Category Archives: IPA’s

Working Title ‘Salvation’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“Old school and loving it. Will it be our Salvation in these hazy times? Probably not, but a little bit of reminiscing never hurt.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: They don’t come much better looking than this. It pours a bold amber complexion with a well maintained two finger cap. Good retention and lacing as we go.

Aroma: They’ve struck an impeccable balance here. As soon as the semi sweet and biscuity malts hit the olfactories the piney, citrusy and spicy hops pull it all back into line. Nice subtle waves of caramel and honey along with mixed orange citrus/candied, slightly dank herbals, sappy resins, light floral characteristics and aniseed. Really liking this aroma and really hoping it all transfers to the palate.

Flavour: Right on the money! It kicks off with that classic West Coast dry bitterness but is quickly softened by the rounded malt sweetness. Then almost instantly the all American hop profile slashes through the malts like a knife through hot butter. Mixed citrus then carries it all through to a distinctly dry and bitter finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slightly soapy and a bit acrid but that’s to be expected for the style. Co2 is spot on. Medium body. The 7.5% ABV is pretty well concealed.

Overall: Not bad. Not bad at all. We’ve found this mobs beers are getting and better each time we’re reacquainted. That’s a pretty damn fine interpretation of the old classic. Solid.

Bridge Road ‘B2 Bomber – Mach 11.5’ BA Imperial Belgian Black IPA

Rating:

“Here is the inaugural bottle release of our barrel-aged B2 variant for 2021.We took our B2 Bomber Mach 11, a black Belgian double IPA, and aged it in Corowa Whisky barrels for six months.
The hop punch of the original beer has mellowed, and the warming influence of whisky intertwines with soft oak and vanilla notes.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Black pour with a sturdy two finger brown head resting on top. Excellent retention and thick rings mark each sip as it subsides.

Aroma: Rich and complex. The black IPA base is just out in front at the moment with its classic fusion of heavily roasted malts balanced by the piney and citrusy American hops. The whiskey component has been integrated really well – nicely tempered and the kinda sweet, caramelised and vanilla-laden scents blend back in beautifully. Just a hint of oak and some fiery warmth to round it out. *Rubs hands with excitement*

Flavour: It comes on with serious vigour. Though we’re surprised as we’re sat back waiting for the booze burn and general shock to the senses that a 10% ABV beer usually brings…but it never comes. It’s astonishingly smooth even though the whiskey is rather prominent upfront. The lightly roasted malts dominate the mid palate with the piney and citrusy hops tailing in late. Then the whiskey and roasted malt return for the nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Super slick, oily and gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 10% ABV is fairly well behaved for its size.

Overall: Well it looks like Bridge Rd are officially back. After a couple of years of Co2 and quality issues this brilliant annual release looks set to make a return to our cellars. Big and warming and equally satisfying.

8 Wired ‘Dynamite’ Black IPA

Rating:

“An explosive blend of smooth malt and roasted black wheat creates a perfect foundation for an eruptive hoppy cocktail of Centennial, Amarillo and Idaho 7 blowing up the bitterness. Are you mad for malt? Do you hunger for hops? Dynamite is a hoppy brew with some light roasty notes. Grab a can, its the best of both worlds!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Fairly dark brown pour with a lighter gradient at the foot of the glass. It produces a fluffy two finger head which maintains its shape. Big thick rings are posted as we imbibe.

Aroma: Good depth and a really robust roasted malt base. Getting burnt toast, espresso coffee, chocolate bullets and almost an umami-like soy sauce quality. The way the malts fold into the hops is exemplary…starts super piney/sprucey then shifts into heady grapefruit, lemon rind and dank weedy herbals. We always bang on about balance with black IPA’s and this is balanced like a beer on a barrel!

