Category Archives: IPA’s

Bridge Road X Garage Project ‘Dark Harvest’ Black IPA

Rating:

“This collaboration with Garage Project was brewed especially for Bridge Road’s annual harvest festival, The High Country Hop. It’s a black IPA, bursting with the unique flavours of freshly harvested local hops from HPA’s Rostrevor Hop Garden. The 2022 vintage uses fresh Galaxy hop cones, picked and added to the beer within 6 hours.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: About the darkest shade of brown one could imagine. Topped off with a short tan head which slowly disperses. There’s decent lace work considering the diminishing head.

Aroma: Oooh yeah the roast emanating off it is pretty direct. This is what we love the most about black IPA’s – the second the charred malt and smoky/burnt wood/ash component hits the olfactory’s the sharp and clean pine needle, oily citrus rind and fresh green tea pulls it right back. The combination of it all reminds us of a block of herb-infused chocolate. Very alluring!

Flavour: Atypically bland and indistinct for a Collab between two Antipodean heavyweights. The sharp separation of malt and hops displayed on the nose has been totally blurred on the palate. All that’s left is a limp roasted malt profile and a tired hop presence which when combined is pretty pedestrian. It almost tastes watered down. What the hell?!

Mouthfeel: It holds up ok. Pretty smooth and palate-friendly texture, flattish Co2. A well concealed 6.6% ABV.

Overall: We can’t work out what’s happened here. A big, punchy aroma then a dead and lifeless palate. It’s still pretty fresh so age isn’t an issue. We’re stumped.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD Vol.9’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“An All-American theme for the hop bill in the latest incarnation of our NEed IPA series. Featuring Hops from Yakima Chief in the Yakima Valley of the Pacific North West. It’s a Hopped-up and soft mellow Hazy that belies it’s 7% ABV. HOP talk – The combo of Cryo-Pop and a new experimental variety HBC-630 bring red fruit and candy vibes. Another un-missable IPA in this series!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy slightly sandy golden pour and a neat two finger crown nestled on top. Good head retention and healthy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Heady tropical and stonefruit notes initially. Most notable are mango, peach, rockmelon, paw paw/papaya and guava. Still a good presence of orange citrus to be found, resinous pine and dank herbals getting a look in as well. The malt bill seemingly dominated by the wheat and rolled oats… displaying those hallmark grainy, crusty bread and cereal-esque qualities. Not bad thus far.

Flavour: Not a whole lot of variation from the nose. A sweet and tropical combination of stonefruits, citrus and melon followed by a slowly developing pine and herbal accent midway. Again, not a whole lot changes but it does roll in to the smooth and fruity finish with ease. Pulling up a bit short on the back end though.

Mouthfeel: Light and fluffy, well aerated and finely carbed. Medium body, nicely positioned 7% ABV.

Overall: A little underwhelming to be frank. We can’t even be certain that the experimental hop featured here had any impact. The Cryo-pop blend did all the work…and that’s where the issue lies for us we think. We just don’t see what all the fuss is about with Cryo-pop. Middle of the road at best.

Pure Project ‘Pure West’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“We are celebrating our first year of sourcing hand selected hops by releasing our first core Unfiltered West Coast IPA. Hand selection allows us to focus on what we think are the finest hops from each years’ harvest, and we will continue to evolve the hop varieties in Pure West with the freshest and most flavorful hops we can find. This inaugural brew showcases hand-selected Mosaic, Simcoe, and Nelson hops to provide an intense aroma of pineapple with a subtle dankness. Sweet floral notes soften on the palate while leading to a solid bitter finish.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Straw golden complexion and a fluffy three finger head forming on top. It holds well and weaves a magnificent lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Exceptionally fresh, clean and piney. Dead set we don’t think they could have chosen a better hop combination; Mosaic, Simcoe and Nelson. All three not only feature but shine…displaying their best qualities i.e pineapple, mango, herbal spice, zesty citrus, pine/resin, unripened stonefruits, gooseberry, white grapes and evergreen. Can’t wait to taste this.

