Monday, 21 December 2015

Dutch Beer of the Week

Elsener Bierbrouwerij Pochpoater White IPA

It's been a while but we're now back up and running here at JC's Beer Blog with a new Dutch Beer of the Week (and yes, I know the last one was on 26 October...).

Right then, White IPA.  It's another variant on everyone's favourite beer style and one that I've rather enjoyed so far. It's shorthand for beers that combine serious hopping (usually of the American variety) with the spiciness and grain bill of a Belgian (or Dutch) witbier, and they can be hugely enjoyable and refreshing. There are a lot of them around as Ratebeer demonstrates.

So, on to this little number.  I know very little about the brewery. It's based in Elsen, which is in the east of the Netherlands (in Overijssel province) and it started up in 2014. The website just leads to a Facebook page but it's clear from there (and Ratebeer) that a considerable number of modern-sounding beers have been produced. In essence this was just a random purchase of an interesting-sounding beer in a style I like.

The label tells me that it's a witbier in the American style with a distinct hop profile. There's wheat malt in there so that's good but I see it's just 30 bitterness units and 5% ABV - both at the bottom end of what I might expect for a beer of this description. Pouring, it's a hazy pale lemon with no head to speak of. There's a sweet spiciness on the nose, with hints of orange peel perhaps, and this lingers all the way down the glass (and gets a bit cloying by the end to be honest) - however the ingredients don't indicate there's any spice or other addition to the beer so I'm assuming the esters are yeast-based.  As a drink it's quite light-bodied and while it's refreshing enough the "distinct hop profile" (or the "duidelijk hopprofiel" as the label has it) seems to be largely missing in action. It's perhaps a bit too much "white" and not enough "IPA" and certainly needs a bit more of everything I think.

I'm certainly not writing off this brewery on the basis of just the one beer as it seems to be quite an interesting set-up with lots of ideas.  It's just a shame that this one, on the basis of this bottle, didn't quite work.

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