3%ABV, this beer seems to be consistent with my current attitude of drinking super alcoholic IPAs.

If you’re going to look for this beer after my review, likely don’t bother. I got on the bandwagon as the last of the bottles were selling out and the age in this IPA was starting to show. Whilst I got a decent hop character out of the Citra/Amarillo combo, it was clear that this beer was not as sharp as it once was. Instead the malt bill with a hefty douse of Rye really made this beer stand out. It was quite enjoyable despite the subdued hop character. Not coming across as unbalanced at all.

The pour left a long lasting creamy head which made the beer quite enjoyable. The colour was a dark red. What little hop character there was blew off pretty quickly leaving a very drinkable beer. In fact, I could easily drink many of these despite their hefty abv which is always a sign of a great beer.

I gave this beer a 3.5 on Untappd. This is a pretty tough rating but based on the beer I had in my hand. If I had tried this fresh at the brewery, I dare say we would see a number in the mid 4’s.

If we aren’t friends on Untappd, why not? My username is benbrett1. I promise I’m a super cool internet friend!