Spectrum Series - April 2019

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It was recently pointed out that in the world of beer, it’s very difficult to pull off an April Fool so long as a certain innovative craft brewery is simply in existence. Last year, we shared our DIYPA concept (which seemed ridiculous); now, truth is so much stranger than fiction that we wouldn’t be surprised to see someone genuinely selling a glass of malt, raw hops, and yeast topped up with sparkling water. In a beer-world where one-upmanship runs rife, the Venn diagram of the coolest concept and the latest concept is a circle, and seemingly every previous marker of what constitutes “craft” has fallen by the wayside (except of course the ever-controversial one concerning independence), what can a brewery do to stay ahead of the curve?

The answer, we think, is to do what feels right. Brew the beers you want to drink, store and serve them well, and people who share your tastes will want to drink them. At Drygate, we like to experiment and try out new styles, and we’ll always make time to produce stronger and more challenging beers. But this month, our Spectrum series has resulted in something that is unexpectedly, and beautifully, true to who we are.

Each beer has been designed and produced by one of our brewers; this month, it was Pete, Josh, Marc and Phil. Without them consulting each other, we have ended up with four releases within 1% ABV of each other (4.1 - 5.1%), each of which showcases a sessionable yet engaging style. Each beer is balanced and incorporates new world hops, but presented across four very different flavour profiles. And we’re delighted with them.

No foolin’, easy-going, non-fuss craft beer. Here they are:

 

ATOM STATION  - 4.5% Tart Pale Ale

Atom Station 330ml nrb

Our first Spectrum release this month features a plethora of new world hops combined with a multitude of fruit juices, replicating the flavours and bright acidity of breakfast juice. We are super excited about Pete’s Atom Station, and have packed a small number of bottles, but it truly shines on draft.

Hopped with Azacca, Ekuanot, Ahtanum, Loral, Sabro, cryo Amarillo, and Pacific Crest, and featuring lemon, lime, clementine, apple, pineapple, mango, and passionfruit juices, this hazy, pale gold beer delivers fragrant zesty aromas and bright, refreshing flavours. A veritable fruit salad of mango, grapefruit, lime, and lemon, with a soft grassiness and the smooth texture of a wheat beer, combined with a light acidity, reminiscent of freshly squeezed orange juice. A touch of grapefruit bitterness adds some snap to the finish, without overpowering this lightly tart pale ale.

 

ILDSJEL - 5.1% US-Hopped Kveik

Ildsjel 2/3 glass

Ildsjel is a Norwegian word, meaning “fire-soul” - one who is a pillar of the community, passionate and active about a cause, and collaborates with others to help those in need. Kveik is a yeast strain, rather than a style, originating in Norway and passed down through generations of farmhouse brewers. What makes it unusual is its high tolerance for heat; it can ferment at temperatures normally the reserve of saison yeasts, whilst producing low levels of phenols or off-flavours.

Josh's US-hopped kveik (pronounced kwike, rhyming with bike) is, in essence, a farmhouse IPA - brewed with buckwheat and malted rye, bittered with Columbus and dry-hopped with Mosaic and Ekuanot. Bags of lemongrass and fresh pungent myrcene, with freshly-cut citrus peel supporting on the nose. The yeast character is pared back, and aside from a hint of almond creeping through, the malt presence is minimal. On the palate, it's pithy, woody and dry, with lemon peel and herbal notes of coriander. A rising bitterness comes to the fore, with a touch of raw hop adding bite.

 

DAMN IT JIM, I’M A DOCTOR  - 5.1% Dr Rudi IPA

Damn It Jim 2/3 glass

A lesser-known but richly rewarding hop, Dr Rudi brings distinctive, fruity characteristics which have become the hallmark of recent varieties, bred to deliver new and unusual flavour profiles. Marc has put it to extremely good use in this juicy, fruity and moderately bitter IPA. And no, I'm not sure if it’s West or East Coast - damn it Jim, I’m a doctor, not a geographer…

Pale, hazy, and summery gold, this IPA packs peach, apricot, papaya, coconut, strawberry and pomegranate into its mellow, inviting aroma. The palate is surprising, delivering an unexpectedly floral punch, with notes of Turkish delight and lemon verbena, while a hint of toasty malt provides just the right amount of sweetness to support the fruity payload. A mouthwatering sherbet flavour leads you into a moderate bitterness, which leans towards lime peel rather than resin or pine, and avoids a drawn-out finish. This beer deserves to be enjoyed out on our terrace - Glasgow weather, do your thing...

 

TRANSATLANTIC FOE - 4.1% American Brown Ale

Transatlantic Foe 2/3 glass

Designed, brewed and named by Phil, Transatlantic Foe pairs a brown ale base with Simcoe, Centennial and Citra, matching resin with roast in a subtle and rewarding dark beer. Pouring burnt sienna (yes, someone was paying attention in art class), with ruby depths, the beautiful hues come courtesy of the carefully constructed malt bill. Extra pale barley malt and torrified wheat are layered with Cara, Crystal, and Chocolate malts, alongside Special B and Chateau Arome; notes of fresh ground coffee, charcoal, cinder toffee and roast unfurl from the glass. Weaving their way between the malt flavours are pops of gooseberry and redcurrant, and faint hints of apricot. A springy resinous bitterness echoes the darker roastier notes, and adds pine to the profile.

 

Well, once again, there you have it. Four brand new beers, pouring now in our Brewhouse bar. Perfect for a session in the sun, or for enjoying with our live big screen showings of the Tour of Flanders (this weekend) and the Paris-Roubaix (next weekend). Join us, and introduce some friends to the spectrum of styles that craft beer has to offer!

One final announcement - from next month, our Spectrum series will switch from four releases per month, to three. We’ll explain this more fully in an upcoming blog, but this is to allow us the space on our bar to start bringing back the beer concepts we’ve enjoyed the most, and rebrew some of our favourites from the last five years of Drygate. Watch this space, and expect to see more carefully constructed, eminently sessionable, exclusive draft beers on the bar soon.

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