Monday, January 9, 2012

Stumbling Kiwi India Red Ale

I'm not sure exactly what to say about this beer. I wanted to make an IPA that featured some of the New Zealand hops my girlfriend brought back from a recent trip to the southern hemisphere. I also wanted it to be different from my other IPAs, something unlike most beers brewed in these parts. I figured a beer that said something about New Zealand would be the goal, a place with a great emerging beer scene. To me New Zealand is a land of stark contrast, of bold landscapes, tumbling seas and laid back inhabitants. It combines stunning beauty with a calm and relaxed pace of life to be envied, even here on our own little island paradise.

The beer to shoot for would also be one of contrast, with unusual yet inviting flavours, having a hefty punch yet an easy drinking character. I started with colour, going for red, a bit different for an IPA, but one which would allow me to use darker more flavourful malts without getting into the harshness of the dark roasted malts. I settled on Belgian special B to add colour and hints of dark fruit and raisins. I also used wild flower honey, to make this potent brew more quaffable and add a sweet, floral character. Added to all this would be the Riwaka and Motueka hops that would hopefully impart the character of tropical fruits and passion fruit that they are famed for. I used these mostly in late additions for a smoother, reduced bitterness, in addition to an intense hop flavour and aroma. This beer is already racing towards completion and should be ready for tasting very soon.

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