Flavour: OK it’s not really what we had anticipated. It’s a lot lighter with less malt sweetness than we come to expect from WC IPA’s. It explains the light colour too. Anywho, take nothing away from the beautifully executed hop bill which, like the aroma, exhibits all the best attributes of each hop. Understandably the light cracker malt profile is off in the distance but it does fit in to the overall laid back nature of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, clean and crisp. Mild-moderate body, softly carbonated. The 6.5% ABV is nicely positioned.

Overall: A very pleasant WC IPA. Very fresh, green and remarkably light while still offering the typical bitterness and playful aggression that comes with the style.

Bottle Logic ‘Fuzzy Logic’ Peach Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Originally brewed as a feature beer for Smokejumpers Grill at Disney California Adventure, this beer captures California’s juicy agricultural history. This Hazy IPA was built on a base of Pure Idaho, White Wheat, Dextra Pils, Unmalted Wheat, and Flaked Oat malts. It was hopped with Mosaic and El Dorado hops, and fermented with white and yellow peaches!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Kinda light straw golden complexion with a soft orange tint. They can barely call this a Hazy coz there really isn’t much haze happening. Nice and fluffy two finger head which retained and laced well.

Aroma: We knew the peach component was going to be huge as we were copping wafts as the glass sat idle on the table. Seriously you’d need your head read if you don’t like peach…the unique floral, nectar-filled sweetness emanating off this is unbelievably alluring. Just a flutter of tartness, apricot delight, nectarine and ripe mango to round it all out.

Flavour: The danger in brewing with such flavoursome fruits is there’s very little forgiveness so there’s a very fine line between good and bad.. and obviously with BL being the maestro’s they are they have nailed it. Again that little lick of tartness plus a very subtle bitterness counters the sugary, nectary sweetness perfectly. Although it’s completely one dimensional it’s still absolutely satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, medium bodied. Co2 is tight and fine. The 7.1% ABV is very well hidden.

Overall: If this were any closer to a peach flavoured soft drink it would be skull-able. So on point for a fruited IPA. Magnificent stuff.

Finback ‘Randomly Assembled’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“IPA dry hopped with Idaho 7, Simcoe, Zappa and Cascade.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super murky pastel yellow body with a thick and creamy two finger head. Good retention and healthy lace left in its wake.

Aroma: Pretty classic NEIPA features here; dominated by the sweet and slightly pithy orange citrus, pink grapefruit and peach. Some resinous qualities which work nicely in to the juicy Frosty Fruits and subtle peppery spice. As it settles more of the stonefruits come through as well. Nice and creamy malt base…oats, cereal grains and rice, that sorta thing. Solid.

Flavour: The first thing we notice is the impeccable balance. And the overall smoothness on it as well. Wow. Distinct orange citrus again on the palate. A touch more pithy-ness as opposed to the aroma…spurred on by the hop bitterness we’re sure. A flutter of stonefruits and piney resin, pepper and light florals/herbals lead into a creamy finish with a hint of dryness developing on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk, creamy and super palate-friendly. Medium body, tight Co2 and the 7.5% ABV is incredibly well hidden.

Overall: This was our first crack at this Queens brewery. We must admit we bought this purely out of hype around the brewery and the good news is it has lived up to it. It’s a quality NEIPA which does all the right things.

Pure Project ‘Force Of Nature’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“To kick off this year’s first Quarterly Core IPA – the third in our series – we celebrate the return of a beer that we rightfully named Force of Nature. This Murky IPA sports a murky yellow-gold color, a fluffy white head, and features a hop trio including Nelson Sauvin from Freestyle Hops in New Zealand, hand-selected Citra, and Amarillo. Citrusy, tropical, and pine notes flow from the glass to your senses, finishing with just a touch of bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours a super hazy off yellow hue with a big and frothy three finger head. Excellent retention and oodles of lace clinging to the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Super fruity and super resinous. Those classic luscious evergreen qualities so synonymous with Nelson Sauvin also shine through with vigour. Fairly big juicy notes on it too…lots of nectar-filled fruits like peach, nectarine and mango and also some pithy citrus i.e grapefruit, orange/rind. Super smooth and creamy oat-filled malt bill. Oohh baby.

