All of a Pother?
Beer has always leaned heavily into nostalgia. This is the same way that new music is never really as good as when you were a teenager, the first beers that really triggered your love for it (or more correctly the time addled memory of them) become the benchmark which the flavour/reward corner of your brain points you to.
I’ve always enjoyed beer, I don’t recall ever having to develop a taste for it, but my real passion for it emerged just as brewers in this country started to emulate American style craft beers here.
Out here in the sticks that meant when I first started to see bombers in the supermarkets. These were 660ml bottles, sometimes with a cork and cage, of Meantime IPA or Punk IPA. A little bit pricey but unlike anything I had tasted before
And sadly since, both Meantime and Brewdog have capitalised on this initial success and moved on to bigger things. In the process these flagship beers have had the rough edges smoothed. They are now of broader appeal, more refined and closer to the middle of the bell curve.
I struggle to see the value in simply trying to recreate these beers but I am interested in retreading the paths that British brewers were taking at the time. All American IPAs like Pliny the Elder, Two-Hearted Ale and Torpedo
What really stands out and makes these beers distinct are the Hops and the strength. It’s interesting to think of the gradual evolution of these beers that made them arrive at this formulation in the first place. It’s a quirk of hop additions that they become less effective the stronger the beer that you put them in. So in order to make a stronger beer that still tasted hoppy they had to put proportionally more hops in than seemed sensible.
This vicious circle resulted in bitter and aromatic beers so distinct that they have changed the rest of the beer food chain with all sorts of milder, softer, weaker, sweeter, drier, darker, lighter or fruited beers crow barring the term IPA into their description to mean hoppy.
So where I am starting with Pothering is a simple all Maris Otter malt but a lot of it (SG for homebrew crew is 1.060). This is so rich that any additional malt adjuncts would either get lost or become too sweet. I would like it to attenuate well to get to strength and maintain a clean base flavour.
Then we get to the hops, a winning combination of hops that I have always loved are US veterans, Bravo, Centennial and Willamette. These are all classic American aroma hops which lean toward the Marmalade side of citrus, with plenty of pine and resin flavours as well.
We are into our second batch now which has really hit the mark for me on the mouth puckering bitterness front and I’m totally thrilled that it’s heading in the direction that I imagined it would taste like.
Pothering is available in 440ml cans now, with free next day delivery any where in postcodes GL5, 6, 8 and 10 and we have racked 2 casks for special delivery at a later date TBC so watch this space.