After a few years releasing different versions of Cyclops IPA as a wet-hopped beer at hop harvest time, Helios finally brought Cyclops into the core range in 2020 as a West Coast IPA. The idea was to capture something of the big Californian IPAs that Helios owner Scott Shomer is nostalgic for, and capture something of brewer Charlie Hodgson’s 2014 AIBA trophy beer Copy Cat IPA (from his time at Mash Brewing).
Following plenty of in-house discussion and self-critique by Charlie, the Cyclops’ recipe has been tweaked at the start of 2022 - the malts and hops remained the same, but with a shift in the balance of ingredients to strike the bullseye (or Cyclops eye?) the brew team is aiming for.
Cyclops is still a clear, deep caramel colour; it still carries a complex fruitiness of citrus rind, pineapple and some stonefruit from the three hop blend; there’s still a brawny punch of pine resin held aloft by a golden syrup malt character, though the syrupyness has dried up a little; and I reckon the bitterness, which was already a 20 year sea voyage worthy of an epic poem, has a couple of extra nautical miles on it. (That’s a little Odyssey reference for you Homer lovers out there.)
If you’ve only ever had low-bitterness hazy IPAs, the Cyclops may defeat you. But know this: If die we must, we will die a noble death.
Published February 9, 2022 2022-02-09 00:00:00