There are many, many double IPAs in the world–so many that it can be hard to tell them apart. The style has become so synonymous with craft beer that it’s become a sea of sameness. We don’t like that, so we’ve decided to cut some new trail on a series of more experimental versions. But what does that even mean? How do you innovate a style that’s defined so popularly?
In our case we’ve decided to take a hard turn from our normal approach to the DIPA. This means throwing out the old rulebook. No leaning into the indomitable A-Game formula for reference or bringing back a minor version of Hops&Dreams with a varied dry-hop just do say it’s different. We wanted to play by a completely different set of rules, with all new formulations and ingredients. We’ve found a number of rare hops that we’re going to be working with, and we’ll be employing some cutting-edge techniques to get the absolute best out of them. We’re also going with all new malts, from new suppliers, in new ratios.
In short, this series is 100% brand-spankin’-new.
You all know we’re nerds and we love all things space so we’ve decided to go with constellation names, based on the timing of their releases. The first one is Aries. Aries is 40% wheat and flaked oats. That’s significantly higher than what we’d normally do, so we’re expecting a plush, slightly doughy presentation with a big, fluffy foam stand. Hopping for this one is a blend called “Trident”. Made by our friends at Hopsteiner in Yakima, WA, it’s secret enough that they won’t even tell us what the components are beyond it being a pelletized blend of three Pacific Northwest varieties. Our initial samples show an incredible range of Citrus, Passionfruit, and Tropical aromas. It’s far more complicated than any one variety by itself, making this blend wonderfully exciting to work with. Given that not every new hop can be a “Citra-killer”, we think that hop blends like this represent a significant step forward in the industry. Companies like Hopsteiner who are creating these blends are getting more out of the crop in a more sustainable way, and that’s not such a bad thing either.
Leo comes after, and Sagittarius after that. Each unique, much like the constellations they are named after and the people who live under their signs. You’ll want to try each one!
Here in the mid-Atlantic you can throw a stick and hit an IPA in our region’s signature low-bitterness-high-fruit style. They’re delicious, for sure. But whatever happened to the old-school west coast IPA classic style? Is it gone forever? No way, at least not here at The Alementary!
We adore these beers with their grapefruit-forward hop aromas, sweet malt, and clean, precise bitterness. In many cases, they are the beers that god us all into craft beer. The were the original unobtainable cult beers! If you’ve been around craft beer for a while you’ll definitely remember the first time you scored a Pliny the Elder. Even today, this west coast pillar stands the test of time.
As a style, they’re a dream to drink, whether you’re looking for a return to where we all got started or exploring new and interesting ways to enjoy the hops.
Our West Coast-style Double IPA, Road Trip, is an all-American affair. Our starting point is select domestic 2-row barley from Idaho. A dash of 45L crystal malt completes the picture. We mash it low to get the dryness where we want and marry that with a firm, but manageable bitterness of 40 IBU (remember when we used to talk about that?). By East Coast standards, the dry-hop is a diminutive 2lbs per barrel, so we drive the aroma forward with our hand-selected Simcoe and Cascade hops.
So what makes Road Trip unique in 2022? Not a lot, unless you “just” appreciate premium ingredients and impeccable craftsmanship. If that’s you, then we’d suggest a taking Road Trip!
Our Hot and Bothered series is back for the winter! If you don’t know what a Hot & Bothered is, it’s a toasty warm beverage that we came up with last winter to keep our patrons toasty as they were required to sit outside due to COVID restrictions. H&B’s are made in a large pot using recipes developed by our master bartenders. Taking inspiration from seasonal flavors using various base beers, they layer and infuse herbs, spices, and fruits to create a completely unique beer experience. They are served in mugs to keep them warm and garnished with the appropriate trimmings! We decided that even though our guests can sit inside again, there was just something about a Hot and Bothered on a cold night that hit the spot so we had to bring them back.
Cameron has created some delightful flavors like Apple Doughnut or Poached Pear made with our ESB, Doris and Peppermint Hot Chocolate made with our Oatmeal Stout, Low Earth Orbit. We have a number of other flavors in store, so every time you pop by there’ll be something new to try!
So for the next eight weeks of winter we’re going to be all hot and bothered…. but of course we’ll still have our normal fantastic taplist of 8 beers, seltzer, and multiple bottle options (including the famous Laniakea). Something for everyone, and delivered with that top-notch professional service you’ve come to expect. For updates on the H&B series and what we’ve got coming up next, make sure to follow us on our Facebook or Instagram!
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