One advantage of hosting an event for Crafty Cabal members at Hawkers was being able to grab a couple of upcoming releases before they hit retail. Obviously, tucking into cellar stock of years-old barrel-aged beers was pretty high on the "advantage" front too, but let's stick with the program.
Bottomless Pith sees them playing with a couple of their favourite things: IPAs and rye. Here, however, the rye arguably plays second fiddle to the ingredient that lends the beer its name: blood orange. Pouring with a lovely orange glow, it fires off crystalline aromas in which the fruit is present but not OTT, instead melding with the vibrant hop combo of Amarillo, Citra Cryo, Idaho 7 Cryo, Eclipse, and Pacifica. Lean, clean and refreshingly light on the palate without losing any flavour impact, its bitterness is fruity, pithy and a little spicy from the rye, making for another cracker from Hawkers.
As for Read Between The Limes, it's a Berliner weisse laced with lime, in which those distinctive lacto-derived aromas lead the way, the lime making more of a show on the palate. It does so in a lime juice / cordial manner – there's no puckering sweet-sour-acidity here – with the picture completed by the beer's sherberty top note.
Now Downside Up isn't quite as new – it's Hawkers' entry in Hop Products Australia's Aussie Hops Explorer mixed packs – but as I brought a couple home and enjoyed them, why not write about it? For a beer made predominantly with Ella hops (there's a bit of Galaxy too) it's got a pretty old school US depth to it. There's as much of a piney / forest floor nature as the floral / spice the label talks about – I'd argue there's even a bergamot intensity to the perfume, presumably the result of the combo of high booze content, biotransformation and heaps of hops that takes Ella to places it never reached in its early days as Stella.
Citrus farm meets berry orchard meets pine forest, plenty of body in keeping with its dense NEIPA-esque appearance, and a spicy bitterness to boot. Heaps going on and I'm here for all of it.
- Blood Orange IPA, Lime Berliner Weisse & Hazy DIPA
- 6.0% & 4.5% & 8.0%