OFW First Ward Streaker IPA & Guinness Nitro IPA
by Willard Brooks and Chris Groves
Described as an experimental IPA made with Mosaic and Centennial hops, This beer presents a clear golden color with a thin white head which leaves nice lacing on the glass. The mosaic hops deliver a pleasing pungent aroma that invites the first sip which presents flavors of citrus and a juicy dank hop candy flavor that I associate with the so called “Vermont Style IPA.” This style is defined over and against “East Coast IPA” and “West Coast IPA.” East Coast IPA, as the story goes, balances overtly sweet malts with overtly bitter kettle hops, not too much hop aroma and flavor, and a more amber color. West Coast IPAs, tend to be golden in color with an emphasis on the late addition of large amounts piney and resinous hops—beers made this way have low key malts with pronounced hop flavor and aroma with a dry bitter finish. Vermont style IPA keep the golden color but push hop additions still later in order to deliver great hop flavor and aroma, but with less bitterness allowing balance to occur between the hops and the malt. The Vermont style is associated with hard to get brews made by breweries like FIddlehead, The Alchemist, and Hill Farmstead —beer fans flock to Vermont for these beers. This experiment at Old First Ward has created a Vermont IPA in Western NY. No need to drive to VT when you can drive to the Ward, right?
Style: INDIA PALE ALE
I never thought this is something I would never see. Then again, I never thought about it. An IPA from the makers of the worlds most recognized stout...in a nitro widget can. To begin, forget all the IPAs that you have been geeking over and start with an open mind. This beer is not an American IPA. Roasted malts, moderate bitterness and a touch of citrus are wrapped into a velvety mouthfeel and smooth finish; something Guinness knows a bit about. 5 hop varieties (Admiral, Celia, Topaz, Challenger & Cascade) were used in this beer though none seem to stand out on their own. This may be the intent of the recipe as to create a smooth transition from aroma all the way through to bitterness. Balancing that hop blend is the job left to golden ale malt and house roasted barley. Finishing up, the most recognizable character on this ship is the drying finish of Guinness’ house yeast. As shockingly (or not) different than what you may have expected, this beer does well in all that it claims to be. Nothing more, nothing less. To be well versed in IPA, I ask for all lovers of the style to venture deep down the paths of the British style and their counterparts..you just may find something you like. Cheers to Guinness for trying out a new beer and adding something different to the flood all but the same.blog comments powered by Disqus
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