Flavour: The hops come on pretty strong upfront. Not only with its dry bitterness but lots of pine and pithy citrus as well. Something kinda sweet like caramel, maybe? On the flipside it could be a hint of tropical fruit. The contrast between the hops and malt hits a crescendo midway with the malts going full roast and the hops full pithy and then settling for a perfectly balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky then dry and abrasive in the swallow. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. 6% ABV is kind of on the tamer side for the style.

Overall: We’ve been fanboys of 8 Wired’s IPA’s since back in the Super Conductor days. They were great IPA brewers back then and they still are now. Quality stuff.

Sunday Road ‘Sweet Escape’ Cold IPA

Rating:

What is a Cold IPA you ask? Think of it as a light malt canvas painted with hops. Sweet Escape is made with a low sulphur lager yeast that’s fermented cooler than an ale yeast – yet warmer than a lager yeast traditionally would be. It’s then hit with  hop bill of Ekuanot, Amarillo, and Idaho7 to give it that hop burst style. This, rewarding you with a strong aromatic hop intensity, mild bitterness, and a crisp and clean finish – which will undoubtedly have you reaching for that second sip! Go on, let your tastebuds find that Sweet Escape they’re longing for….

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Gorgeous bright golden complexion with full clarity and good Co2 activity. It forms a fluffy two finger head which slowly peels off, revealing the intricate lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Heavenly. Straight away we can smell the freshness (packaged on 3/11/21). The hops are so clean and fruity and they fill up the nostrils with tropical fruits, distinct candied citrus like lemon, lime and grapefruit, fresh pine needle, herbal spice, cedar and tangy orange. A lovely crisp malt structure is only further adding to the beers extremely appealing character.

Flavour: Dead set spot on. Getting a hint of semi sweet malt which counters the snappy pine needle and zesty citrus rind. There’s always this kinda peppery herbal accent doing its thing in the background too. As it pushes forward unripened tropical fruits, shallot and lime come to the fore then delivers a clean and fruity finish which lingers for a little while then tapers off.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and well defined yet still packing enough to chew on. Medium body, Co2 is perfect. 6.8% ABV is very well buried.

Overall: In comparison there’s not a lot that differs between this and ‘Vacation Rental’…other than a different hop bill of course. The main reason we went for it was because SR are one of the leaders of this style. On par with Garage Project in our opinion. Top notch.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD #6’ Dip Hopped TDH DIPA

Rating:

“This imperial IPA pours a luminous copper colour in the glass, giving it some classic West Coast leanings. We get massive aromas of fresh orange juice, the body is BIG and there’s some nice, burnt orange bitterness before a long, warming finish. It definitely presents a more levelled flavour profile than you’d expect in a beer hopped this much. In fact, it’s dangerously quaffable at 8.5%.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Gorgeous colour – pours a bold amber with a sturdy two finger head that retains well. Healthy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: A really robust malt backbone to it – which is no surprise once you lay eyes on this beauty – but the overarching hops are front and centre. The hop bill reads like a who’s who; Centennial, Cascade, Citra, Mosaic & Vic Secret and they all combine to bring tonnes of pine/resin, oily grapefruit, rind, tropical fruits like passionfruit, mango and pineapple, mixed stonefruits, light florals and slightly dank herbs.

Flavour: So on point. Really similar to the nose where the sweet malts provide the framework for the amazing hop bill to do its thing. We’re getting sharp pine needle, dank resins, herbals, grapefruit/rind and unripened tropical fruits. Gets really weedy and a little pithy midway then finishes with strong bitter citrus, rind and dank herbs.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, prickly and a little dry. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. The 8.5% ABV is noticeable but fairly well behaved. Would love to the know the IBU.

Overall: Don’t think it’s a secret that Bridge Road are a lot better at brewing West Coast IPA’s than Hazy’s. This one reminds us a bit of Need #2 (which is also our favourite of this series thus far). Proper old school style WC IPA here folks. Boom.

