Last night as Mrs V and I sat watching White Collar, I had a craving for a beer. With the Netflix paused I ventured out to the storage room, which doubles up as my beer cellar, and wandered back in with a few bottles, including one of Samuel Smith's India Ale. The India Ale was part of a gift pack of 3 Sam Smith's brews, a few beer mats and a fine looking pint glass, a proper pint that is. The pack was part of my Christmas gift from Mrs V's parents.
As I sat with this glass of rich amber nectar, I tweeted the following:
"you know, I do actually like IPA, proper IPA that is, as in British IPA. Bitter AND Balanced!"
I realise there is a very strong possibility that I am biased, and I say this in full awareness that there are America style IPAs that I like on occasion, but I simply find a hoppy pale ale brewed with the likes of Challenger, Fuggles and Goldings far more palatable than some Pacific North West enamel stripper. Perhaps it has something to do with the extra malt body and sweetness that a lot of British IPAs have, making them less like sucking a lemon and more like a hoppy marmelade?
Over Christmas when I had Durham's delicious Bombay 106 and the inestimable Worthington White Shield, I had the same reaction, bitter yes, but nicely balanced and drinkable. Speaking about White Shield, I have it on good authority that those evil magnates that allow great beer to be brewed on their premises (I mean, really how dare they!), MolsonCoors, will be exporting it to American shores in the early summer. Keep an eye out for it!
BTW - the bag in the background has the malts for my brewday tomorrow, Bohemian Pilsner, Munich, White Wheat, Special Roast and Aromatic, to be hopped with Chinook, spiced with coriander and grapefruit peel and fermented with Wyeast Belgian Abbey II. Kind of a spiced Belgo-American Amber Ale, kind of.