Friday, 5 August 2016

The Sciencing of Beer in a Post-Fact Society

Same but Different


The recent release of Cloudwater’s double IPA v4 and v5 raised some interesting points which go beyond arguing over which is the best DIPA in the UK. I’m not reviewing these beers here because what I am actually more interested in is the wider concepts relating to the release of these beers, i.e. crowd sourcing opinions on how to develop future beers, taking one beer and changing exactly one specific element of the process (AKA The Scientific Method) to get two different beers, and planning the sequential development of a beer over multiple iterations. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A Beautiful Cloudiness


Our server deposits a flight of beers on our table: a bespoke wooden tray holding a number of small glasses filled with varying degrees of amber. I lean forwards in my seat, ever hopeful, lifting the first glass to my nose. I take a long sniff, followed by a couple of sips. Then I sigh; place the glass back in the tray and slump back in my seat. ‘I’d rather be drinking a Kernel IPA,’ I say and not for the first time on this trip.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Best Double IPA in the UK

April has seen us drowning in double IPA. If you enjoy this style of strong, super hopped IPA then you’ve been spoiled for choice in the past few weeks. I’ve seen and heard a lot of beer nerds talking about which of them is 'the best DIPA'. Of course this is what beer lovers are into – discussion and friendly argument about beer. But I am surprised that people are still talking about this in terms of absolutes, as if one beer has to be awarded the title of ‘The Best’ and all the others must therefore be 'less good' beers. As if there isn’t a place for variation of expression within a style; as if context is irrelevant. By all means choose a favourite, choose one beer that you prefer above the others. But does one really have to be the best and the others all inferior to it as a result? I don’t think it’s that simple and I don’t really believe in absolutes.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

We Brought Homebrew: IPA edition (now with added entry requirements)

We're pleased to announce that we're going to run linked sessions for February and March at the We Brought Beer Homebrew Club. The February session (Feb 16th) will be on the critical appreciation of beer (we have special guest, Chris Hall joining us) and the March session (Mar 15th) will be about judging beer. In order for club members to get the most out of these two sessions we have invited them to brew an IPA and bring it along to the March meeting where it will be judged by all attendees. This can be any type of IPA, e.g. single, double, triple IPA, Belgian IPA, black or white IPA. It can be a clone of a famous example of the style, a revisit of a traditional recipe, or something entirely new. The beer can be all extract or all grain or anything in between. The only limiting factor for the beer is that it must be broadly recognisable as an IPA. We are brewing our own entry today. 

We are really looking forward to trying all the entries. But first, we'll be putting on our thinking caps for the next meeting and learning how to taste beer. Make sure you bring your notebooks.

Will you brew a clone of a famous IPA?

IPA Challenge: Entry Requirements 

If you are planning on bringing an IPA (which you have brewed) to enter in the IPA Challenge on March 15th then please do the following things in order to assist us with the organisation on the night:
  • Bring your entry upstairs as soon as you arrive so that we can assign you and your beer with an ID No. and get them in the fridge asap
  • Do not label your bottles as we wish to keep everything anonymous
  • Bring at least 2L of your beer so that we have enough for a number of people to judge each entry
  • Let us know what the ABV is - this is so that we can split the entries evenly across different groups
  • If you haven't already done so then PLEASE email us in advance to let us know you're entering and style of your IPA as this will save time on the night
  •  PLEASE NOTE we are going to have to limit the number of entries we are able to judge. In order to guarantee your entry please let us know asap that you will be entering a beer, as we may not be able to accept any further entries on the night.
Any questions about this session? Email us (see below).

For more information about the homebrew club please go here. If anyone is thinking of attending and would like to ask us anything feel free to drop us a mail or tweet:

NB: If you're brewing an IPA for the March session or you've already attended the club and you're brewing something else you can use the hashtag #wbbhbc so that we can see what you're getting up to.