8 Wired continue to be a sure thing in the local beer scene. Whenever the almost-aggravatingly-talented Søren Eriksen releases another beer, just try it. Worry about details like style, strength and price later. It’s going to be good, whatever the hell it is, you can basically rely on that.
This pint of ‘Tall Poppy’ is from a preview keg that was at Hashigo. Dave Wood, one of their bartenders, recommended it to me when he stopped by my pub — all ‘suited up’ in honour of the great Barney Stinson. I finished work pretty early (by my standards) that night, so wandered over for a pint, and was very glad I did.
Tall Poppy is pitched as an ‘India Red Ale’ — big, strong (enough that I put ‘Imperial’ in my notes, accidentally), hoppy, and definitely red. The latter comes from the richer malt and is a wonderful signal of the flavour and balance that are lurking within. We eventually got four kegs for our pub, and blammed through them in deservedly short order. It’s popped up in (really gorgeous) 500ml bottles, so you should bloody-well grab some of those if you’re at all able.
‘Red IPA’ is a developing trend, too; Emerson’s did a ‘Brewers’ Reserve’ of them late this year which produced a couple of lovely beers. Black IPA is certainly a stronger trend in terms of emerging styles, but I’m very fond of both. The pale ale scene has lately been dominated by a gone-too-far (I think) fashion of More Hoppiness Whatever the Consequences, and I’d like to believe that increasing appearance Red and Black IPAs might be an antidote to that, if not an intentional reaction against it.
Verbatim: 8 Wired ‘Tall Poppy’ Imperial Red Ale 13/10/10 preview keg from the pilot batch @ HZ Dave recommended it when he was at my pub, earlier, all suited up in honor of Barney Stinson. 7% $10.5 Murky reddy amber, flat as a pancake (but not on a handpull). Lovely hoppy nose and malty body. Red is the synatheish word from both, really. Good initial whack of fruity bitterness. Almost alarmingly-well suited to the Japanese Chicken Curry pie they made for me, too. Resolved: visit more often.
– long-range addendum, 20/11/10. The actual batch, on tap @ MH. Remains a thing of Bloody Lovely-ness. Big, but not off-putting after a few. And the colour is just bloody gorgeous.