Let's Celebrate IPA
We’ll take any excuse to celebrate IPA, the beer that kick-started the craft beer revolution and the style we still brew more than any other. The good news is, August 5th was International IPA Day, so presented the perfect opportunity!
Our tradition started back in August 2014, when we took the opportunity to host our first brewery party and launch some audacious single-hop IPAs in collaboration with To Øl. More recently, you may remember last year, when we released a set of 10 different IPAs, all unique takes on what IPA can be.
Well this time around we’re staying true to our roots, in fact, we once again have a whole host of different IPAs available at the moment! But this blog is all about the 10 440ml cans we’ve put together to celebrate IPA on International IPA day.
Since its early origins forming beer’s most repeated tale of brews being loaded with hops to help them survive the long sea trip to India, the humble IPA has become synonymous with craft beer itself. At Siren, it’s a style we love to work with, develop, tweak and try new things all the time.
So without further ado, let us introduce all 10 beers, 10 styles and 10 happy reactions in a glass included in this blog.
First making an appearance in 2014, outside of the core range, White Tips is our oldest surviving seasonal beer. It’s scheduling in the brew plan is probably the first thing mentioned at the end of winter heading into spring. Each year it gets a triple brew, making sure we all have White Tips through Spring and Summer. Why? Because we love it!
White Tips is a beautifully easy drinking session IPA, using zest of lime, orange and grapefruit, along with a Belgian yeast, but the twist being that it’s hopped at the rate of an IPA The result is a wit beer full of fruit notes with subtle spice and clove from the yeast. Year on year, it’s the goto beer for many a BBQ due to its layered flavour profile - yet easy drinking nature - and ability to pair so well with a variety of food. Thank you Belgium, thank you America, and thank you for letting us keep brewing this beer!
Crossing the genre borders better than even Rage Against The Machine, our sour IPA is a true bull on parade, charging at your taste buds and saying f**k you I won’t do what you tell me.
Is it an IPA? Absolutely… Is it a sour? You bet it is. Is it juicy? Also yes.
Some of our seasoned readers will be long since converted to sours, but there’s still some hesitancy and confusion for people new to beer as we know. We think Pomp is an ideal starting point, so get stuck in, because you won’t regret it. The nature of a sour IPA brings together the big fruity hoppiness that we love in IPA, with the sharp puckering sour finish. Ekuanot, Bravo and Mosaic hops combine for a grapefruit hop profile, with grapefruit zest and juice accentuating those notes.
A touch of lactose brings a sweet edge, which balances out the sourness perfectly. There’s a reason we’ve been regularly brewing this beer since 2015.
If, like us, you’re a true Pomp head… look out soon; a pompelmocelebration is coming.
The West Coast IPA, at one time the staple of the US/UK beer scene and many people’s go-to beer. Nowadays, the sweeter, more heavily dry hopped hazy approach of the New England IPA seems to have become the preference. However, West Coast IPA still holds a solid place in many a beer fan’s heart - including ours.
We hadn’t brewed a true West Coast for a while, with more California IPA experimentation taking precedence (check out our Cali IPA blog for the difference!). However, we felt it was time to welcome back a classic.
Test of Time, we felt, truly nailed the brief. It’s crystal clear, packs a punch of piney, resinous flavour but with a delightful bitter backbone. The majority of the malt bill is comprised of Lager and Low Colour malts with just a hint of a golden hue. A hop profile of Simcoe, Talus, Loral and Bru-1 is a more modern take, with sherbet lemon and pithy grapefruit notes along with balanced bitterness.. Lovely stuff.
You could consider a Red IPA on the more experimental side of IPA, with its often darker, sometimes even bright red appearance and more malty profile. Others will find it more approachable than a pale hop vehicle, with the richer malts providing some balance. Wherever you see it on the experimentation scale, it’s a style we always loved. It’s the style that inspired Darron to start a brewery and will always be as much in our hearts as it is on the brew plan.
One In, All In is a collaboration with The White Hag, Lines Brew Co and Fyne Ales to celebrate the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa. You can read more about it here - Lions Blog - and more on Red IPA in general here - Red IPA Blog.
Remember when we said that the hop forward hazy approach of the New England IPA seemed to be the more popular style at the moment? Well, this one's for you. A true hoppy juice bomb if there ever was one.
