Victoria is a booming craft beer scene, and B.C. Beer Reviews is here today to take a look at yet another solid addition to their lineup. Hoyne Brewing is led by Sean Hoyne, putting out some very solid beers like Dark Matter. Today we will take a look at their Alpha Acid IPA, an American IPA, to see how this one fared in comparison to their standards.
B.C. Beer Reviews: Hoyne Brewing – Alpha Acid IPA
This beer pours a bright and clear amber colour from the bottle. Although the amber colour is slightly deeper in the glass, the clarity does not dissipate significantly. You can see straight through this exquisitely clear beer. A very nice and appealing colour for an IPA, and the clarity is a characteristic you do not get as often in the current B.C. craft beer scene.
As you would expect from a beer named Alpha Acid, the hops are very much at the forefront of the nose/aroma of this brew. There is a very noticeable citrus fruit characteristic, most closely resembling the bitter peel of grapefruit. It does not come off as sweet fruit, but rather the bitter portions.
In behind that grapefruit peel aroma is a floral and somewhat woody aroma. It is hard to place exactly what it could be, but it has that common note of a west coast IPA that can be perceived as slightly piney.
Behind all of that is an ever so slightly resinous character. It is not at all powerful, but it finishes out the hop notes with a slightly pungent aroma that does not beat around the bushes with its presence.
There is very little to no noticeable sweetness or definable notes from the malt/grain bill in the nose/aroma. This brew is all about the hops here.
Surprisingly enough, given how the nose/aroma was perceived, this is a rather well-balanced beer. You get the first kick of the piney and floral bitterness and immediately thereafter get a nice balancing sweetness from the malt/grain bill.
The notes from the malt/grain bill come off as a light note of crackers or bread crust. This is not the main player in this one, but it helps from keeping the bitter backbone of this beer to become too overpowering.
This beer finishes off with a somewhat resinous bitter note. Just as it started with hops, it finishes it off with them as well. The bitterness is not potent, but it certainly lingers on your palate well after each sip.
The branding/labeling of this bottle is interesting and unique. There is a tree in the form of a hand growing from cement with a spray can in its hand. It is putting Alpha Acid in graffiti on the wall in front of it. This is some very noticeable and unique branding from Hoyne Brewing.
It should go without saying that there is a fairly significant amount of lacing left behind from this beer. With how strong the hop presence is throughout, this is not a note that should surprise anyone.
The carbonation level is fairly light in this one. This is not a bad note necessarily, but you would expect a slight bit more from an IPA. There is enough to accentuate the aromatics, but not enough to be considered something of note.
This beer is an old school hop bomb. It is not the tropical fruit bomb that you expect of IPAs nowadays, but it has the piney, floral and bitter citrus fruit peel notes that come with a more traditional approach to the style. Despite it being very much a hop-forward beer, this one is very well-balanced and does not let the hops get out of control.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved