Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beer Review: Brooklyn Brew Shop's Everyday IPA

I don't do beer reviews. I'm making an exception for a few reasons. This guy that I have given a few of my not-quite home brews has returned the favour and has given me one of these beer kit beers. The kit comes from Brooklyn Brew Shop and it published a book that I am thinking of using for my first set of real homebrew from scratch. So, armed with his Christmas gift, he has spent the last four weeks waiting anxiously for this beer. He seems to think I have good beer. Guess he hasn't seen the post on doctoring beers with smoked salt, citric acid or the making vinegar out of beer.

I'll make you wait a few more seconds while I tell you why I don't do beer reviews. The first reason is that my tastes can be mercurial, in terms of beer. I can tell if it is good but not always if I like it. Also, I am not sure what breaking the beer down by the Appearance, Smell, Taste and Mouthfeel do for me. It doesn't give me the info that I need to decide if I want that beer again.

There are some standard descriptors that can be used but there is still a value judgement to be made about whether this style should have a lacy head or whether the citrus on the nose should match the citrus on the taste. Frankly, when I write a review, it would never be looked at again by me. I do use other people's reviews to help me determine if I should go beer chasing though. If I am going to spring for a case of import or order through the LCBO, I need to know if it is worth it. So, there you go.

Appearance: Golden murk with fluffy white head dotted with brown. Methinks this could've used some filtering. Looks more like a hefeweizen than an IPA. May have been too much carbonation as the small pour frothed and bubbled both out of the bottle and the glass. Had to finish pouring over the sink. A more than healthy level of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. When it settle a little bit, the bubbles come up like dust motes on a bright day when looking out my living room window.

Smell: Definitely an IPA on the nose. Hoppy grapefruit with a slight wet groat smell. Smell like Cascadian hops. The first beers that I had with this type of smell was the Flying Monkeys beers. It smells like that but a little less robust, thinner.

Taste: Hoppy with a slight fizziness followed with a wet grain taste on the back and then ending with moderate bitterness. Tastes like kasha (buckwheat) that has been sitting in the fridge. Mild nuttiness with residual other wet grain taste. As it warms up, I get a little caramel at the end. I don't think I like caramel with my IPAs. Maybe it is an imagining -- nah, there is something caramalty there.

Mouthfeel: More fizziness with a decent body. The fizz is a little like those fizz candies, so I think this could have used a little more fermentation before bottling. The carbonation doesn't feel full. Fucked if I know what that means but that is how I would describe it. It may be a little over done when bottled as well.

Overall: Not an unpleasant beer. It is definitely one that I would be proud of brewing for a few try at home. Does point out that you need more experience than just a recipe. My guess is that it was not in the primary for long enough and then too much fermentation happened in the bottle. Maybe some type of filter should be used with this type of beer or more care taken when bottling to ensure that the beer is a little clearer.

I think that this first experience for this guy should not be his last. He has made some beer that is better than just drinkable. Armed with a notebook and measuring what he did this time, I think that he could master this style either from a kit or from raw ingredients. Thanks for the beer.

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