Far Above The World launches you into a hazy world of juice. With plenty of oats in the mash, this beer comes with a wonderful thick mouthfeel. Hops wise, Idaho 7, Citra, Hallertau Blanc and Strata send you into the Strata-sphere of flavour. There’s not much to say about this beer but… well, just look at it. If that doesn’t make you want to dive in then I don’t know what does. You don’t need to be a billionaire to go into space now, £4.50 will do it.
Continuing the super-hop-forward beers is Sold My Soul for Mosaic. The ‘Sold My Soul’ series started with Citra, then Simcoe and now Mosaic. For these brews we’re showcasing these hops by utilising all of the modern formats they appear in. You may not know, but hop technology has come a long way. Traditionally, the hop cones themselves would be used. This practice has largely been dropped by modern brewers in favour of milled hop pellets. Hop pellets themselves have also progressed, to freeze-dried hops designed to separate out more of the sought after lupulin (flavour!!!).
Now, however, there are also concentrated liquid formats of hops, which means that none of the unnecessary vegetative part of the hop enters the beer. Essentially, it’s like a ribena of hops. Less wastage, more concentrated flavour. It’s not always the right way to go, but used well it’s a great tool in the brewing arsenal.
Combining these different styles of hop in the right way is a great way to get more of the desired hop flavour, without the additional bittering elements that might come with the theoretical amount you’re using. Clever stuff, and it makes a hell of a beer!
Sold My Soul gives you a 360° view of a chosen hop profile, with all the layers and nuance that comes with it.
What even is a California IPA? Okay, I’ll bite… In fact, we did bite and this was all explained in this blog. If you haven’t given it a read then do so, because these beers often get confused for West Coast IPA because of California’s geography. They’re very much a thing on their own though, and we love to play with the style.
Okay, I’ll Bite is our latest in the ever-increasing line and we love it! For this one, fan favourites Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic combine as you’d expect them to, with new-to-the-party Talus offering the sherbet lemon and pink grapefruit notes that we’ve come to expect, and love, from the hop.
We can’t wait for your feedback on this one!
Earlier this year, we added a brand new water treatment facility to the brewery. It was an exciting step for us, and one we’ve been looking forward to for a while. The water in Finchampstead is notoriously hard, which is perfect for stouts, but can be hard to control for IPA. With this new equipment, we can strip the incoming water back to the profile we want, and then build from there if desired. For more on the water plant, and this beer - head here.
Needless to say, this hop-tastic collaboration with Polly’s is a delight.
Isn’t that just a beer straight from the fridge? Well, maybe, yes. But in this instance, ‘Cold IPA’ is a brewing style growing in popularity in the States, and we’re sure you’ll see it gracing bottle shop shelves here in the UK far more in the coming months.
Cold IPA is fermented at a slightly cooler temperature, which helps to maintain a clean, crisp beer and lets the Simcoe, El Dorado, Nelson Sauvin, Idaho 7 and Hallertau Blanc hops sing.
For this beer, we embraced the idea of a ‘lockdown’ and distanced collaboration with Harbour, both brewing the same beer to the same recipe on the same day, but using different yeasts. We’re super happy with both beers, and we’ll no doubt be experimenting with Cold IPA again soon!
And lastly, the big one! Our experimenting and love of California IPA all started back with a Green Cheek collab - Every Minute Matters, swiftly followed up with Every Second Matters. After an abundance of gorgeous Cali IPA brews in between, our third collab comes in the form of High Definition, a ramped up 11.1% Triple IPA.
Some of you will be well versed and well rehearsed with the nature of a TIPA, others maybe more fearful of the punchy 11.1% ABV. Well, don’t be. This isn’t a beer that you’re sinking pints of over an afternoon, but it is super drinkable thanks to all the inherent alcohol sweetness fighting against an outrageous hop bill. Again, there’s more about California IPA in general on the Cali IPA blog!
So there we go… 10 beers. 10 IPAs. 10 unique takes. We want to celebrate National IPA day with a bang, so as mentioned, these 10 beers are all available in one box. The retail price for this box is £49.00, but we’re feeling generous. This box will be available whilst stocks last for an amazing £39.00.