By Greg Carlson
“About the Beer” is a blog series about the vision and design behind our beers, and the techniques we used to bring them to life.
It’s back, baby!
When we opened last month, y’all drank a lot of War Castle real fast. Napkin math says something like 1,800 pints in, like, five days. I guess IPAs are popular. WHO KNEW.
Anyway, War Castle is our take on the American IPA. It’s a hazyboi, for sure -- soft bitterness, soft body, extremely fruit-forward nose and flavor. But we also gave it some complexifiers: classic piney and spice notes mixed in, a firm malt backbone, and a focus on balance and moderation.
Here’s how we did it:
The grain bill for War Castle is built on two pale base malts, a healthy amount of wheat, and a touch (read: half a bag) of honey malt. Nothing too sticky, but a solid enough body to layer those delicious hop flavors on.
Speaking of which -- hops! This bad boy is brought to you by the letter “c.” It’s bittered with Columbus hops, hit with Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial hops in the whirlpool (which impart the classic American hop flavors of various citrus fruits and pine), and then dry hopped (only once!) with more Centennial and Citra, which give it a significant burst of tropical fruits and a hint of peach.
In the end, War Castle is delightfully hoppy but noticeably restrained. The aromas jump out of the glass but aren’t overwhelmingly juicy or grassy. And we run, as fast as we can, away from any hint of astringency that you sometimes see with other New England IPAs. There’s also a firm maltiness and bitterness, but it’s not resiny or abrasive like many west coast IPAs. Its strength is in its balance.
God bless hops, god bless IPAs, and god bless the united states of america.