Sometimes things don't go to plan. Things like this beer, for example. Upon conception it was destined to become a white IPA, a hybrid of sorts that typically uses the yeast (and sometimes coriander and orange peel) of a witbier before being lavished with a hop hit akin to that of an IPA. That was the plan here. Then the brewery’s digital thermometer broke.
In a small and very manual brewery like Staves, there’s a fair chance there could be variance in any brew versus the original plan, but the sad demise of the thermometer meant they missed the target temperature by some margin. And that’s where the skill of the brewer comes in, adapting and figuring out where things had taken a turn and making the necessary adjustments to save the soul of the beer and transfer it to a new entity.
Here, the major change was to the hop regime, which resulted in it being dry hopped with the Moutere and Amarillo varieties. And there was a change to its name, and thus style, too: the white IPA became instead the Hoppy Witbier†.
† [If this feels a little like tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to to you, you're not alone! – Editor]
- Hoppy Witbier