Anchorage: Galaxy White IPA (USA: IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain yellow. Massive white loose bubbled head. Moderate carbonation.

Nose: Lemon meringue. Peppercorn. Tart apples. Passion fruit. Slightly cloying. Egg plant.

Body: Tart. Grapes. Wheat. Moderate bitterness. Lemon meringue. Passion fruit. Salty touch. Orange peel.

Finish: Heavier bitterness. Hops and heavy wheat feel. Kiwi fruit. Passion fruit. Dry. Wholemeal crackers. Carrot and aniseed.

Conclusion: Where do I even start? Ok, it’s an IPA. A white IPA. Within a few sips I quickly realized that established standard IPA style expectations are out of the window for this one. This is nothing like a standard IPA.

Let’s go again from the top.

Style wise it reminds me most of a Belgium wit beer. The brett yeast helps by bringing that real funky style and the beer is slightly tart. The bitterness is higher than a wit beer but not close to what I would expect of a Belgium style IPA. Very wheaty, and you can really taste the wealth of extra ingredients in it. The peppercorn especially works well with the dryness you get into the finish.

It is hard to tell where the flavours from the basic ingredients and beer style ends and those of the extra ingredients begin. Everything works against what I would expect which makes it hard to get a baseline. Sour grape touches like wine, dry citrus fruit, they all seem to show an influence but without that baseline it is hard to work out what does what.

The beer is best described as a dry citrus fruit wit beer with the bitterness ratcheted way up. It isn’t easy drinking; I’ll say that, all the elements have prickly edges turned outwards. Even the lemon meringue flavours seam tart and funky. The abv isn’t insane but the beer still feels like it should be shared, it is drying and mouth filling in equal measures. It pushes back at you with every moment it exists.

Not a beer for everyone and it quickly establishes its range, so there are no surprised by the half way mark. The beer however always rewards you with how different it is, beer styles mix and clash, extra ingredients mix with hops and malt.

The beer is worth it just for seeing what can be done with beer when you push it. As a beer itself it is not quite a favourite, but it still enthrals me.  I want to dissect it and examine each element. As a beer it is very good, and as an experience similarly high quality. As an experiment of what can be done it is fantastic.

Background: White IPA? Ok after Black IPA existed I shouldn’t be surprised, but yet another IPA variant.  Ok, where do I start? Made with peppercorn, kumquats and coriander. Single hopped with Galaxy. Brett yeast in the bottle, aged in French oak with wit yeast.  This wasn’t cheap, but I figured it was worth trying just to see if it was as mad as it sounded.