Wander Beyond ‘Scoop’ Imperial Black Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream IPA

Rating:

“Scoop is an Imperial Black Icecream IPA. Based on the theme of mint choc chip ice creams, we added cacao nibs and vanilla to a dark Milkshake IPA base before dry hopping with Fuggles, Polaris and Citra hops and steeping peppermint tea from our friends at Atkinsons of Lancaster.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pitch black with a light gradient on the edges. It notches up a thumb of creamy and finely beaded foam which holds together pretty well. Wavy cascading lace clings as we go.

Aroma: OK… literally smells like a boozy after dinner mint. In liquid black IPA form! This could actually pass as a scented candle it is that God damn good. Mint and chocolate obviously dominate to the tune of about 90% of the aroma but the mint kinda switches between spearmint and peppermint and the chocolate is dark, bold and slightly roasty. Maybe a hint of vanilla, pine and citrus rind as well but that’s it.

Flavour: Doesn’t have the finesse that the aroma did but we’ll concede that it would be very hard to back up an aroma like that! The mint turns more creme-like and the chocolate more like raw cacao. A hint of menthol creeps in but it does get lost in this hypnotic rapture of mint choc chip. Some really delicate pine needle and herbals down deep but it’s all rich chocolate and creamy mint to finish. With excellent length too.

Mouthfeel: Nicely weighted, creamy and smooth but with a bit of grip. Medium body, mild carbonation. 11% ABV! Unbelievably well hidden.

Overall: It may only be a one trick pony but the trick it does is pretty damn impressive. From the moment we took in the aroma we were hooked. Solid drop.

Valhalla ‘Ziggy’ Red IPA

Rating:

Ziggy is a Red IPA with light red malts with apricot, caramel, and oak. Generous hops and raspberries provide tangy raspberry character. Created in tribute to the greatest rock star of all; Ziggy Stardust.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bold amber pour with a very faint kiss of candy red. A two finger cap emerges and then gradually peels off. Thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: The marriage of fruity hops and sweet caramelised malts has us simply taking in the pleasures and forgetting we’re here to actually review it. We’ve also only just realised they’ve added raspberries to the brew so that would explain the strong hints of raspberry jellies. Getting wafts as rich as cocoa and toffee and as light as passionfruit and fresh herbals and in between is a mix of caramel, rose petals, blood orange, earthy and peppery rye, pink lemonade, paw paw and candy. Ooft!

Flavour: Wow the raspberries really rush the front palate. They bring a mix of fresh and artificial sweetness while the spicy rye and herbal hops combine to create this unique earthy aspect. It’s around now that the hallmark red IPA qualities kick into gear – caramel/toffee, mixed fruits, pithy rind and herbals which carry all the way into the well drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Slick, a tad chewy and dry in the swallow. Co2 is kept pretty low, body sits around the medium mark. The 6% ABV slots in nicely.

Overall: Interesting interpretation. The addition of raspberries and rye certainly hands it a unique edge. The base Red IPA was ok.. very pithy and bitter on the palate but essentially well enough balanced to handle it. Not bad.

Alesmith X Alvarado Street Brewery ‘Oso Under’ IPA

Rating:

“These California bears have gone down under! We partnered up with our buddies from Alvarado Street Brewery to make this bright and dry west coast-style IIPA featuring an exorbitant amount of Galaxy, Vic Secret, and Nelson hops. When two beloved California breweries draw inspiration from Australian and New Zealand hops, you know the collaboration has to be “Oso Under!” Cheers!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright golden amber pour with a fair haze happening. Two fingers of well retained head perched on top and a smattering of lace is left behind.

Aroma: It’s actually incredible how they’ve managed to attain such a pure and conventional WC IPA aroma with Anitpodean hops (Galaxy, Vic Secret & Nelson Sauvin). It’s absolutely brimming with fresh citrus i.e lemon, grapefruit and tangerine, lashings of unripened peach, pine, kumquat, passionfruit, spring onion and freshly cut grass. It does have a slight catty accent to it but we don’t mind it in West Coast IPA’s. Solid!

