It’s reached that time of your again where Irish clouds begin to dissipate and a pale blue spring sky taunts and jests that we may be in for a Summer after all, only to instantly unleash a volley of hailstones the minute you step outside your front door in the first shorts of the season. April showers are a phenomenon unto themselves but with them comes an exciting time for beer. The breweries swap the stouts for their fruity seasonal ales and the drinkers quickly trade their high-stools for the nearest patch of sun soaked grass.
So far the spring of 2016 has already seen debuts for a number of citrus infused beers, with grapefruit taking centre stage as the hit new flavour of the month.
These fruity debutants can be hit or miss and more often than not they fade away, never to be heard from again. However one thing you can come to count on time and time again is the release of the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp range and this year they’ve come back again with another spring seasonal offering.
Last year’s Hoppy Lager was very much a middle-of-the-road affair so it was all the play for with the latest release. Being a Tropical IPA, you already start to imagine the exotic flavours rolling around inside this little brown bottle before even cracking off the cap to release the aromas. When you eventually pour it’s discovered that the fruity smells are actually quite subtle, with slight notes of spice also to be taken in. The label read that this IPA is packed full of flavours of mango and papaya. Having never actually eaten a papaya myself, I personally feel there is a slight pineapple flavour coming from the hops combination here, with even slighter still traces of passion fruit.
With fruity flavours endemic of west coast brews, dealt in a reserved fashion so as not to spoil the overall flavour of the malts, this seasonal tipple offers some welcome respite from the flurry of whacky and ill-conceived beers that are an inevitable part of the brewing year. This is a great example of a veteran brewery showing it’s skills and experience with ‘mature’ tropical tastes. I can’t wait to see what comes next year.
Available from Martin’s Off License from €3.49.
Having previously devoted every ounce of his spare time to music, Tony is more commonly found these days in a kitchen than on a stage. With experience in writing on festivals and shows around the country he has recently turned his pen to more culinary exposés. With a particular penchant for craft beer he can often be spotted travelling from one bar to another in search of the latest brew to hit the market.