My payment for helping George and Robyn (mostly Robyn, actually, since George was wounded) move their furniture around in readiness for renovations.
It’s basically a ruthlessly traditional IPA. Originally, IPA was what happened when the English over-hopped and strengthened up their ales, so they’d survive the commute out to the colonials in India. This one is oak barrel aged, to simulate some of that, and so despite being bottle conditioned, it pours flat as a pancake. It’s a nice muted reddy brown, and has a good apricotty hoppiness at the start and a citrusy zing in the tail. George and I thought it was great fun, and nicely quaffable — especially considering it’s actually 6.5%. I can easily imagine it’d be hated by many, even by many who consider themselves IPA fans. But I’ve long thought that you get extra points for being ballsy enough to be hated by some people, if it means doing a very-particular thing well. (See also, e.g., South coast Islay whisky.)
Verbatim: Peak Brewery Monkey Point IPA. 27/1/09 500ml 6.5%. Payment for lugging stuff. Understatedly organic. Seems hugely traditional. Oak aged IPA, which they would be, of course, in transit. Nearly flat, despite bottle conditioning. Apricotty and indeed oakey, it’s mild with a little fresh citrusy back end. Quite quaffable.
(Also, on Australia Day yesterday: a Creatures Pale, a Cooper’s Sparkling longneck and Pale. And a VB.)
Afterthoughts, November 2010: Here’s me, falling into the Captivating But Wrong Old Story about IPA. It turns out that IPA wasn’t at all “designed” to be shipped out to the colonies; the story is much more accidental and circumstantial than that. As you’d be right to expect, Martyn Cornell has nicely dealt with the topic on his blogthing.
I must also warn that this brewery, while capable of producing some lovely beers, does have a shockingly-bad occasional problem with infected batches / bottles. And when this one goes bad, as it too-often does, it goes horrid; full of a fizzy, strawberry-yoghurt flavour. Ranker than rank. Although one memorable customer at work one night did come in asking if we had the “strawberry-flavoured Peak beer” — he’d evidently had an infected bottle, and enjoyed it. To each their own, I suppose.