Flavour: Following on from the nose with big impressions of fresh citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Definitely getting more herbals as opposed to the nose; slightly dank and a little ganja-like, spring onion and peppery rocket. It hits a pithy note midway and citrus rind then carries through to the mildly sweet but mostly dry and bitter finish which shows a bit of tart gooseberry from the NS hops.

Mouthfeel: Kind of soft, mineraly and a little dry. Medium body, Co2 is spot on and so is the 7% ABV.

Overall: Definitely exceeded expectations. It’s a sad indictment when the yanks can use our hops better than most Aussie brewers! It’s also impressive to see them used so effectively in a West Coast IPA. Move over Citra, Simcoe and Centennial!

Omnipollo ‘Legacy’ IPA

Rating:

“Omnipollo is celebrating 10 years by releasing a series of four beers to stand the test of time. Brewing india pale ale is partly an attempt at perfecting the balanced composition of malts, letting hops command the aroma and flavor profile. Bordering between an east and west coast IPA with a welcoming bitterness to a soft mouthfeel.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden yellow pour with very little head formation. It eventually settles at the rim with thin wavy rings marking each sip on the way down.

Aroma: Woah it smells like a mango and pineapple flavoured soft drink! And as it settles it turns into a complete fruit salad… everything from passionfruit, peach, lychee and guava to lime, tangerine, mandarin and ruby grapefruit. Then the adjuncts come into play i.e frosty fruits, juice concentrate and herbal spice. It’s got a kinda creamy accent to it as well…almost like pine lime splice/spider. Really unique and we’re getting behind it.

Flavour: Wow it literally tastes like a pine lime splice! Wish they would bring those back. Then that smorgasbord of mixed fruits joins the party and all of a sudden it feels like we’ve been whisked away to some tropical island. A flutter of pine and candied lemon then proceeds to set up the slightly syrupy finish which lingers with sweet tropical fruits.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly soft and smooth for 7% ABV. Moderately bodied with an ultra fine Co2. It almost imitates a Berliner Weiss in its delivery.

Overall: We’ve gotta hand it to them…it is definitely outside the box. It has a NEIPA feel to it but at the same time it doesn’t. If that makes sense. It’s just so emphatically fruity and summery yet we’re downing it on a cold and wet arvo. Seems so wrong! Still, a solid offering.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #10’ Hazy Triple IPA

Rating:

“The Pursuit of Hoppiness is an ongoing specialty series in which we explore the somewhat endless possibilities in the art of brewing with hops. Drinkers are given an exclusive look into the brewing process, with varieties, additions and time frame listed on the can label.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel orange with sandy yellow highlights. It forms a thumb of loosely packed head which comes apart slowly but surely. Lacing is thick and blotchy as we imbibe.

Aroma: Loving this old-school and alluring hop combination of Citra and Amarillo Cryo. The myrcene count in Citra is already high so once it’s been concentrated down into Cryo it’s even more oily, sappy and resinous. Lots of fresh citrus i.e grapefruit, orange, candied lemon and rind with equal parts Amarillo; mixed stonefruits like peach, melon and apricot. Also detecting shallots and pineapple. Nice and oaty malt bill with hints of wheat grains.

Flavour: Transitions nicely from the aroma. Getting a subtle pithy acidity, heady stonefruit notes and intermittent wheat grains. The oily and resinous Cryo doesn’t have as much cut through as it did on the nose but a distinct pine/spruce accent develops late and helps shape the sharp, fruity and green finish that has a bit of sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Pretty well tempered for 10% ABV. It has a bit of grip to it but it’s pretty smooth and creamy. Mild-moderate Co2. Medium body.

Overall: Every time we drink a hazy triple IPA we seem to (unfairly) compare it with the best Hazy Triple IPA we’ve ever had which was at Mikkeller San Diego. However, we must give credit where credit is due and this is a fairly decent crack.

