From the West Coast hopbombs that emerged in the ‘90s to the New England-style Hazies that have dominated the past several years, IPAs have helped bring craft beer into the mainstream. According to the Brewers Association, they are so popular that they make up between 24 and 33 percent of all craft beer! Now a new kind of IPA is on the rise, and it’s poised to start another chapter in the world of hop-forward brewing.
Meet the Cold IPA. While not yet widely available — or officially recognized by the Brewers Association — the style has already appeared multiple times this year on Tavour. This is fitting, as the app-based craft beer retailer is known for featuring obscure styles, limited batches, and other hard-to-find brews people can’t get at local stores. In mid-November, the app will carry a fresh batch of Original Cold IPA from Wayfinder Beer, the brewery credited with introducing the style.
“We were shooting to make something to contrast the NEIPA,” says brewmaster Kevin Davey. He and his team characterize the Cold IPA as having “a strong punch of aromatic hop intensity and high bitterness, but finishes crisp and clean leaving the drinker craving another sip.” Whereas most IPAs use an American Ale yeast for a malty base that plays well with hop fruit notes, the new style calls for a lighter, cleaner base.
To make the initial beer, the Oregon brewers opted for Lager yeast. Lager yeast is traditionally fermented cold — hence the name “Cold IPA.” However, the brewers used warmer temperatures to ferment it more quickly and keep the yeast’s fruity esters low. The result? A crystal-clean canvas for the hops to shine through.
Three years after their first foray into the style, Wayfinder’s creation has spurred other brewers to try their own hand at Cold IPAs. And while some may compare the Cold IPA to the more established India Pale Lager, recent iterations on Tavour show otherwise.
“The intention behind Cold IPA is to streamline some of the ‘clunkiness’ behind IPL,” says Second Sin head brewer and co-founder Jake Howell, whose White Eyed Lightning Guy appeared on the app in early October. “There are some great IPLs out there, but many of them are just IPAs brewed with Lager yeast, rather than a Lager built from the ground up to accept that level of hopping.”
According to Howell, the Cold IPA “is more about subtraction — stripping away everything that can stand in the way of pure hop expression.” For their rendition, Second Sin used a neutral grain bill of American Pilsner malt and rice, then started with cold Lager fermentation and progressed to warm. Like Wayfinder’s recipe, the higher temp suppressed the yeast’s stronger character and created a blank canvas for “unadulterated hop flavor and aroma.”
Interestingly, the style isn’t limited to just Lager yeast. Tavour also recently featured Ice Köld from Colorado’s New Image Brewing, who warm fermented Kolsch yeast with rice to achieve a crisp body. Then they hopped it with Nelson and Galaxy for flavor.
According to the brewers, “the result is a beautiful fusion of a crisp, clean Lager-like profile that still boasts a bright floral hoppy profile.” The New Image team also cited Wayfinder Beer as their inspiration.
For curious tasters, Wayfinder is bringing back their initial recipe (aptly titled Original Cold IPA) due to popular demand. Non-local craft fans will be able to find the beer on Tavour in November.
Even so, the Cold IPA is still so new, the Brewers Association doesn’t yet list it as a style. This isn’t surprising considering the “Juicy or Hazy” IPA category wasn’t added until 2018, after years of popularity.
But the Cold IPA’s rise may spike sooner rather than later — Davey says brewers from Poland, Japan, Spain and even Florida have already reached out to him about making it.
Howell may know why. “Overall I think today’s beer drinker wants variety above all else,” he says. “So Cold IPA is definitely a nice change of pace.”
Harpoon debuts third collaboration with WhistlePig Whiskey
Following the release of two successful barrel-aged collaborations across just as many years, Harpoon Brewery is announcing its third collaboration with WhistlePig Whiskey: Harpoon Green Mountain Ryed— a hop-forward take on a barrel-aged beer.
This “blended” New England Rye IPA marries a barrel-aged Imperial Rye Ale with a New England Rye IPA, both brewed with WhistlePig’s own estate-grown Rye. “Barrel-Aged IPAs” can be a tough concept to nail. While time is a friend of barrel-aged beers thanks to greater transfer of flavor from the wood, it is the enemy of IPAs as aging hop oils break down and lose potency. To remedy the situation and create a perfectly balanced liquid, Harpoon elected to brew two base beers and blend them together.
“The history of blending barrel-aged beers goes back centuries, but we’ve never heard of a beer like this that balances barrel and hops so perfectly,” said Dan Kenary, CEO and co-founder of Harpoon Brewery. “While working with WhistlePig on this latest release, we wanted to challenge ourselves to create a barrel-aged beer that still drank like a New England IPA. The result is both flavorful and complex – and hopefully gives hop fans and whiskey drinkers something to enjoy together this holiday season.”
