Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 Advent Beer 9: 8 Wired's Palate Trip

If an American IPA isn't bitter, is it still an IPA? It's like some kind of Zen koan.

Despite the fact that there is normally no fruit in them, the hops often impart a citrus-y quality to IPAs and double IPAs, bringing tastes like lemon, grapefruit, orange or persimmon to the party. New Zealand's 8 Wired Brewing Co. has taken an American-style IPA (more hops and more alcohol, 6.5% ABV to be precise) and made it sour, without expressing precisely how they have accomplished this. Which is just as well, because I probably wouldn't understand it anyhow.

Being a fan of sour in general, I can see the appeal of sour beers (when they are done ON PURPOSE that is...) and have been known to enjoy the occasional Cowbell Kettle Sour from Wildrose. A sour IPA though? It borders on the intimidating.

It ours a hazy golden yellow, with a fringey head of foam, and tart, fruity aromas are discernible the moment the cap is loosed. Once decanted, you can detect the grapefruit and almost a berry sweetness in the nose. Was yeast a factor in the souring? Maybe.

A sip presents a strong sour kick, but not overpowering. The hops are still detectable, but more in the nose than on the palate. The extreme bitterness has its edges rounded off by the sour. Tart, refreshing and quenching, this beer would be tremendous with a plate of hot wings, or as the antidote to a hot summer day. It is perplexing in its fashion though, and worthy of the name Palate Trip!

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