Other Half ‘Stacks On Stacks’ DDH Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

“Double dry hopped imperial IPA w / citra, el dorado + mosaic.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super hazy pastel yellow with very faint shades of orange. It produced a rocky three finger head that slowly disassembles. Excellent lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: Picking up strong wafts of hop oil and resin, grapefruit/rind, fleshy stonefruits, frosty fruits, dried apricot and dank herbals. It’s got a bit of a tropical fruit character to it…mostly passionfruit nectar, unripened pineapple and candied orange/tangerine. Subtle peppery spice, a hint of floral orange blossom and a distinctly dry and bready malt structure. Decent.

Flavour: Incredibly smooth and fruity but with an emphasis still on this oily, resinous and sappy quality. Pretty dank as well… herbaceous and weedy. Getting sweet passionfruit-like nectar, a hint of peach and apricot before the citrus pushes through the mid. It goes full circle back to the dank, resinous and oily hops to finish then hangs on for days.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth and creamy. Medium body and fine carbonation. The 8.5% ABV is that well hidden you’d be fooled into thinking it’s sub 7%.

Overall: Stoked to see this brewery’s beers on our shores. We’ve rated these guys ever since a mate in the US sent us a few over years ago. This one was pretty damn good too…super oily, resinous and ultra smooth. Respectable.

Cellarmaker ‘Bines & Rinds’ Watermelon & Hibiscus Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Hazy IPA with watermelon. Dank hops and watermelon – who would have guessed these two amazing items would work so well together? The sweet floral and juicy character of the watermelon softens the heady pine and ganja aspects of Simcoe and Strata hops.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: It hits the glass with a cloudy rusted orange with light red hues. A massive four finger head emerges but it breaks apart quickly, leaving sparse lacing on the glass.

Aroma: The first scent we’re detecting is watermelon rind…not the tough skin but the crappy green flesh that no one wants to eat. It’s giving off a really strong cucumber quality alongside cracked pepper and, we know a lot of people will turn their noses up at this but, it’s displaying hints of steamed broccoli. But it somehow works! The sweetness of the watermelon does a LOT to counteract it. Then there’s the floral, weedy and piney hops wanting some attention too!

Flavour: Super complex…and we rarely say that about a Hazy IPA. The watermelon rind isn’t as dominant. Getting hints of the cucumber-esque flavours of it but the sweet red fleshy side is coming through a bit more. Enter the hibiscus! The somewhat tart and floral characters of pomegranate creep through as the super fruity brekky juice kicks off. The back end is all about the hops – weedy, piney, fruity and resinous which draw out well.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy, a little chalky and well aerated. Mild-medium body, finely carbed. 6.5% ABV slots in nicely.

Overall: We expected nothing less from this world class brewery. We’re not really big fans of watermelon or hibiscus in beer but these geniuses have found a way to make us question that. Super fun, tasty yet challenging at times.

Bridge Road ‘Need #5’ Cold IPA

Rating:

“The fifth beer in our new bi-monthly IPA series sees a Bridge Road spin on the burgeoning ‘Cold IPA’. When researching the style, we recognised that these beers were essentially hoppy lagers, so we set about to flip the concept by using an ale yeast and fermenting at lager temperatures, thus making a true Cold iPA. Pale yellow in the glass, the aromas are of ripe tropical fruit, bubblegum and grapefruit (courtesy of some kiwi hops). Tropical and citrus hop notes dance on the palate, making way for a clean, lean body and an off dry finish with a restrained bitterness. Vol.5 is a hoppy reminder, that you need NEeD.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pale golden amber pour with a soft haze. It forms a two and a half finger head which holds together nicely. Healthy lace work as it subsides.

