Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tun Farmhouse IPA in da house

Brewer Tim Kelly filters Tun's fest beer
American craft brewers love to ignore beer style guidelines and crash styles into each other. In the process, the unconventional has led to some conventions, like American IPAs – bold, strapping beers that have more hops than a hopyard and left their British IPA ancestors behind years ago.

Call 'em West Coast or American IPA, hophead tonic, or whatever. Just don't call 'em unconventional, because these days they're ubiquitous and true signatures of US craft brewing.

For the Atlantic City beer festival, Tun Tavern brewpub brewer Tim Kelly was looking to create a beer that bucked convention and spoke to fusion of styles. What he came up, a Farmhouse IPA, may sound like something Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, Maryland) did with last year's In de Wildeman tribute beer.

Aside from the style, there's only a minor bit of overlap (a specialty grain – rye), so there's no copying here (but you have admit, Flying Dog is good company to be keeping). Tim made sure to cut his own path with the Tun's version, using oats and crystal rye in the grist, along with some sour mash, plus raw apple blossom and goldenrod honeys in the kettle.

Simcoe, Cascade dry-hopping
"I often sit around at night and think, 'What can I do different?' The idea of a farmhouse IPA struck me. After I thought of it, I went online and looked around to see if anyone else had done it. I  came across only one; it was actually Flying Dog," Tim said Wednesday as he filtered the 4-plus barrels of the 6% ABV IPA brewed for the festival that starts Friday night at the neighboring Convention Center. "I tried to do some layers of things, so it's not a one-dimensional hopped beer, so there's some character to it."

With the brewing, the hops started off with Nugget, moved into Saaz, finished with Styrian Goldings, with a dash of Chinook in the whirlpool. Tim dry-hopped with a touch of Cascade added to Simcoe. (The beer was fermented with a saison yeast.)

"Simcoe tends to be not as citrusy as the Cascade. It's a little more like apricot flavor," Tim says.

The result: a bit of a bizarro IPA at 65 IBUs, he says, "not the American citrus hop, but something different, sweeter, you know earthy, funky, spicy."

FOOTNOTES: The Farmhouse IPA marks the third time the Tun has produced a beer specifically for the Atlantic City festival, and it's probably the only beer pouring at the festival that was made specifically for the event. (That's something brewpub's have more flexibility with than production breweries.) The beer also goes on tap at the Tun on Friday. It was produced in about a half-batch size, so it may not last long (plus, there's a maibock waiting in the wings.)

This year's brew, like the two prior – a dunkelweizen in 2010 and Belgian tripel last year – were made as part of a promotion with The Press of Atlantic City newspaper and its weekend entertainment guide, At The Shore. Mark Haynie, New Jersey columnist for Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and a beer columnist for At The Shore, helped brew the beer.

Return to Home page

No comments: