Category Archives: IPA’s

Colonial IPA – Colonial Brewing Company (AUS)

There was a special ‘Australia Day’ deal at the Gooner IGA, buy a six-pack of Colonial IPA and receive a free glass. Seemed like a pretty good deal, only I like to think of it as buy a glass and get a six-pack of beer free. Free beer always tastes better!

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I love this beer! Caramel sugar brown in colour it has a warm, sweet aroma. So, it looks good, smells good and then you taste it! First up is the sweetness of old fashioned barley sugar, a beautiful warm and nostalgic flavour, subtly balanced with a refreshing bitter finish. My new favourite beer.

And get this. The clever people at Colonial Brewing Co have come up with the innovation we’ve all been waiting for, a pull-ring that turns the can into a drinking vessel you can actually drink from ……..

Genius!
Genius!

What next? Flying cars?

From the future of drinking we go to the future of heads, here’s the Futureheads with Decent Days And Nights…….

 

 

Fixation IPA – Fixation Brewing (AUS)

Fixation IPA - Jim'll fix it for you!
Fixation IPA – Jim’ll fix it for you!

OK, let’s get this straight. When I do a tasting, I taste first, write my notes (or direct to the blog) and then check out the website of the brewery. That way I’m not swayed by what the brewery writes and no one is putting words in my mouth. If I want anything out in my mouth it’s beer.

With Fixation IPA, my notes could have been copied straight off the website:

“FOUR DIFFERENT NEW WORLD HOP VARIETIES HAVE GONE INTO OUR IPA AT ALL STAGES OF THE BREWING PROCESS TO LEND A BIG JUICY, FRUITY AROMA, ROBUST FLAVOUR AND FIRM BITTERNESS. THERE IS A CLEAN PALE MALT BACKBONE WITH A FEW SPECIALTY MALTS FOR GOOD MEASURE, JUST ENOUGH TO CARRY THE RIDICULOUSLY LARGE HOPPING REGIME! THIS BEER IS FOR PEOPLE WITH GREAT TASTE, WHO LOVE A MODERN DAY CLASSIC IPA!”

Actually, that was copied straight off the website.

To be honest, I could only taste 3 different hop varieties but who’s counting?

So what’s to add? Well, only that this little brew has probably got less carbon miles (for me at any rate) than most I taste. It’s brewed just down the road in Byron Bay. At 6.5% it’s has that American IPA punch that we all love and I’m beginning to regret I bought just the one. Believe the hype!

After a few of these I’d be a right Dizzee Rascal. Here’s “Fix Up Look Sharp” (warning: contains bad f$*kin’ language)…….

Robohop Golden IPA – Kaiju! Beer (AUS)

Kaiju!'s Robohop - Serve the public beer!
Kaiju!’s Robohop – Serve the public beer!

This my first venture into Kaiju! territory and possibly my first ‘golden IPA’. I’ll have to take their word for the colour as I drank it straight from the bottle, next time I’ll pour it into a glass as I think this beer needs to breath to bring out the best in it.

I detected stone fruit and tobacco as I sniffed the bottle’s mouth (that sounds a bit wrong doesn’t it?) and I was expecting fruit when I took the first swig. Unfortunately, it was the tobacco flavours that shone through immediately, not something you’d associate with an IPA. A JPS, yes, but not an IPA.

This is where the breathing comes in, once the air has got to the ale, it’s more subtle flavours come through, lychee and rockmelon balanced with a grassy bitterness. This all adds up to a very different but satisfying brew and before you know it, the bottle’s empty.

Would I like another one? Affirmative

Would I recommend Robohop to other carbon-based organisms? Affirmative.

Should Kaiju! develop a merch shop with their label designs on t-shirts? Hell yeah!

….. breaking news!


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/177518622″>New KAIJU! merch for you!</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/kaijubeer”>KAIJU!</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Robohop – Serve the public.

Here’s the Stranglers with their ode to dystopian bread-making, ‘Hey! (The Rise of the Robots)………

 

 

Former Tenant Red IPA – Modus Operandi Brewing (AUS)

First up, apologies for the photo. This looks like I used a Saint Vitus Dance chromatic aberration filter. If only I had a camera.

Worst photo ever!
Worst photo ever!

Here’s what it should look like:

Pic of a can
Former Tenant Red IPA – why the hell did they move out?

 

You’ve got the love this beer’s MO. Marmalade orange in colour, it has an inviting aroma of tropical fruit. Coming in at 7.8%, you’d expect this IPA to slap you round the face a bit but it’s surprisingly soft and complex, with undertones of candied orange and Christmas crystallised fruits. It’s a sure-fire winner and the crew at Modus Operandi on Sydney’s Northern Beaches should hold their head high. I’ll be looking out for more of their MO!

Best drunk by a river.

Here’s the a suitable lo-fi Siouxsie and the Banshees with, ‘Tenant’….

And no, that’s not what you think it is ……..

 

Stash IPA – Independence Brewing Co (People’s Republic of Texas)

When you find yourself at Bergstrom International Airport, Austin, Texas and your flight’s been delayed; and you’ve managed to wangle your way into American Airlines’ Admiral’s Club, you’ve got to use your drink vouchers wisely. I can think of no fairer exchange than a piece of printed paper for a bottle of Stash IPA.

Image of a bottle of Stash IPA
Stash IPA – somehow got past the sniffer dogs at the airport

 

Brewed by Austin’s own Independence Brewing Co, Stash is billed as ‘dank and resinous’. From that description, you might expect it to taste like bong water! Instead, what you get is a punchy American-style IPA packed with taste and aroma. At 7% ABV it’s a heady experience, rolling with citrus, pine sap and exotic resin flavours. Stash IPA comes highly recommended, see your local dealer today and smash one with a buddy!

