Shining Peak
I’ve been slightly obsessed with idea of Cold IPA for a while now. The idea of a lighter bodied, dry beer with the full hoppiness of an IPA sounds like something I should love, but I’ve struggled a little bit with a few I’ve tried. They’ve all been OK-good but not amazing-good. Simplistically I see Cold IPA as the other side of a line from an India Pale (Japanese?) Lager. The “cold” references the fermentation temperature in that they can be brewed with an ale yeast at lower temperatures to minimise esters, or alternatively a lager yeast at a higher temperature for slightly more vigorous fermentation that reduces the trademark sulphur notes of lager. Either way it’s about creating a blank enough canvas for the hops to shine. And when I had Good George’s Cold IPA this week, it clicked for me: it was dank, tropical and citrussy with low esters and good bitterness pushing towards astringent relative to the light body. It was slightly low on carbonation but too much CO2 would have pushed the perceived bitterness too high. The question is whether these beers have a home with consumers. For lager drinkers it could be way too hoppy, for IPA lovers it might be too light-bodied. But I loved this one.

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