Flavour: A nice tight bitterness kicks off then the pithy orange rind and grapefruit follows on. Definitely tasting the subtle green and vinous notes from the NS. Juicy stonefruits and a faint touch of Frosty Fruits/juice concentrate developing late then rounding off on a slightly resinous and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Really smooth and creamy even though there’s a discernible bitterness. Finely carbed, mild-medium body. 6.5% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We’ve been big fans of this brewery ever since we visited them in San Diego a few years back. It’s awesome to see their beers on Aussie shelves too. Solid drop.

Shapeshifter ‘Dream Team’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Team work makes the dream work! This hazy IPA is pale straw in colour with ultra smooth coconut pine-lime vibes. The aroma is heavy with stonefruit and vanilla notes An ode to our dynamic duo of brewers, Carla & Jez.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Light straw golden pour with a decent haze. It forms a fat thumb of rocky white head which maintains its shape. Good lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells mostly fruity (shock horror we know!). Mixed citrus and tropicals i.e juicy mandarin, sweet orange, zesty rind, tangerine, unripened pineapple, green mango and a hint of pink grapefruit. Lots of nuanced hop characters like dried herbs, pine needles, coconut, mild resins and pepper which are nicely countered by the kinda creamy and grainy malts. It’s setting up nicely.

Flavour: Pretty much follows on from the nose with its distinct orange citrus sweetness (tangerine, orange, mandarin, rind). Just a subtle touch of the tropical and stonefruits. Same with the herbals, pine and resins which make way for dry and grainy oats, peppery spice and a lick of toasted coconut in the smooth and relatively dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, soft and effortless over the tongue. Finely carbed, mild-moderate body. The 6.5% ABV is neatly tucked away.

Overall: We’ve been trying to track down these guys’ beers for months now and we’re glad to say that we’ve been rewarded for our efforts. It’s a respectable hazy. Certainly a good way to kick off proceedings.

Bottle Logic ‘Double Actuator’ Double IPA

Rating:

“In this experiment, we pushed the boundaries of a well-balanced, high gravity, highly hopped IPA, while increasing drink-ability. This Double IPA is brewed and generously dry-hopped with Mosiac hops. You’ll find this ale to have a super floral nose, smooth bitterness, with hints of blueberries, mango, and papaya.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Very attractive golden orange pour with a thick-set and lasting two finger crown. The lacing it leaves behind is incredibly intricate.

Aroma: Wow, everything about this so far screams old school West Coast IPA. From the immensely sweet and tropical hop profile to the chewy and biscuity malt bill and everything in between. By everything in between we mean the big helpings of pine and zesty citrus/rind, candied lemon, pineapple, guava, melon, florals, sappy resins, peppery spice and weedy herbals. Diggin it big time.

Flavour: Really sticking to this old school vibe it has going on. The only marked difference between the aroma and flavour is a slightly more prominent malt sweetness here. Other than that it’s a straight up mirror image of the nose with its in-your-face fruity hop profile, pine/resins, zest and pith, spice, ganja and a nice big finish with a bit of sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Kinda creamy upfront then the bitterness and ABV (8.5% ABV) kicks off post swallow. Moderate body and the Co2 has been reined in a little.

Overall: A seriously good old school West Coast IPA. The only criticism we have is the slight syrupy character it gathers as it warms up. Although it’s pretty standard for the style so no points lost on this occasion. Solid drop.

Dangerous Ales ‘Fightin With Lightnin’ IPA

Rating:

“If you like Pina Colada’s, then skip the rain and go straight for the Lightning. Rich pineapple, coconut and papaya aromas welcome you as your mouth is filled with a tropical fruit hurricane, the big body and low bitterness lets this fruity fantasy ride on like a Caribbean cruise that never ends.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Slightly hazy pale golden hue with an enormous four finger head setting up on top. It takes an age to recede and leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: The head is taking that long to reduce that we’re forced to take a few whiffs from the can! First impressions are good…seems to be more of a “no coast” IPA i.e displaying hints of East Coast juicy-ness and but also some West Coast citrus and pine. Heady notes of candied lemon, unripened pineapple, melon, coconut, tangerine and grassy herbals. Kinda dry malt bill; oats, wheat, that sort of thing. Decent.

