It’s not often a brewery pits their own brewers against each other, but that’s exactly what the team at Rocky Ridge wanted to do with Ash Gale and Adam Brookes: the pair were instructed by the powers-that-be to whip up an IPA, with the winner decided by thirsty punters…
El Diablo is an East Coast IPA brewed by Adam with an abundance of Citra, El Dorado and Mosaic hops in which a medium body pairs well with big stonefruit and jammy apricot notes. Citrus makes an appearance too, balancing sweet, ripe fruit notes that flow into the finish. A sound offering, but what does Ash have to offer?
Magic Man errs on the side of the West Coast, with a more aggressive, textbook bitterness. The 65 IBUs of bitterness are noticeable but well-placed, offering a contrast to sweet melon notes and the bigger, maltier profile on offer. Strata, Rakau and Nelson Sauvin are the hops of choice, yielding a particularly diverse array of hop characters that includes fresh melon, berry, grapefruit, and passionfruit. Although the hop notes are bright and vibrant, they’re quickly cut down by a bitter bite that flows through the finish and lingers after each sip. A bold effort that may only be undone by comparatively less finesse than Adam’s efforts.
Overall, both beers are solid, hop-driven offerings, underpinned by the joy that comes from knowing their hard-working brewers got the opportunity to explore their creative sides.
- East & West Coast IPAs
- Both 7.0%
- 35 & 65 IBU