Aroma: We’re really digging this style at the moment. Loving the edginess of it, the innovation, the session ability but most of all just how clean and enjoyable they are to drink. The hop bill (Motueka, Kohatu and Strata) play a big part in the make up of the aroma… displaying resinous and luscious evergreen, pine needle, oily citrus rind, tropical fruits like pineapple, passionfruit and mango, strawberry and a somewhat clean and semi sweet malt profile.

Flavour: So here we are saying how clean and sessional Cold IPA’s are and then this one drinks like a typical Antipodean IPA. Jinxed ourselves! The malt is a tad heavy and sweet for the style but in saying that it’s still a nicely structured beer. Tropical fruits, pine and a hint of grapefruit are balanced by the malt sweetness upfront. Subtle pithy citrus and kinda dank herbals midway are punctuated by a delicate acidity and malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A lot heavier and chewy than expected. Fairly smooth and well rounded though. Mild-moderate Co2. The 7% ABV is well buried.

Overall: Not our favourite interpretation of the style but in this case if they took the ‘Cold’ out of Cold IPA you’ve got a decent (although slightly pedestrian) IPA. We’re all for being creative but if you’re bucking the trend you’ve got to get it right. In our opinion.

Fieldwork ‘All The Pretty Colours’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

“Exceedingly juicy with a fluffy mouthfeel and drenched in notes of canned yellow peaches, orange Italian soda, fresh buds, and a hint of trashy margarita mix. [hops: Enigma, Citra, Idaho7].”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow pour reminiscent of actual brekky juice. It only manages a short but very finely beaded head which leaves an excellent lace trail as we go.

Aroma: Ok this smells freakin amazing. The juice characters have some insane uplift as does the super dank and weedy herbals, flashes of pine resin, frosty fruits/juice concentrate, candied lemon/lime, salt and cracked pepper. Never thought we’d talk about a beer like it’s being seasoned! Fresh peach becomes more prevalent as it settles. Really doughy malt profile…a little chalky as well. Superb.

Flavour: It comes on with a slightly surprising green hop bitterness but it quickly folds into a distinct brekky juice quality (mango, orange, pear/apple and peachy stonefruits) heady pine resin, dank weedy herbals and black pepper. Grapefruit and a more defined yellow peach flavour develops late then helps set up the somewhat dry and bitter finish with lingering notes of salty citrus, dank herbals and pine resin.

Mouthfeel: Light, pillowy and well aerated yet it still holds a fairly decent body. Ultra fine Co2. The 8.5% ABV is kept at bay reasonably well.

Overall: We must admit for a little known brewery on the West Coast of USA these guys pump out some seriously impressive NEIPA’s. They’re almost Treehouse-like in their execution. Other than a slightly lifted bitterness it was near perfect.

Ekim Brewing ‘Bloodshot’ Red IPA

Rating:

“Our Bloodshot IPA is brewed with Red Malt & Oats, giving it plenty of rich malt flavour. Balanced out with a big double dry-hop, there’s lots of resinous & piney notes on offer at a surprisingly easy drinking ABV.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep amber with a soft candy red hue. Close to a three finger head caps it off and holds its shape well. Tonnes of blotchy lace is left in its wake.

Aroma: So insanely sweet, sugary and caramelized. All the usual suspects are here in spades – toffee, salted caramel, golden syrup and butterscotch. Truckloads of dark fruit i.e blood orange, ruby grapefruit and overripe watermelon with stewed tropical fruits like papaya and paw paw hanging back a bit. Loving the sharp pine, citrus and herbal hops that slice right through the malts and balance it all out.

Flavour: Probably a little too heavy on the sweet malts in our opinion. Plus they get a little syrupy around the mid palate. There’s still a solid hop presence which counteracts with pine needle, mixed citrus and fresh herbals though. The tropical fruit, dark fruits and papaya/paw paw tails in late and delivers a sweet fruity finish with lingering toffee apple and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 6.5% ABV slots in neatly.