Flavour: Massive fruit salad characters like lemon, orange, tangerine, paw paw/papaya, pineapple, guava and subtle blueberry. Much more nuanced spice and herbal accents, wheat grains, coconut, rolled oats and semi sweet honey finishing with a light hop bitterness, citrus fruits and herbals. Good duration on the back end too.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and creamy. Just a little bit of grip on the way down…we dig it though. Lively Co2, mild-medium body. The 6.9% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We’ve had eyes on this mob for a while but it’s taken us until now to have a crack. It’s got plenty of spunk, a good balance and some depth. We likey.

Banks X Mountain Culture ‘Where Dreams Go To Die’ NEIPA

Rating:

“Originally brewed by Banks Brewing, we have rebrewed this from our own brewery and here is the OG description. “DDH DIPA collab with our buds from Mountain Culture. When you’re brewing with an ultra celebrity like DJ you better give the people what they want. This be where dreams go to die.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Certainly looks the goods. Deep pastel orange and turbid AF! It forms an egg shaped two and a bit finger head which retains well. Tonnes of soapy lace clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Ooohhh very nice. We can’t find any specs on the hop profile anywhere but it smells like it includes a Kiwi hop or two. It’s super resinous and green but it’s also jam packed with tropical fruits like mango, passionfruit, peach and nectarine. It also displays a dry peppery spice, slightly dank herbals/weed, creamy oats, tangy orange citrus and a flutter of frosty fruits. Very solid aroma.

Flavour: It never ceases to amaze us just how smooth a well brewed NEIPA can be. It’s literally like breakfast juice upfront with a nice soft line of resin and weedy herbals cutting through. The nectar-filled fruits i.e passionfruit, peach, nectarine etc jump on board mid-palate and then the creamy oats, peppery spice and stonefruits finish it all off in style.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and creamy. Medium bodied and finely carbonated. Wow the 8% ABV is really well concealed.

Overall: Another exemplary interpretation here. We only just said we don’t review beer by MC, Range or Banks but here we are again! 😂 Hey, when it reads MC X Banks one surely has to partake. Excellent drop.

Mountain Culture X Range ‘Little Bit Of This, Little Bit Of That’ Oat Cream IPA

Rating:

“When it came to brewing this NEIPA with our mates at Range, you would think the recipe was months in the making but it was more like we all took a stroll down to the cool room and grabbed a little bit of this hop and a little bit of that hop… The result is a mammoth Oat Cream IPA packed full juicy tropical flavours.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Really good looking pour – turbid sandy yellow with a well maintained two finger head. Excellent lace work trails it down.

Aroma: Classic Mountain Culture vibes. Juicy AF, super sweet and tropical but with a nice line of zesty lime and resin. It also has that dry chalky character which we consider a crucial quality in top shelf NEIPA’s. Other mixed fruits like passionfruit, grapefruit and apricot. Some light herbals and the fluffy and creamy oats to round it out. Brilliant aroma.

Flavour: Pretty much follows on from the nose but with a bit more emphasis on the fleshy stonefruits. We’re getting mango initially then ripe papaya/paw paw early on in the mid. The slightest hint of peppery spice creeping through as well. The herbals, zesty citrus and resinous notes form late and that creamy and grainy oat profile is dependably there for balance and structure.

Mouthfeel: Pillowy, fluffy and smooth as silk….like beer clouds. Medium bodied, Co2 is delicate and fine. 7.4% ABV, well what can we say? It’s tucked away beautifully.

Overall: We tend to stay away from reviewing anything from MC or Range as they release about 500 beers a week but considering 2 of the benchmark Aussie NEIPA brewers collaborated we thought we’d break the mould. Just this once! Exceptional drop, as expected.

Five Barrel ‘Gnome Project’ NZ IPA

Rating:

“First and foremost, New Zealand IPAs are made at least, in part with New Zealand hops. They are similar to American west coast IPAs although where they differ is they are usually more balanced than American IPAs and the bitterness is usually less pronounced. They are often lighter in colour with a good malt body that balances out the hops. The New Zealand hops give NZ IPAs a more tropical note with floral, fruity, stonefruit, white grape and sulphur/Diesel like aromas. Best drunk fresh!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Nice bold amber pour with a small amount of suspended sediment floating around. Good head formation, swelling to two fingers before gradually retracting. Healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: NZ IPA’s would have to be one of our favourite sub genres. There’s just something so uniquely fresh and green about the hops grown over the ditch. We pick up heady scents of zesty lime/juice, sappy resin, yellow grapefruit, white grapes, pine forest and that guava/lychee-esque sweetness we find in some Sauvignon Blanc. Well balanced toasty and honey malt profile as well.

