It's far from unusual for brewers to create something dessert inspired for GABS. Often, they'll load a beer up with all manner of vanilla, coffee, cocoa, fruit – you name it – to achieve their goal. But, for their 2017 entry, Prancing Pony aimed to achieve something rich and fruity without using anything other than the core four of water, malt, hops and yeast. That said, The Hunt for Red Velvet does use two beers, being a blend of a fruity IPA and an imperial stout.
The blend – tagged a black IPA but more brown in colour – certainly delivers on the fruity, cakey front, with the collision of hops, alcohol and rich, dark malts firing off sweet berry and candied orange cake aromas. It comes with a somewhat sticky texture, perhaps not surprising when you consider it weighs in at close to 10 percent ABV, while the brewers reckon it reminds them of a Rum Pot. That's a European concoction created by soaking garden fruits in rum and sugar during the year to serve over Christmas and it seems a fair call as Red Velvet, which has been released in individually numbered bottles, has a boozy warmth running through it too.
- Black IPA
International Beer Challenge 2017 – Gold