You turn your back for five minutes and, whaddya know, there's four new IPAs pouring at Fixation's taproom. Working through the foursome in order of palate impact, let's start with Recliner, the brewery's beer for the 2019 Bendigo On The Hop. It's a twist on their Tropical IPA, featuring pineapple and mango additions, with the former leading the way on the nose, the latter coming into play more to taste. It's a combo that works well, creating an easy-going fruity IPA with a smooth body, a little malt sweetness and a gently resinous bitterness.
NSR (or Northside Red to give it its full title) is a very different beast, and not just in terms of the murky ruddy colour. Fermented with Lallemand's New England yeast, the meeting of speciality malts and punchy hops brings about something spicy and herbaceous – a hop character that's deep and intense rather than fruity and flighty, with red berries and citrus peel sitting alongside toasted, fruity malts and a gentle bitterness.
Arguably the most out there of the four is Hop Tingle, a beer that started out with a spot of kettle souring but which, thanks to a massive hop addition, sees the lactobacillus line up with the tropical hops to create something that's lean and slightly tart rather than wantonly sour or acidic. There's plenty of lime and sherbet on the nose, with the overall package not unlike a fruity sauv blanc.
Completing the picture is Midnight Sun, brewed with a strain of Norwegian kveik yeast and thus possessing that densely cloudy appearance that acts as a good precursor for the fruit character. Imagine a fruit salad that's been mashed or stewed, with a little banana ester chucked in for good measure, plus a slow-building and broad bitterness, and you're on the right track.
- 5.8% & 5.2% & 6.5% & 6.8%