Flavour: Very resinous…plus hints of catty-ness show up a bit. Getting the semi sweet honey malts more than we were on the nose. Fresh green herbs, zesty lime, white grapes and yellow grapefruit developing midway then setting up for a slightly bitter, resinous and herbaceous finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth and oily upfront then drying out post swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 6.8% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: The basic summary is it’s good but it’s not great. Nothing really stands out other than the feature NZ hops. Not bad.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD #8’ NZ DDH IPA

Rating:

“NEeD 8 brings you a medley of hops from over the ditch, all stitched together in a hazy pillow. This latest release in our bi-monthly series uses Verdant IPA yeast, bringing its own stone fruit vibes that meld seamlessly with our NZ hop selection of Moutere, Pacifica and Wakatu.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Somewhat light rusted amber with a sturdy two finger head which holds together nicely. An absolute smattering of lace is left on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: This is pretty cool because they’re three different hops which we’re largely unfamiliar with. Only very mild classic Kiwi tones to them – evergreen/lush pine forest, lime zest and gooseberry. What we’re getting a lot of are ripe tropical fruits, spicy orange/mandarin, passionfruit, light florals, lemongrass and Angostura bitters. Really interesting make up. Diggin it thus far.

Flavour: It comes on ultra smooth with the ripe tropical fruits out in front. Early on in the mid the kinda sharp-ish pine and zesty citrus/grapefruit jumps on board. It hits a real pithy note – almost West Coast in its delivery – then tapers off into a citrusy, spicy and slightly catty finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Smooth initially then quite brash and abrasive post swallow. Dry, chalky texture with moderate Co2. The 6.8% ABV comes through intermittently.

Overall: A little undecided in the end. Loved the aroma and the initial few sips but about half way through the bitterness and gnarly finish became a little unpleasant. Not a bad drop at all, just a little rough around the edges.

Aether ‘Black As Your Heart’ Black IPA

Rating:

“Black As Your Heart Black IPA was Aether’s First winter seasonal release, this beer has fast become a hit. With a deliciously malty and resinous aroma, this beer delivers a beautiful balance between hops and malt. All ipa on the palate, but all black ale on the finish with no hint of its hearty ABV.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Deep cola pour with a light gradient at the foot of the glass. It constructs a healthy three finger head which holds its shape. Lots of thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Definitely not short on character and with a hop bill like this (Citra, Centennial, Simcoe & Mosaic) there’s little wonder why! It’s throwing out heady citrus i.e grapefruit, candied lime and rind, pine, earthy herbals/florals, some light tropical fruits and peppery spice. Enter the malts – Milk chocolate, delicate coffee, toast, ash and toffee. Our only criticism at this point would be that they could be offering a bit more bottom end but really, splitting hairs.

Flavour: They’ve struck a good balance here. It kicks off with a nice little marriage of hop and roasted malt bitterness which folds into the coffee and bitter chocolate. The piney, citrusy and floral hops are dependably there to keep it all in check as well. Not until the end do the pithy hops and roasted malt kick into gear and when they do they bed down on the palate for days.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth and creamy…the bitterness really develops late. Medium body, finely carbed. The 6.7% ABV was kept at bay pretty well.

Overall: Look, it’s a good drop but we’re not totally blown away. As we said we’d love to get a bit more grunt out of the malt bill and just a tad more aggression from the beer as a whole. Not bad though.

Sunday Road ‘Beaneath The Palms’ Mango Oat Cream IPA

Rating:

You’ve been Amongst the Clouds, you’ve let the Distant Sun beam down on you; now let this tropical fruit storm transport you to faraway places beneath the palms. We have brewed a big hazy and packed it with ripe, juicy Australian mangoes, BRU-1, HS Sitiva hops, and a generous helping of rolled oats to create this smooth, full bodied tropical number. Beneath the Palms will leave you thinking a coconut fell on your head and knocked you into dreamland.

