Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Belgian IPA

The hop blend pre-dry hop addition. 

Since I began working for Funkwerks last July I’ve wanted to make a really hoppy beer.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the subtle complexity of most Belgian styles, but sometimes I just want a beer with massive hop aroma.  When Gordon approached me about brewing a Belgian IPA to enter in the Belgo-American category at GABF this year I couldn’t wait to brew it! 

We sat down and figured out what we wanted in the beer.  We didn’t want it to be as dry as our saisons, so we used the Belgian yeast that we used for Fruition, Alchemy, and Ron Burgundy.  For hops we wanted to use some traditional American hops but throw in a wild card as well.  We settled on American Cascade, Centennial and German Emerald.  I’m very familiar with Centennial and Cascade, but Emerald was new to me.  It’s described as having a distinct fruity nose with flowery hop notes.  It was bred as a European alternative to Simcoe and Amarillo.  Sounded like fun to me!

We had a decent idea of malts we wanted to use, so Gordon put in the order and let me put together the recipe.  This was one of the more fun brewing projects I’ve done!  I was given three types of hops, some base malts, and free reign over the specialty malts we had on hand.  I settled on pale malt, some munich, and a small amount of crystal malts that we had on hand.  I wanted a big hop aroma so I had one bittering addition and saved the rest for a large whirlpool addition and even larger dry-hop addition.

We think this beer came out really well!  It has a big hop aroma and restrained bitterness.  There’s a bit of Belgian character in there, but the hops are the star.  We are excited to brew this again and tweak it to perfection.  If you don’t get a chance to try it at our taproom (or one of the bars we distribute to), be sure to stop by at GABF and give it a shot!


A full glass of Belgian IPA on the Funkwerks patio.

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