WA Beer News #9

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festival … WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the beery news that our state has to offer.

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festival … WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the beery news that our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

NEW RELEASES

Eagle Bay : Single Series – Rye Session IPA

  • Limited Release
  • Only available on tap

Hot on the heels of their Citrus IPA, Eagle Bay will release another Single Series – a Rye Session IPA next week.

Single Series means just one 1,000 litre batch, so about 20 kegs, were made meaning it probably won’t last long! Keep an eye on their social media accounts for where it ends up!

Tasting notes from the brewery –

“Enjoy citrusy aromas with juicy notes of lemon rind and passion fruit, paired with a biscuity and spicy malt base. Well rounded and firm bitterness to finish”

Find this beer at –

Innate Brewers : Private Idaho IIPA

  • Limited Release
  • Only available on tap
  • Single hop beer

Private Idaho is named after the hop variety they’ve used in this imperial IPA called Idaho 7. The hop comes form the US and is relatively new, hitting the commercial scene in 2015 and known for herbal qualities as well as pine and stone fruit characteristics.

Being imperial it’s a boozy beer – 8.5 percent – and is pouring at –

 

Bootleg Brewing : Imperial Raging Bull

  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap and 330ml bottles
  • Aged for 6 months in Cabernet barrels

We all know by now that when we see the word “imperial” it’s going to be a pretty big beer. Well for this one Bootleg take their already strong dark beer Raging Bull and let it spent half a year in cabernet barrels. The result is a 9.1% beer made for sipping.

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Photo taken from Bootleg Brewing’s Facebook page

 

The Beer Farm : Naked IPA

  • Limited Release
  • Only available on tap
  • Beer changes seasonally

This beer uses four hop varieties – Cascade, Perle, Chinook and Flinders – sourced from local growers Karridale Cottages & Hop Farm, less than an hours drive from the brewery.

The beer released under the Naked IPA series will always change, the brewery created their own hashtag on Instagram #notwoIPAsthesame and describe this one as a “resinous, roasty, dark IPA”

Trey at Karridale Hop Farm
Trey from Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm inspecting Cascade hops

 

Mash Brewing : Sarcasm

  • Only available on tap
  • Limited Release

Give it’s popularity when it’s released, it’s unsurprising and delightful to see the Sarcasm imperial IPA get another re-release. Called Sarcasm because of its hilarious “session IPA” tag and 9.5 percent alcohol content, it will be hitting retailers as of Monday.

Boston Brewing : Afterglose

  • Available on tap and cans
  • Limited Release

Previously only available on tap, Denmark’s Boston Brewing has now released this beer in their newly designed cans. It’s a raspberry gose and it’s sensational, I do love this style and this a great example – delicate, zesty, refreshing and well balanced, everything a gose beer should be I reckon!

 

 

 

Seeing Double Three Times

A post dedicated to double IPAs and ending with a three way side by side of IIPAs from WA, SA and California.

Want to see a lot of beer geeks get ridiculously excited? Put out a limited release double IPA.

Feral Brewing‘s Tusk Day – the release day of their imperial IPA – sees one keg go to a handful of selected bars across the country who commit to tapping the keg immediately. Eager drinkers plan their day to ensure they can get to the selected venues before the keg runs dry and social media is flooded with #tuskday photos. The most recent release in WA at the end of April saw most kegs last a mere couple of hours.

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Feral Tusk Imperial IPA at Feral Fest 3 – a lack of tasting notes is explained by the many Feral beers that followed this one!

Recently Mash Brewing, also in the Swan Valley, released their Sarcasm Session IIPA (see what they did there?!) into a limited run of 330ml bottles and Tusk-like excitement once again dominated my social media feed.

With craft beer exploding the way it is and American style pale ales dominating people’s hearts and taste buds, it only makes sense that their bigger siblings – IPAs and IIPAs get people even more excited. After all, you’re taking a thing people love, the pale ale, and adding more of the things that they love – more hops, more booze, more fun.


What is a double IPA anyway?

Double IPA, IIPA, Imperial IPA, Extra IPA, it’s all the basically the same thing – an IPA but bigger, dominated by US and/or new world hops, it’s feisty, bitter, boozy but still balanced.

Double IPA
Information taken/edited from BJCP 2015 & The Oxford Companion to Beer

Of course, not all IIPAs are the same, what a boring beer world that would be. So, when you pour a double IPA into a suitably fancy glass, what’s the most important thing to look for?

Two words – “fresh” and “hops”. Fresh beer is the best beer when it comes to something like a double IPA which is critically defined by its hop aroma and character. Look for local and don’t be afraid to ask the bartender or take a look at the date on the bottle/can whilst you’re beer shopping at your favourite bottle shop. Anything past three months, whilst not off or undrinkable, isn’t in it’s peak condition, the way the brewer wants you to enjoy it and given the sheer number of IPAs and IIPAs available, something fresher is probably easily at hand.

On the release of Mash’s Sarcasm I decided to line up two other double IPAs, the first is a classic and the first very IIPA I ever had – Sierra Nevada Torpedo from California and the second is a modern instant hit – Pirate Life IIPA from Adelaide.

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L-R: Mash Sarcasm, Pirate Life IIPA & Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

girl+beer’s tasting notes …

Mash Sarcasm Session IPA | Consumed within days of packaging

At 9.5% ABV it was the booziest one of the three and there was a big alcohol sweetness amongst the pineapple and tropical fruits. Pairing it with some Old Winchester cheese with its fruitiness and tangy flavours took the edge of the booze in the beer. If you like you’re double IIPAs thick and on the sweeter side this hit that spot.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA | BB 11.05.16

My first experience with a double IPA was many years ago and it was this one from Sierra Nevada. Amongst the pioneers of the craft beer revolution in the US, I looked to this beer to show me what a double IPA was all about. I remember being blown away by how hoppy it was.

This particular bottle wasn’t in the prime of it’s life so it was kinda disappointing to come back to it now and find it not as I remember. The tropical fruit aromas were there but sat alongside some candy, lolly and unwanted green apple character too.

With a best before date of 05.11.16, so 11 May 2016 when de-Americanised, it was a good example of why drinking fresh beer matters.

Pirate Life IIPA | BB 20.01.17

I was impressed when I first had this beer and subsequent tries haven’t changed my opinion. Slightly more subdued aromas but spice, stone fruit and lemon are all present and it follows through in flavour with a nice biscuity malt and dry finish. A balanced showcase of hops with real drinkability.

Three double IPAs, three different beers. This is why I love beer! It’s so diverse. Many times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t like wheat beers” or “I don’t like stouts” and I would urge these people to keep an open mind. One or even a couple of beers don’t represent everything that a single beer style can offer; be open to trying more, talk to more people, and I’ll bet you’ll find one you like and what a shame it would have been to miss out.