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid deep pastel orange with a pastel yellow gradient. It forms two fingers of rocky off white head which slowly peels off and leaves healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Chock-full of sweet and fleshy mango puree but it also displays pretty distinct notes of peach and apricot as well. More subtle wafts of coconut cream, rolled oats, pineapple, lime juice and black pepper filling it out nicely. Mango is such an unforgiving fruit too so it’s good to see such a sharp balance here. Diggin it so far.

Flavour: Wooww that is insanely smooth! We get heady mango upfront but there’s a pronounced dryness to it which goes a long way in keeping the sweetness in check. Peppery spice, earthy apricot, dried oats and toasted coconut before a pithy citrus takes hold and finishes rather dry and bitter but with lingering mango sweetness on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and creamy with a bit of warmth in the tail (6.4% ABV). Medium body. Finely carbed.

Overall: This mob just go from strength to strength. Who would have thought… from the days of the humble old Enigma Ale to now…that they’d be pumping out belter after belter. Really enjoying the progression of this brewery. Solid offering.

El Segundo X Riip ‘No Comply’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“When two diehard West Coast IPA lovin’ breweries get together, you brew a killer West Coast IPA that’s as clear as a summer sky! Our Beer Bros. Riip have been killin’ it and we are pumped to brew this IPA that goes against what people tell us is a dying breed. Much like the Hop Monster on the label, drawn by local surf artist Damian Fulton, we will stay true to ourselves and keep on brewin’ what we love most.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: A lot lighter in colour than anticipated. It pours almost like a Saison – bright gold with a mild haze and a fluffy two finger head which maintains its shape. Healthy lace sticks to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: First thoughts are very underwhelming. It seems way too muted for a sub 7% West Coast IPA. Very subdued hints of herbal spice, dried lemongrass, yellow grapefruit, wood chips, lemon verbena, pine needle and ganja. Putting it’s lack of intensity aside the upside is that it does have the hallmark aromas of a classic WC IPA. It could just do with a lot more oomph.

Flavour: There is a slight step up here, which was crucial really. It kicks off with an assertive hop bitterness followed by a delicate assortment of citrus, slightly pithy rind, pine needle and a dry woody malt profile. It all gets a little muddled through the mid then again, lands on a rather underwhelming finish which does draw out with nice hints of herbals, citrus and woody notes.

Mouthfeel: A little flat and soapy with a hearty bitterness post swallow. Moderate body. 6.8% ABV is nicely poised.

Overall: We can’t work out what the go is here. It pours light AF with a bit of haze, it’s got a withdrawn aroma, a half decent flavour profile and an average mouthfeel?! Packaged 26/7/21 so it’s not all that old. It’s just so clunky and confusing. Not impressed.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD #7’ Cryo Hazy IPA

Rating:

“The latest instalment of our bi-monthly IPA series is here and
sees us exploring the possibilities and influence of Cryo hops.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Golden orange complexion with a moderate haze. It forms two fingers of foamy off white head which gradually peels off. Nice wavy lace is strewn down the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: There has certainly been some gimmicky hop techniques and acronyms in recent years but we must admit we’re really enjoying this cutting edge cryo revolution. We’ll take the Ekuanot hops as an example. Standard Ekuanot displays tonnes of citrus, melon, herbs and peppery spice (which is on show quite nicely here) but the cryo version adds this certain intense resin and sharp pine quality which is really cool!

Flavour: Interesting. That impact that the cryo has which we were just talking about takes a back seat and lets the classic stonefruits, melon, citrus/rind and tropical fruit do its thing initially. Then it kicks into 5th gear midway with its oily, resinous and pure lupulin characters. Resin, sap and pine take over and surge into the sharp but well tempered and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and creamy. A touch of bitterness tails in late. Medium body, finely carbonated and the 6.5% ABV is well hidden.

Overall: One of the better Hazy’s to come out of this brewery. We’ve been critical of their Hazy’s in the past (coz let’s be honest BR are much better known for their quality West Coast IPA’s) so it’s good to see them come to the table with this one. Decent.

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.