This brew from the boys at Big Shed in South Australia, pays tribute to the West Coast Brewers, and in particular to west coast hops, and this drop is exactly that. We love the summery and colourful label, and the picture of the fornicating bears is a nice play on words for the name of this beer, being ‘Californicator’ and the fact that this beer is sampling west coast hops.
Anyhoo, poured from a nice 750ml bottle, there is a clear bright Amber ,with active carbonation, forming a loosely packed one finger width white foamy head which retained quite well. There is webby lacing on the glass. Of note, this brew is bottle conditioned and there is suspended yeast happily floating around. Although there are some lovely hop aromas coming forward they’re not jumping out of the glass as vigorously as we were hoping. We detect some firm bitter grapefruit notes with a fleshy touch of stone fruit (apricot, rockmelon, paw paw), zesty orang peel, passion fruit and freshly cut grass against a bready malt backing. In the mouth it was slightly thinned out with a mild-medium weighted body. Just a slight tickle from the carbonation as a mild warmth from the ABV (7.5%) teams up with a solid hop dryness on the back of the tongue. Subdued bitterness on the palate..definitely not mouth puckering. We are quite surprised by this timidness. A juicy splash of tropical fruits and citrus on entry. As it carries forward an injection of bready malts slightly nullifies the bitterness through the mid while a long dry finish rounds it all off. Lingering hints of white bread and zesty citrus really draw out the back end nicely. We are in two thoughts here. Firstly, points for smoothness and well hidden alc vol to malt ratio. Secondly, we are unsure about the thinness or watery aspect to the body. We were expecting more punch. A little uninspiring but essentially a well executed IPA. Not a bad first crack at this breweries range.