Wednesday, 14 February 2018

#348: Brewski-fiction in Outer Space

YellowBelly have long been absent from this blog, despite being bloody good brewers, and while their marketing has always been distinctively attractive, like a real sucker the two latest sci-fi themed cans reeled me in.

Hopped in Space came first, an IPA of 5.9% that pours rather dark, muddy and amber, though it was a bit jostled before opening. The nose leans toward the danker side of things but show plenty of mango, orange and slightly savoury-edged hop juiciness. It's very pleasant, and this largely follows through on the palate, though a wobbly finish carries you slightly toward chemical funk. It's not enough to ruin the experience for me, and matters even less as the beer goes on. The bitterness is light at first but builds up to a zesty, waxy citrus scrubbing, and that's fine by me too. The malt supplies some nice, light sugars to back all of this up, without showing much of the complex grain bill behind it. Nice stuff, this, and a good blend of the current, lo-fizz murk-juice trend in IPA with the (slightly) older fashioned pine and zest buzz of west coast IPA.

Back on Earth, but in a 1982 version of 2019, is Electric Dreams. At 4% it's much lighter than the the above and pours many shades lighter too; still hazy, but a nice pale yellow-gold. There was no fear of the hops here either though, and a lightning strike of lemongrass sears across the aroma first, perhaps unexpectedly for an Amarillo and Simcoe hop bill. More expected is the soft stone fruit and overripe citrus juiciness alongside a rather contrasting clean grass and grainy backbone. This graininess makes for a pleasant presence on tasting - the fullsome, clean straw of a good helles making a perfect stage for that wonderfully expressive hop profile. This leads to a dry finish and leaves an almost mint-like tingly bitterness in the afters, mopping up all that juice. I'm quite impressed with this, offering a convincing 'juicy IPA' buzz on a meagre 4% budget, with all the refreshing drinkability that entails. It almost makes you think that beers that endeavour to mimic fruit juice maybe shouldn't be 8% and thick as shit.

If these two are still in the wild, especially the fresher second, do try.

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