Thursday, 1 August 2013

First Annual Jozi IPA Festival

The ZAR Imperial Red IPA wins hands (and maybe pants) down. Special brew just for the day, could compete with strong American offerings. Second place is one of our mzansi favourites, the Blockhouse IPA. Past that, there were a few good efforts but no one grabbing the brass ring.

Props to Three Skulls Brew Works for trying a black ipa even if it ended up tasting like a watered down porter. Smack! Republic Brewing Co., Jozi's own, hoisted the mainsail with their Braamfontein Brawler complete with Cascade and Amarillo hops but only managed to best the best of the rich lagers.Citizen did well with their stiff upper lip British-style IPA: well rounded with delicate flowers fit for Prince George's bottle and Mzansi's more delicate palates.  Thumbs down to Union Brewing for staffing their table with a dude who didn't know his hops from his malt. Wait, he didn't even know what malt was. And the beer was practically undrinkable.

Regardless of the beer, the beer scene is clearly on the up and up. Jozi is getting off its knees while the Capetonians are making their way north. The festival, even if overpriced, attracted an appreciative and thirsty crowd all pleased to toast the marginalization of Charles Glass and his ilk.

Captain of the League of Beers
So, back to the Imperial Red IPA. Starting from the outside in. Was surprised to see Oregon style lettering on their packs lined up at the stand but then learned that The League of Beers imports the real deal from the motherland. So far, so legit. Better yet, it turns out that they weren't serving Rogue Yellow Snow IPA after all, but something they dreamed and brewed up just for the night. Then the taste - one of the most flavourful. Wait, the most flavourful and balanced South African beer tasted to date. Amarillo, cascade, pretty much all in there without making a dog's brekkie. Nice malt too. So much, in fact, that the brewers are losing money on the 800 litres they've made for the occasion. Unclear if we'll taste the likes of this again, but we're keeping fingers, toes and legs crossed that we do.

1 comment:

  1. I might start drinking beer - you make it sound like an art. At the moment, it all tastes the same to me.