When it comes to food and drink, the omnipresent word “fusion” doesn’t resound very well with me. Fusion is the forced combination of things that otherwise would not belong together: nuclear fusion; or the forced fusion of metals together.
Since German brewers started to experiment with high-aroma American hops, there have been several commentators who have praised a new beer for being a fusion of modern American and tradition German brewing styles. How do you combine an aromatic hop in a beer like an IPA, but retain something uniquely German, like a lager crispness, so that a German palette will appreciate it?
In my own opinion, such attempts at fusion of styles by brewers in Germany have not always worked. It has often been a compromise at the expense of the typically round character of the a pale ale and an attempt to make a crisp lager with a cascade hop aroma.
The new IPA brewed by Philipp Brokamp at Hops & Barley (Friedrichshain, Berlin) goes in a different direction. Brewed with Falconers Flight, Cascade, Citra hops; dry hopped and using top fermenting yeast to achieve 6.2% a.b.v. there can be no doubt that this was influenced heavily by the US-style IPA. However, the backbone of this beer has delicious biscuit & caramel malty flavours that you typically find in a German Märzen/Festbier. These give the beer a wonderful body.
Make no mistake, this is more than just an IPA with a few darker malts thrown in; the beer retains some genuine character of the Märzen maltiness and it works really well with the recognisable Cascade & Citra fruity notes. Hops & Barley IPA – a successful blend of German and American traditions.
Unfortunately, available for a limited time only…