Beer Release

“Ultra, Hoppy, Sour, Spy”–A Sour Citrus IPA Release

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Inspired in part by the John le Carré novel “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” a new beer called “Ultra, Hoppy, Sour, Spy” is a sour citrus IPA concept beer I personally designed that is being released this, Wednesday from 6-9pm at Imperial Bottleshop & Taproom.

Conceived as a sour version of the increasingly popular citrus infused IPA style (a la Deschutes Fresh Squeezed), it was meant as a collaboration with Lompoc Brewing’s Brewmaster Bryan Keilty for the breweries spy themed IPA series. Timing worked out so that we could enter it into last weekend’s WW Pro-Am series. though we had to rush the souring process a bit to get it ready.

The initial base batch of “Ultra, Hoppy, Sour, Spy” is a light-bodied ale made with 100lbs of white wheat and a touch of Crystal 30/37 malt for body. Only about a pound of Centennial hops were used in the boil, which would be practically unnoticeable in the finished beer. We added another pound of citrusy “Ultra” hops 15 minutes before the end of the boil for flavor and another pound of “Ultra” right before knockout for aroma. In addition to hops for flavor, we chopped up and added about 5lbs of fresh tangelos to the boil, which is part of where the “citrus” comes in for the sour citrus IPA.

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“Ultra, Hoppy, Sour, Spy” was then fermented–at least initially–with only a Lactobacillus culture from Wyeast Labs for a few weeks before a pitch of 1056 American Ale yeast was added to finish off the fermentation. We then began dry-hopping the beer for roughly 2 weeks again with Ultra hops to add a great pithy and citrusy aroma. During this time we added an addition of pure orange and grapefruit juices that re-fermented, adding additional acidity and citrus pithiness.

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By this time the beer had a light lactic tartness without much bitterness, but a wonderful fresh fruit and floral hoppy finish both in flavor and the aroma. We blended back in some of Lompoc Brewing’s Pampelmousse IPA to add hoppy bitterness, added a pinch of a sour barrel-aged funky brew from the archives to increase sourness, and finally a couple drops of pure lactic acid to achieve the final product.

Fans of IPAs and citrus fruit juice will love this beer, I think. If you don’t like sour beers, I think this is a beautiful intro because it is only lightly sour and that acidity just helps to emphasize the tangy citrus juiciness.

Please join the Lompoc Brewing crew and myself at Imperial Bottleshop & Taproom this Wednesday from 6-9pm. In addition to my beer, there will also be other rare drafts and FREE samples! Lompoc will be pouring samples of Monster Mash Imperial Porter and Pamplemousse Citrus IPA from bottles. Imperial will be pouring 5 specialty Lompoc beers on tap, including a five beer sampler tray! Check out the tap lineup below:

  1. Fresh Hop Harvestman Red
  2. Cheval de Trait Belge Dark Belgian Strong Ale
  3. Peachy Keen Sour Peach
  4. Lompoc Sour Stout aged for 11 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels
  5. “Ultra, Hoppy, Sour, Spy” Citrus Sour IPA, which Ezra describes as

Imperial Bottleshop & Taproom
3090 SE Division
Portland, OR

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Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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