Our ‘Pilot Series’ beers are how we express and develop our craft. Sometimes we’ll brew to suit the seasons or with unique ingredients available to us, and other times it will just be to share a beer style that we enjoy. They’re limited volume and the small portions don’t hang around very long when they’re tapped. If you manage to find one of these small batch beers, we’d love to know what you think of it. This time, we’ve brewed an ‘India Amber Ale’ with the help of the boys at Temple Brewing Co letting us use their equipment.
From what we can gather, the first examples of this popular style showed their faces in the early 1800’s. They were an English creation based on the strong ‘Old Ales’ and were arguably made popular because they survived better than other beers on the long oceanic voyage to the East India Traders. Over time, the strong malt profile of the Old Ales were reduced in certain beers until they forged their own style – the India Pale Ale. Over the more recent years, this style has developed with new hop varieties and methods to become hugely hoppy, bitter and normally higher in alcohol. It’s one of the styles that are leading the good beer revolution.
For our take on the style, we’ve brought back some of the more malty elements from the Old Ale. A pale base malt and four specialty malts create a layered, malty, full bodied palate. This supports and balances the hop bitterness which comes from thoughtfully chosen Northern and Southern hemisphere varieties. Dry hopping with US Citra and Amarillo create a complex fruity, citrus, piney aroma with some tropical character.
Although the style lasted better than others when travelling, hop aroma is best in fresh beers. The East India traders missed out on enjoying their beers at their freshest, but you don’t have to.
(Words & photos by Ash)