To create this unique brew, a high-gravity Rye Ale was aged in freshly emptied WhistlePig PiggyBack 100% Rye barrels for 12 weeks, capturing the true essence of whiskey made from 100% Rye. Harpoon then brewed a fresh, heavily dry-hopped New England Rye IPA featuring some classic citrus-heavy hops. After the barrels were emptied, the two were blended into one beer in a 35 aged/65 fresh ratio. The resulting 7% ABV hazy IPA achieves the best of both worlds with super refreshing citrus and tropical fruit notes accompanying that warming, comforting rye whiskey spice.
“We had worked with Harpoon to craft barrel-aged beers in the past, but it was a unique challenge to pick the right barrel for something like a hazy IPA. Our PiggyBack 100% Rye Whiskey is made with a mashbill of 100% Rye and has these wonderful notes of both citrus and spice that seemed like a great pairing for tropical or citrusy hops. We couldn’t be happier with Green Mountain Ryed – it’s a one-of-a-kind take on a barrel-aged beer that managed to not sacrifice any of the fresh hopped flavor of the IPA while gently layering in the spice and oak of 100% Rye Whiskey,” said Meghan Ireland, Whiskey Blender at WhistlePig.
Ballast Point’s seasonal Scottish pumpkin ale
The temps have dipped below 70° in Southern California, which means it is time for Ballast Point’s seasonal Scottish Ale, Pumpkin Down. The base of this brew is Ballast Point’s award-winning Piper Down Scottish Ale. The caramel and toffee maltiness of Piper Down is the perfect backdrop for a boatload of roasted pumpkin, adding character to the base Scottish Ale. Just before packaging, the brewers add a subtle amount of spice to complement, but not overwhelm, the earthy flavor. Pumpkin Down pours a deep amber and leaves hints of pumpkin and allspice on the nose. It’s the perfect gateway for those who question whether to pumpkin or not to pumpkin.
The limited release will be available beginning today in 6-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at all Ballast Point tasting rooms (San Diego, Anaheim, Long Beach) and Home Brew Mart as well as available to purchase online for delivery throughout California, while supplies last.
Second Self’s Lemon Pepper Wet Sour to benefit Careers of Tomorrow
Second Self Beer Co. – the Atlanta craft beverage incubator behind award-winning beers and brands like Rudi’s Hard Seltzer and CBD-infused sparkling water Cirrus – announces a new beer in collaboration with Atlanta Influences Everything – Lemon Pepper Wet Sour (4.7% ABV). The Berliner Weisse is made with black pepper, white pepper, vanilla, lemon, meyer lemon puree & pineapple. This novel, flavor-packed beer will soft launch on Halloween – Sunday, October 31 – during Second Self’s Halloween Block Party and will then be available on draft at the brewery’s Westside taproom (1317 Logan Circle Northwest).
The standout brew is crafted with sweet, sour and citrusy flavors with a slightly peppery finish, and pairings include all things Atlanta. Fifty percent of all profit will benefit Atlanta Influences Everything’s Careers of Tomorrow Program, which aims to encourage young people in the Atlanta Public School System to explore the new careers emerging from the growth of the internet and social media.
“This bold beer is something really out-of-the-box and special for Second Self,” said Cofounder Jason Santamaria. “We are so excited to partner with such a great organization and give our customers something new and unique to Atlanta.”
3 Daughters Brewing celebrates return of Bourbon Barrel-aged Porter
Celebrating their annual limited-release holiday brew, 3 Daughters Brewing announced the return of its Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter, available in six packs at participating retailers and in the 3 Daughters Brewing Tasting Room beginning next week. The once-a-year beer is aged in St. Petersburg Distillery whiskey barrels, lending extra depth and flavor to the porter’s profile. Notes of dark fruit and roasted coffee from the beer’s mash bill are balanced with hints of oak, vanilla and bourbon from the American oak whiskey barrels. The collaboration of St. Pete’s biggest brewery and biggest distillery make for a truly Floridian craft beer.
To celebrate the return of the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter, 3 Daughters will host a release party on Tuesday, November 9th in their Tasting Room, featuring free tastings, giveaways, live music and food specials. The release party is free to attend. The Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter is an American-style porter with a full body and silky mouth-feel. Made to warm from within during the cooler winter months, it has an ABV of 9.5% and checks in at 23 IBUs.
3 Daughters describes the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter: “Our rich, dark and decadent porter gets a boozy kick from being aged in St. Petersburg Distillery Whiskey Barrels. The whiskey shines through alongside notes of coffee and dark fruit, making for a smooth and strong brew, perfect for the cooler time of year.”