The oat cream IPA has become one of the defining beers of 2020. Sure, it had debuted well before the year from hell started, but we've never seen so many from so many breweries, and here Hawkers get in on the act with Dreaming Of Oats. It's a style brewers interpret in different ways and, if not careful with the lactose, can lead to an end result that's the equivalent of draining the filling from a box of after dinner fruit crèmes, with both the structure and hop character of a typical IPA smothered. (Of course, in these sweet-toothed days, that may be what the brewer is aiming for).
In this case, the balance is rather finer. Sure, there’s a hint of creaminess to the texture but the hops - zesty and tropical - remain vibrant and contribute a prickly bitterness. The oats and lactose broaden the body somewhat but stop well short of shake territory and leave you with a beer that is most definitely an IPA. Whatever that means these days.
That said, there's bugger all even-handed about Apollo After Dark. As one of the Crafty team said in a text at the weekend: "I'm sending [Hawkers' CEO] Mazen my dentist bill." He's also keen to buy more of the beer which will delight chasers of OTT sweet stouts, or sweet orange, chocolate and lactose imperial stout to be specific. Intense, spicy, zesty citrus is woven through the dark, chocolaty fudge to create something that's either the beer equivalent of a densely gooey dessert you have to share by the slice or the sort of flavoured liqueur you’d pull out at an 80s themed, big hair and shoulder pads dinner party.
- DDH Oat Cream IPA & Imperial Choc Orange Stout
- 7.5% & 9.7%