It's been one heck of a year to date for the crew at Felons, whether taking into account the impromptu rescue operation as Brisbane River flooded or the work that's been going on to bring the Barrel Hall side of the brewery to life. With this Hazy Pale, however, it's more a case of business as usual: creating a collaboration brew with a local artist to celebrate one of the growing number of festivals they support.
The beer was brewed for the launch of the Brisbane Street Art Festival in partnership with local street artist Sofles, who designed the gleaming labels for the 4,000 individually number cans. Inside is a pale that's not overtly hazy, yet possesses a distinctive character amid the veritable sea of hazy pales on the market these days.
I'm assuming much of that can be attributed to the use of Idaho Gem hops alongside longstanding US favourite Amarillo. They're said to add berry, bubblegum and mint to beers, as well as more typical citrusy elements, and I reckon it's that minty side that brings the point of difference. There's something herbaceous and zesty about it that reminds me of beers featuring neomexicanus hop varieties like Zappa, as if some green coffee beans have snuck their way into a bag of citrus fruit. As a result, there's a sharper edge to proceedings, aided by a not insubstantial bitterness, that pokes its way through the otherwise creamy texture.