Three years of Happy Valley Brewing. Two special birthday beers to celebrate. One post to talk all about them.
As you likely know, the word brut generally refers to dry sparkling wine.* So when I first looked at Passionbrut’s label, I thought, “Ha, those pictures of bottles remind me a bit of Passion Pop. But of course, they must be champagne bottles…” Then I looked closer. “Nope. Definitely Passion Pop.”
This beer isn’t aiming to be fancy or pretentious; it’s aiming to be fun. Its branding does indeed evoke Passion Pop, that bubbly passionfruity booze that used to sell for five bucks a bottle when I was a teenager.** And boy, is there a lot of passionfruit flavour in this beer: it’s loaded up with passionfruit pulp and Galaxy hops to give a big, fresh passionfruit whack (as well as some funky peach character), all wrapped up in slap of sourness. Based solely on the name, I’d assumed this was a brut IPA before I tasted it but, boy, was I wrong: it’s a dry sour ale, fermented from a lactic-acid-producing yeast and serving up sour spasms with each sip.
As well as being available in cans, Passionbrut was released in champagne (read: Passion Pop) bottles. Fitting.
Hazies might not be head brewer Ian Watson’s favourite style, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pour his all into making one. When it comes to HIPA HIPA Hooray Blood Orange Hazy IPA, the word hazy doesn’t quite cut it. This baby is opaque, bordering on milky.
Ian certainly didn’t hold back on the blood orange here, either. HHH is pithy, pulpy, acidic, and just about carries the bitterness and textural quality of orange peel as well. This beer is what I'd expect if you blended up oranges whole, skin and all, and drank that.
Happy birthday, Happy Valley. Enjoy your overload of passionfruit and blood orange.
*It also refers to a brand of deodorant that reminds me of my dad, but that’s probably not what the brewery was going for with this beer…
**I just looked it up and it’s only $8 a bottle now. That’s not bad after 18 years of inflation.
Published August 18, 2023 2023-08-18 00:00:00