I’ve said it many times before, but it’s not like saying it again is going to cost me extra: the world, and particularly this part of it, needs more midstrength craft beer. So when I heard that Søren (him of the reliably-delightful 8 Wired beers) was making one, and was dropping the booze level even lower, I was intrigued.
George (him who bought the original Diary) and I wandered into Hashigo on our way to the wedding party for our friends Simon & Jessie. People were talking about it as a 2.2% version of the much-loved Hopwired (hence the awesomely punny name), but it was more reminiscent (to me) of the redder Tall Poppy. I therefore felt I should try to come up with an equally-punny name, and gravitated towards “Short Poppy”, which seems to work. And it was pretty good; maybe one of those beers that I like more as an achievement than as a beer, but still a very worthy thing.
At 2.2%, you’ve gone past ‘midstrength’ and right down to officially ‘light’, so it’s no surprise that considerable fullness of body had to be sacrificed to get all the way there. Strangely, if anything, the weakest point of the drinking experience was the moment of actually sipping it, because of that thinness. Seconds after that’s over, and for a good few minutes from there, the hoppy flavours pleasantly amble around your skull and also manifest in some surprisingly nice burps. If you’re after a hop-focussed midstrength, I’d still suggest that Hallertau’s ‘Minimus’ takes the gong,1 but this is some seriously impressive brewing, all the same.
And then, when I got to the wedding party and went looking for a beer, I was faced with a fridge full of the usual supermarket-brand green bottles. But I was then told that Simon & Jessie had made a special trip to Regional and picked me up a flagon of the blessed Three Boys Golden. That struck me as a real sign that I was definitely becoming something of a Notorious Beer Nerd, and that I have some pretty neat friends — it was bloody lovely.
Verbatim: 8 Wired ‘Underwired’ Mini IPA 12/2/11 2.2% on tap @ HZ w/ George. More mid-strength! Although this is officially “light”, and if anywhere, that’s where the weaknesses come in; soda-water / disprin body. But what else could you have, way down there? Colour is very dark, as against expectation. Reddish hints. Hoppy flavour shines best in the aftertaste + the burps. It’s just a touch thin at the moment it’s sipped. So, Minimus still has it, but this is an impressive feat, and I love that there are more in the game, now. Still definitely beery, but less Hopwired to me than Tall Poppy — so… “Short Poppy”?
1: For a few Bonus Nerd Points, I’m having one right now, as I write this. Well, that, and because I like it — and simply because it’s there.