Honest-to-John beer is made with barely, malt, hops, and water. That should be tattooed on everyone’s brain. I avoid bar fights as a moral principle, but one time I was in St. Louis and this guy sent a beer over to me, but it wasn’t real beer! They make it with rice! Now, the Japanese make it with rice but they have to—it’s all they’ve got. And I wanted to tell this guy “it’s not real beer” but I didn’t. I don’t get into philosophical arguments in bars.
This is a fall seasonal, single-hop IPA that showcases the ‘Galaxy’ varietal native to New Zealand. The aroma is incredibly peachy, with stone fruit (apricot), tropical fruit, light alcoholic phenols (band-aid), and circus peanut candy.
On the palate, crisp carbonation stirs up citrus flavors reminiscent of grapefruit rind, tangerine, and orange. Toasted pale malts help maintain proper balance throughout, contributing a moderate honey-like sweetness. Juicy fruit flavors surface midway, passion fruit, pineapple, mango, and dried apricot come to mind. Grassy, floral, herbal hop flavors enclose the finish, leaving behind a drop of hop oil in its wake. Mouthfeel is very clean, crisp with bubbly carbonation, dry, then creamy for the finish. A well-maintained bitterness (60 IBU) rises and falls with short sustain, allowing for an open appreciation of hop flavor without distracting oily residue.
New Zealand hops blow my mind! I think this beer is absolute proof that Galaxy has an incredibly expansive array of flavor that doesn’t require any additional support. Within this single hop are all the most delicious citric, fruity, floral, and herbal flavors one could desire. I really do love a good solo hop IPA, because it grants us the opportunity to explore what one variety can do on its own. This is a simple, yet rock solid IPA I hope will be brewed for a very long time. It drinks great, the bitterness isn’t overstated, and it tastes spectacular. What’s not to like? Thanks Shlafly, for proving that the midwest can brew a good IPA, too. I recommend it.