Overall: It’s safe to say we’ve had lots of better red IPA’s. It was a tad too malt-dominant plus the slightly cloying syrupy sweetness wasn’t ideal. Still, the hops did a good job of evening the keel so it’s not all bad. Probably not a return-to beer though.

Ekim Brewing ‘Odin’ Double IPA

Rating:

“A beer for the gods! Odin would give his left eye for a drop like this. Deep in juicy flavours of passionfruit and citrus, our double IPA has been double dry hopped with Citra, Galaxy, Eclipse and Mosaic. Balancing out nicely to hide any sign of the 8.5% ABV it holds for a heavenly finish!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Amber to orange pour with a very subtle haze. It forms a thumb of off white head which retains reasonably well. Healthy lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Jeez for 8.5% ABV it’s extremely well tempered. An alluring mix of butterscotch and caramel hit the olfactories at the same time as the sweet orange citrus, lychee, strawberry and subtle ruby grapefruit. Initially we had fears of a diacetyl infection but we feel the big sweet malt presence is deliberate. Picking up an undercurrent of boiled candy, pineapple, buttery biscuits and lime. Unusual but we’re liking it.

Flavour: Like the aroma it comes on with a fairly distinct malt sweetness which displays tonnes of butterscotch, caramel and toffee. It’s well balanced by a citrusy hop profile though. Getting all sorts of different flavoured rock candy such as pineapple, lime and strawberry. A pithy-ness tails in late as it finishes with a citric bitterness and a hint of artificial sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous but really slick. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 8.5% ABV is very well concealed.

Overall: Look, even if it did have a bit of a diacetyl quality they still pulled off a decent beer. The whole artificially sweet side of it got a little tiresome by the end though. We reckon they need to pull that malt sweetness back a tad and it’d be a ripper of a beer.

Fieldwork ‘Radio Origami’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Perfectly balanced body and sweetness with a bright aroma and flavors of ruby red grapefruit, sparkling pear wine, passionfruit, and nondescript gummy worm.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow with a soft orange hue. It manages a short finely beaded white head which works a gorgeous cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: A little shy at first which is very surprising. The first few scents that cautiously creep out are ripe stonefruits i.e rockmelon, paw paw, mango and canned peach. Picking up pretty forward notes of apricot, kumquat and overripe pineapple too. The brekky juice characters start to open up as it settles with mild herbals like basil, peppery rocket and lemongrass right down deep. Not really detecting much in the way of malt.

Flavour: Oh hello! This is obviously where all the intensity was at! The slightly stewy and fleshy stonefruits are scaled back and heady notes of ruby grapefruit, peppery mango, frosty fruits, peach and nectar-filled passionfruit take the lead. Kinda dank and weedy herbals, earthy apricot and pithy citrus rind then lay down for a flavour-packed finish of peppery spice, grapefruit acidity, mixed citrus and peach… emphasised further by the natural esters from the Vermont ale yeast.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy, a little sticky and gelatinous. Medium body, fine Co2. 6.6% ABV is very well buried.

Overall: From what started a little so-so has finished in classic Fieldwork fashion; brilliance. It has practically everything we want in a NEIPA. Fieldwork doing it with style!

Alvarado Street ‘Juicy Sweeper’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Minesweeper was our first ever brewed IPA and remains a local favorite at our Monterey Brewpub. With Juicy Sweeper we’ve taken the same beer and employed an expressive yeast to bring bright tropical & stone fruit notes along with the usual heavy handed dose of Simcoe & Citra.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super hazy deep pastel yellow with two fingers of frothy white head capping it off. Reasonably good retention with soapy lace clinging to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Definitely a fruit salad quality emanating. It’s throwing out a bit of orange citrus then a good dose of stonefruit, some tropical fruits and a flutter of orchard fruits as well. There’s a really delicate line of pine resin, oily citrus rind and green onion. Maybe a faint whiff of weedy herbals too. Somewhat dry and grainy malt bill – rolled oats, white bread and uncooked rice. Fine aroma.

