Saturday, July 28, 2012

526. Anchorage Galaxy White IPA w/ Brett

I tried a bottle of this in San Francisco in May, and was quite impressed with the mix of funk and hops, so when I saw it in Dayton, I was happy to grab another bottle. Anchorage Brewing Company is a newer brewery, and Gabe Fletcher is focusing on barrel fermantation along with brettanomyces and other souring cultures. Which sounds pretty much right up my alley.

Galaxy White IPA pours a soft, cloudy, and very pale straw with a white mousse-y head that is, to say the least, long-lasting. As in it never goes away. The nose is equal parts delightful and beguiling. I’d probably still be smelling it if I didn’t want to get down to the drinking: there’s barnyard with musty earth, straw, pepper spiciness, and a delicate perfuminess that is either the yeast or the coriander, followed by a touch of horse blanket. The hoppiness comes out as the brettanomyces airs out (or, more likely, as I get more used to it) as does citrus and fruit zest. In other words, the brett has really started to make its presence felt in this beer—the bottle I had in San Francisco in May was good, but not nearly so funky. And I do like the funk. Flavors start with cracker and biscuit malt flavors, as well as a touch of candy. The hint of funk in the front blossoms into barnyard in the middle, along with bitterness, spiciness, and a touch of bright citrus. The finish is dry earth and straw accompanied by lingering brett flavors and a mineral tang mixed with pith and citrus rind. Carbonation is spritzy bright and dry; it is slightly brut-like via the barnyard in the brett, and the dry, dry mouthfeel comes across as almost dusty as it runs over the tongue. This is an excellent and delightful beer; it is probably more of a wild ale than an IPA at this point, but I do appreciate and certainly enjoy the experimentation: much like some of the funked beers I’ve made, once the bugs have a chance to get a foothold, the hop character starts disappearing as the funky cracker lactic bite grows, although it is currently still present in this beer. I might need to buy another bottle to pitch in the basement to see how it continues to develop. And by might I mean will.

From the bottle: “Ale brewed with Galaxy hops, coriander, kumquats, and peppercorns. Fermented and aged in French oak foudres with a wit yeast. Dry hopped with Galaxy hops. Bottle conditioned with brettanomyces and wine yeast. Drink fresh or age to bring out the funk.”

ABV: 7%
IBU: 50
Batch #2 April 2012


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