When we first encountered Cerberus, he was a friendly and gentle creature that was all about licks and tail-wagging. Now, this Very Good Boy is off the leash, and is growling with his teeth bared as he takes his tug-of-war very seriously.
There are three big differences (or a three-headed difference?) between 2021’s Cerberus and this one: new brewers, new cans, new recipe.
New brewers: Since the last Cerberus, Charlie Hodgson moved on from Helios, and Jake Harrison stepped into the role of head brewer. But it’s not just Jake who brought his expert touch to this red IPA. They hosted ran a Crafty Cabal brew day at Helios, meaning six amateurs (including yours truly) had a hand in the making of this beer as well. I like to think you can taste the excitement of the great day we all had.
New cans: This is Helios’ first foray into the world of 440ml cans, which they plan to use for some of their limited releases from now on. The release also shows some brand spanking new artwork that the brewery is playing around with, which takes a sidestep from their regular programming. They’re schmick cans, that’s for sure.
New recipe: Some bangin’ specialty malts and heavy-handed additions of Galaxy, Nectaron and Strata (three hop varieties from three countries - the three-headed dog strikes again!) make this a beast of a beer. It has a stunning red shine to it, with a creamy foam that looks like you’re making homemade hokey pokey. The nose leads with exquisite sweet berries and sweet toffee playing together. From the first sip, these are joined by a rush of caramel and praline and who knows what else as the malt opens the flavours up further. There’s mixed berry gelato sprinkled with freeze-dried raspberry. All these rich flavours are held together with a solid, snarling bitterness that holds on tight and doesn’t let go.
Since I was there "helping" when this beer was brewed, I’m just gonna go ahead and take full credit for it. You’re welcome, all.
- Red IPA