During the initial cold IPA boom, I had to put my hand up and admit I was confused. It’s an IPA but it’s also a lager somehow? Am I meant to drink it cold or drink it when it’s cold? Is it even a style? For those that missed The Crafty Pint's article and subsequent blind tasting focused on such beers, then Sauce Brewing have provided a handy explanation on tins of their new version of Chill Factor.
If we use that as a source, a cold IPA consists of crisp malts typically found in lagers, hopping more typical of an IPA, and lager yeast added during a colder-than-average fermentation. By combining such elements, they've ended up with a beer pouring the colour of lemon and ginger tea with bold aromas by way of Galaxy, Azacca and El Dorado hops (a different selection to the beer's January 2022 debut).
In an almost school science experiment-like result, the hop flavours which promised to be bold on the nose are quite light on the palate, which allows you to taste the more subtle flavours across a spectrum of hops often found lurking in a more challenging West Coast IPA. Expect grapefruit subtleties, some pine and a clean finish, peppered with just a little bit more alcohol than you might expect in a beer of, well, such subtlety. It makes for a great cold IPA for those wanting to explore the nuance of this emerging style / sub-style / whatever-you-want-to-call-it.
PS Chill Factor would pair well with anything with which you’d enjoy an Italian pilsner, such as a panini chock full of provolone and mortadella.
Published January 31, 2023 2023-01-31 00:00:00