IT’S COMING HOME! IT’S COMING HOME!
The IPA Tour of course! For the final stop we decided to come back to where it all started with our take on a classic English IPA. Quite likely the reason that most of us are here, and that you’re reading this blog, it seemed a fitting end to what’s been an incredibly fun project for everyone at the brewery.
Our English IPA is a balanced beer that perfectly emphasises all the individual elements we use in brewing. A balanced malt bill offering subtle biscuit notes, English grown Olicana and Chinook hops for soft aromas of peach, apricot and passionfruit along with a clean and balanced bitterness, and some fruity esters from the use of a classic English yeast all combine together in harmony to create an incredibly drinkable, flavourful, and classic beer that gives a nod to not only where the style started, but also how far it has come.
Speaking of journeys and progress, packaging the beer gave us a chance to reflect on the IPA Tour project as a whole. We’re always learning, developing and perfecting our beers here at UnBarred and these projects offer us a chance to build on that, create stories and memories in the form of beer, and flex our creative muscles. You might remember last year’s NEIPA Tour which helped us learn about hop combinations and the processes that allow us to get all that beautiful aroma into the beer. This year’s work with IPA’s has given us an incredible insight into how the yeast interacts and plays a huge role in how those layers of flavour play out. Jordan, Head Brewer and Founder of UnBarred, reflected on our learnings by saying ‘The combination of hops and yeast has been interesting to me. There is still no solid rule on where to use hops to make the most of them, but we would put more hops in at a higher fermentation and less at colder temperatures to achieve that juicier expression that we were after’. From using traditional yeasts in both the Belgian and English IPA’s, an incredible Norwegian yeast called Kveik in the aptly named Kveik IPA, and some much more modern variants in our Cold IPA and No Coast, we’ve got to play with some amazing ingredients in the last 12 months, creating 6 completely different, and uniquely delicious, versions of the same style.
It's not just the beers that we love getting creative with during these projects. As you might know, Brighton is synonymous with the free thinking, free spirited, creative people that make up this incredible city and influence our brewery. It’s what we stand for, what we aim to demonstrate in every one of our beers, and so we collaborate with these incredible Brightonians at every given chance. In 2021, for the NEIPA series, we worked with incredible local photographers to create beautiful monochrome labels that featured the uniqueness and character of our beautiful city. Some of those visuals depicted the brilliant street art that Brighton is known for, so this year we sought out the best, boldest, and most unique to create one-off pieces of art that adorn each label.
For the English IPA design we worked with Amber Elise, a self-taught contemporary artist, colourist and illustrator renowned for creating bright, bold and optimistic pieces here in Brighton. Starting her creative journey back in 2010, Amber emerged from a non-traditional background and has developed an ever-evolving practice, and passion for creativity.
English IPA will be hitting our Taproom, and your favourite pubs and bottle shops in cans, keg, and of course cask (how could we not?!) from December 14th – and don’t forget to catch Amber Elise in our Taproom for the launch on Thursday 15th December from 4 o'clock.
So, with the 2022 Tour closing I bet you’re wondering what is in store for 2023? We cornered Jordan to find out that it’s the worlds most consumed style… ‘we’ll be exploring the nuances of balance and subtilty with Lagers…’. Bring it on!
A huge thank you to the 6 talented artists we were able to work with this year and be sure to check out more of their work!