Flavour: Still displaying the fruit salad but with a few extra tweaks like less citrus but a touch more stonefruit along with sticky nectar fruits like passionfruit and peach. Grapefruit, orange and rind tack on and carry a mild pithy-ness through the mid. Frosty fruits, mild black pepper, doughy malts and grapefruit then punctuate and draw for days.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and creamy, very mild bitterness. Medium bodied, finely carbed. 7.1% ABV is inoffensive.

Overall: This is how can tell Aussie hazy’s have gotten 100x better over recent years. This is a pretty solid drop by a very well respected American brewery but we could put forward a handful of Aussie breweries doing as good if not better hazy’s than this. Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi!

Sunday Road ‘Skinny Dip’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“Skinny dipping = freedom. We’ve taken inspiration from this most basic of pleasures and jumped right into a different technique to fill you up with hoppy goodness. We’ve used a new technique in this West Coast IPA called DIP-hopping that adds an additional stage between the whirlpool and the conventional dry-hop addition. We’ve done this to keep myrcene levels low and let the best parts of hops shine through.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber with full transparency. It forms a finger of off white head which retains well. Brilliant cascading lace is left in its wake.

Aroma: Quite a hefty malt backbone to it…not surprised considering the depth of colour. Mostly sweet and a little toasty with dominant caramel, dark honey, buttery biscuits and toast. The hops cut through the malts beautifully too – sharp pine needle, mildly dank resins, tree sap, old herbs/vines, ruby grapefruit, orange peel and mixed tropical fruits. Getting a subtle candied accent to it as well. Keep it coming!

Flavour: It transitions well and the balance is spot on too. From the start to the finish there’s a constant tussle between the sweet and toasty malts (burnt caramel, toffee, honey on toast, biscuits) and the Pacific Northwest hops (pine, shallot, ruby grapefruit, citrus rind, slightly dank herbals and resins). Nice aggressive bitterness, some warmth and citric acidity to finish.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and smooth then dry and a little soapy in the swallow. Assertive bitterness, medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 7.2% ABV is bang on where it should be.

Overall: Sunday Road are fast becoming one of our go-to breweries for West Coast IPA’s. Blackwoods APA, 6 Foot & Offshore and now this. All of them are perfectly balanced and big on aroma and flavour. Really digging these guys at the moment.

Resin Brewing ‘Mavericks’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“Our Mavericks West Coast IPA was named after California’s big bad break itself. This one is for the pros, and if you can’t surf it, at least you’ll be able to drink it. It’s an old-school dry West Coast IPA with a malty backbone and firm bitterness. Featuring Chinook, Columbus & Centennial hops to give notes of resin, pine and lemon rind.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with almost 100% clarity. It forms a sturdy two finger head which persists. Healthy lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We were expecting a big smack in the face from the hops but we’re getting a lovely caramel malt sweetness instead. It’s proper old school in its hop profile which we love…lots of pine resin, candied lemon, orange peel, tangerine, subtle ruby grapefruit, light florals and herbals. The caramel sweetness not only balances out the hops but it plays a rather big role in the make up of the aroma.

Flavour: It’s been flipped nicely. That caramel malt sweetness takes a step back and let’s the hops take charge. It’s interesting though as the flavour profile of the hops is different to the aroma – we’re getting a lot more herbals and pithy rind alongside hints of boiled candy and pine resin. It really dries up late in the piece and finishes with an extremely bitter and acidic citrus which hangs on.

Mouthfeel: A little prickly, bitter and dry. Mild-medium body and carbonation. 6.5% ABV provides a bit of warmth.

Overall: Come to think of it we may have confused the “malt sweetness” character with a touch of diacetyl. It’s quite subtle though and doesn’t detract from the rest of the beer. The flavour profile lacks a bit of polish as well but in the end it’s not a bad drop.