Exploration of the Greene King brewery continued.
Today I take for the first of beers from a series of India Pale Ale produced by them – East Coast IPA.
What characterizes the style called IPA – India Pale Ale, I wrote here already more than once.
Let me just remind its two main features: high hopping and increased alcohol content.
Historically style spun off in response to the need to produce beer which stand up long journey by ship to overseas colonies.
And so it happened that this style has become a synonym for beer revolution in the United States, and later practically all over the world.
The new wave breweries competing in hopping their IPAs increasingly other varieties of hops, their different compositions and in increasing quantities.
It’s no wonder, that this trend also went to the breweries that were known from brewing of traditional ales.
Also, these breweries decided to hook under crafted revolution and turn to its portfolio beers in the “new wave style”.
The brewery which products I was recently watching – Greene King from Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk, England), also has a few own IPA.
As a first for review I chose East Coast IPA with an alcohol content 4% abv.
Before I begin described this ale, a few words about nomenclature.
IPA – India Pale Ale – is a general term for the style.
Widely brewed IPA with the use of American hops varieties (not only in the US) is commonly called AIPA, or American IPA and it is commonly used name.
You can create names from the country of origin of hops representing the main variety in the beer, for example GIPA (German variety – German IPA), EIPA (English IPA), PIPA (Polish IPA) etc. These are unofficial names, but used among beer lovers.
Often you can also meet varieties called East Coast IPA and West Coast IPA.
These names relate to the places of origin of the style – the eastern and western coast of the US.
What characterizes these variations and what is the difference?
It is a matter of dispute.
Many experts considers that are virtually no differences. They argue that not created styles characteristic for one or the other coast and in fact both groups experimenting with different varieties of hops, not sticking to uniform rules, and the differences at most may be noted depending on the particular brewery, and not on the geographical location.
But some say, however, that IPA in West Coast style is more aggressive hopped and more dry, malt flavour is subtle, only slightly marked, by which the beer has one-dimensional character.
Whereas the East Coast IPA beer is more balanced – more in its malt flavour, is sweeter, and besides it can be used other than American hops varieties, which bring additional flavour sensations.
There are a variety Imperial IPA, also called Double IPA – hopped even harder and even more alcoholic. This variety was created in the 1990s in the US. Beer in this style is filled with various flavours derived from used hops varieties, alcohol is not dominant, beer is balanced, but with a strong bitterness often reaching maximum values of IBU.
However, the time to take care of today’s object of interest.
Judging by the name – East Coast IPA, we have to deal with a more balanced beer that is well hopped, but still not to an extreme degree, putting on a different flavour sensations.
The alcohol content – 4% abv – is like for IPA not very much.
As for used hops, the brewery mentions four varieties:
- Amarillo, in the copper and as a late hop gives citrus flavours, but also floral and spicy notes;
- Centennial – a very citrusy variety, adding also resinous and spicy notes;
- Citra – aromas of citrus and tropical fruits;
- Galaxy – variety rich mainly in tropical fruits flavours, as well as citrus.
The first three varieties are American, the Galaxy comes from Australia.
Malt is used in one variation: pale ale.
Even after this combination can see that beer should has a citrusy profile, fruity with hints of resin.
Immediately I will personally convince about it.
The bottle is the same as in the case of other beers from Greene King – the same shape and what is characteristic – colorless glass.
So I pour…
Name: EAST COAST IPA (Golden Ale, alc. 4,0% ABV)
|The colour of dark gold.
Foam is white, medium height, quickly falling
– it remains only a thin layer on the surface.
|Aroma relatively mild and there are hops and citrus.|
|In taste we have two main components:
firstly – malt, which brings a slight sweetness to the beer, with a note of caramel;
and secondly – citruses, relatively intense.
At the same time, these two flavours are countered by bitterness maintained at a medium level, though I must admit that quite clear, as for a beer of mass production, but is far from the level of a typical IPA.
Gentian is a citrus (grapefruit, lemon zest), and simultaneously brings a slight tartness notes to taste.
In the aftertaste remains feeling of dry citruses and resinous tartness.
Bodied – at medium level to low.
East Coast IPA… I have a little problem with the assessment of this beer. All because this ale necessarily want to put it to the IPA style.
Well, unfortunately, the low alcohol content and relatively low bitterness make it rather a stowaway in overseas travel, among other typical India Pale Ale. For lovers of this style that beer will be a big disappointment.
On the other hand, if we assume that it is an aromatic citrusy bitter this assessment will not be so low.
Because we have a very drinkable, refreshing beer with a distinct pleasant flavours of citrus and tropical fruits with a clear bitterness giving resinous notes.
As for bitter is a pretty good beer.
My rating is therefore a compromise both points of view, and memory from consumption remain quite nice.