Deeds set sail for Köln for their Oktoberfest 2023 release, although they appear to have taken a bit of Glen Iris with them. Because, while their Frötheh kolsch is unmistakably Northern European in terms of its floral, spicy hops and über-crisp, carbonation-and-bitterness enhanced malt crunch, it feels like a Deedsified take on a kolsch with the hoppiness ratcheted up a notch or three. As such, it shares much in common with Northern German pilsners – no bad thing, at all – leaving the style's traditional fruitier esters whispering for attention in the background.
Given its September limited release partner is a triple dry-hopped IPA, There And Bract Again was never going to be about anything other than the hops. The name references NZ Hops' ongoing Bract Programme, in which they give experimental hop varieties to brewers around the world to see what they come up with. Last year's delivered some real treats – particularly with NZH-102, which is now known as Superdelic – and here it's NZH-105 at play.
Given it features alongside Galaxy and Citra, it's hard to know which is responsible for what but, to be honest, who cares? Move past admiring the golden orange haze and, hold onto your hats, folks, the aromas making a beeline for your olfactory system are little short of explosive. Initially reminiscent of Nelson Sauvin, there’s juicy citrus and passionfruit aplenty, and a supportive whiff of dankness, all delivered in a manner that’s both vibrant yet clearly defined; there's no muddled mix of every fruit under the sun here. The textural bitterness is both dry, cleansing and a little spicy, the whole experience quite glorious.
If you're a gambling hop fiend, you're going to want to put it all on Bract.
Published September 27, 2023 2023-09-27 00:00:00