The classic West Coast IPA has well and truly clawed its way back into the favour of many beer drinkers after being subsumed by the tidal wave of hazies, and the brewers at Rocky Ridge – with their penchant for brewing hop forward beers – couldn’t be happier. Or so it seems with this pair of beers created in collaboration with Footscray bar Mr West.
West is light in profile, while still hitting 6 percent ABV, thanks to a lack of crystal malt in the grist. It's a subtle detail that yields a lager-like clarity and allows the hops to dominate. Resinous characters and mixed citrus persist at every level here, finishing with plenty of fresh citrus character and a persistent bitterness.
Wester is a bigger brother of sorts. Similar in spec to its lower ABV counterpart, with a comparable malt bill and hop profile, the 8 percent ABV kicks things up a notch while the hopping is pushed to the next level. Resinous pine and citrus still feature but are amplified by pineapple, stone fruits, kiwi and guava. Some residual sweetness is much needed to counter such dense hop character and bold bitterness. Still, its drinkability is noteworthy.
Taken together, they showcase the brewers' range when it comes to working with hops, creating two beers that are, in a way, entirely comparable, yet also very different.
Published April 9, 2023 2023-04-09 00:00:00