It's often said brewing is a blend of art and science, and it's a phrase Hawkers seem eager to prove. Starting with the science, there's been some boffinry at play with recent series, such as the IPAs brewed with hops from the same plot of land picked at different times within harvest to show how just a few days can impact flavour and aroma.
Their Four Seasons series is of a similar ilk: the brewers use exactly the same ingredients in different ratios to create a different beer for each season. If it sounds pretty restrictive, they have given themselves a pretty broad palette with which to play: on the malt side, there's pale, Caramalt and chocolate malt from Australia, malted oats from Canada, and Special B (a dark crystal malt) from Belgium; hops come in the shape of Citra, Cascade and Simcoe from the US plus Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand.
First up was their 6 percent ABV Autumn Red IPA; for Winter, they've eschewed any temptation to go heavy on the darker malts and instead boosted the booze in a West Coast style triple IPA. As for the art, the beer continues their partnership with Sydney-based Sad Skelly whose skeletons look less sad here, more introspective as they toast marshmallows over a campfire.
Whether you plan to enjoy this ten percenter while enjoying a winter fire or at home, it’s worth hunting down if you enjoy IPAs of any form. Sure, the viscosity lets you know it’s a big one but you’d unlikely guess it registers double digits: I've had chewier West Coasts at 6 percent ABV. The hops manage to break free of the booze and malts required for balance – candied and citrusy – while the oily bitterness steadily lays down a carpet like winter snow without getting in the way.
It all adds up to a beer that might suggest an origin story for the skeletons: you could easily have one too many (which I’d suggest is any more than one per session).
Published July 13, 2023 2023-07-13 00:00:00