Here’s Cypress Hill, with ‘I Want To Get High’ …………

 

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord (People’s Republic of Yorkshire)

This fine Yorkshire ale normally retails in Oz for around $8 a bottle, so when I saw it on the special’s table at Desperate Dan’s, going for $2.49, I jumped at the chance ………. 3 times.

Image of TT Landlord IPA in wooden background
Timothy Taylor’s Landlord – ‘aven’t you got no ‘omes to go to?’

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord a classic and much-awarded English IPA, perfect for an evening in front of the newly-installed wood-burning stove. I drank it at room temperature and found it to be a smooth as silk. Antique pine in colour, it has the mild aroma of citrus fruit and suede elbow patches. Without the carbonation characteristic of Australian and American IPA’s, it’s n easy drinking ale, sweet and nutty. Sweet as a nut, you might say. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it on the hand pump next time I’m in the Old Dart.

Quite fittingly, this was the B-side to “Message In A Bottle”, here’s The Police with “Landlord” ………..

Three Boys IPA – Three Boys Brewery (NZ)

Three boys bottle top with stick man logo

 

You know you’re behind with your reviews when the beer you drank on Christmas Eve is being written up on 21st May. This one is worth waiting for though. We spent Christmas in New Zealand with my bestest mates and what a fab time we had. I spent much of that time trying educate their palates with fine craft ales. They soon got the hang of it and we replaced the old ‘6 O’Clock Club’ with the ‘5 O’Clock Tasting’.

Three boys with Three Boys
Three boys with two Three Boys

Deciphering my tasting notes has become easier and it didn’t take me long to work out that this was an IPA and not an iPad. Three Boys Brewery is based in Christchurch and they earn top marks for bottle and label design, I like attention to detail (in other people). Their IPA is golden brown in colour and  has caramel and citrus aromas. Light and zesty, I detected fresh lemons and hints of pine needles. Not overly hopped for an IPA, it’s a refreshing ale ideally suited to early doors drinking. We all wanted another one ………… oh go on, it’s Christmas!

Here’s three boys called ‘The Jam’ with ‘Little Boy Soldiers’ ……….

Hop Devil IPA – Victory Brewing Company (USA)

Based in the aptly-named Downington, Pennsylvania, the Victory Brewing Company have been doing the business since 1996. I chanced upon their ‘Hop Devil’ whilst on a brief visit to Lennox Head. I don’t think any beer deserves to be left on the shelf, so I grabbed the last bottle. After drinking it, I wished there had been a six-pack.

Image of a bottle of 'Hop Devil IPA on a bunch of dead flowers ..... it's arty
Hop Devil IPA – it’s helllish good!

 

I expect a bit of bite from an American IPA and Hop Devil doesn’t disappoint. The aroma is yeasty and there’s deep, rich hop flavours. I taste hints of blackcurrant and Navel Orange rind. Brewed using whole hop flowers and not pellets the result is complex and rewarding. The devil is in the detail.

I was going to include a pun about Beelzebubbles …….. but decided against it.

Here’s The Cult with ‘Li’l Devil’ ……………….

Hopwired IPA – 8 Wired Brewery (NZ)

This was my Christmas Eve beer, and what a beauty it was! I had a little help reviewing this one in the form of two old friends, with years of beer-drinking experience.

Hopwired IPA - gets your motor running
Hopwired IPA – gets your motor running

 

Hopwired IPA is superbly complex ale that pours a beautifully clear brandy gold. The aroma is rich and varied, we noted passionfruit, fresh papaya and tinned tangerines! The boys picked up on the alcohol content (it’s a hefty 7.3%) which only added to the song, bitter finish, leaving your palate tingling with undertones of fresh lime and pine needles. A great American-style IPA for those that like their ales like a drunk Marine …….. strong and punchy.

If we had bought more, I’d have left one out for Santa. I’ll be putting some on my list for next Christmas.

My timing might not be the greatest, but here’s U2, with “I Believe In Father Christmas” …………

Sierra Nevada – Harvest – Southern Hemisphere Fresh Hop IPA (USA)

Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Fresh Hop IPA turns the tables on the current Southern Hemisphere trend. Whilst, increasingly, Southern Hemisphere breweries try to emulate  the hop-packed flavours of American-style IPA’s, this American IPA uses fresh New Zealand grown hops to create a more smooth yet complex brew.

 

Sierra Nevada Harvest - Southern Hemisphere Fresh Hop IPA ..... it's a bit of a mouthful!
Sierra Nevada Harvest – Southern Hemisphere Fresh Hop IPA ….. it’s a bit of a mouthful!

 

I’m a fan of the the Sierra Nevada brewery, its beers are full of taste and character and this member of its Harvest series is no different. Colour-wise it reminds me of my last beer, the Young’s Special London Ale, a beautiful orangey-brown. The aroma is fresh and floral as you’d expect with an IPA. The surprise comes with the taste. Unlike the beefed-up IPA’s, like Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo, this one is more subtle. The taste is hard to put your finger on, but the blend of Southern Cross, Pacifica, and Motueka hops makes for a fresh and exciting brew. There’s a characteristic bitter citrus finish, just enough to bring you back for more ….. but beware, weighing in at 6.7%, it’s not beer for guzzling ……. unless you like that kind of thing!

 

Here’s another American pale, Neil Young, with ‘Harvest Moon’ …….