Big Drop: Paria: Tailwind IPA (England: Low Alcohol: 0.5% ABV)

Visual: Clear yellow gold. Some small bubbled carbonation. Large mounded white head.

Nose: Lemon cakes and lemon grass. Bubblegum. Raspberry yogurt hard chunks. Cake sponge and icing. White crusty bread. Crisp hop character. Low bitterness.

Body: Bready. Moderate bitterness. Biscuity. Crushed digestives. Lemongrass. Lemon cakes. Gentle. Light lime.

Finish: Oats. Medium gritty bitterness. Peppery. Lemongrass. Grapefruit. Iced tea.

Conclusion: Ok, so it seems no Sorachi Ace hops was used in making this. I am very surprised. With the evident lemongrass and bubblegum notes I could have sworn some Sorachi had been used to make this.

Which shows that, even after ten years plus of doing these notes, I can still be completely wrong. Keeps a person humble.

Anyway, this is a gentle and drinkable IPA, easygoing at the start but with but a bit of a prickle and a decent bitterness at the end to make sure you know it is an IPA.

The aroma opens up very gentle, with lemon cakes and cake sponge – gently bready and easy going citrus. Very much lead me to expects something very light.

The body slowly builds from that, very biscuity giving it a gently more robust character – it reminds me more of an APA than an IPA in how it expresses the malt, but very drinkable with that. That lemongrass, slight citrus style note is still around, but with a hint of more bitter hops character that will eventually lead out into the aforementioned moderately bitter finish.

It is a mix of summer refresher, bitter IPA and low alcohol. Though I will admit the low alcohol character is very well hidden here with none of the usual iced tea or sports drinks like notes for the most part. Even where there is a hint in the tail end of the beer they tie it well with the rest of the character so it is easy to overlook.

This fits our current burst of hot weather nicely, can be taken as an easy drinking refresher but has enough notes to examine. I’m a fan of this gentle, sessionable IPA.

Background: Another seasonal release from Big Drop, pretty much the current low alcohol masters in my opinion. This one a collaboration with Paria, who I have not heard of before, look to be an American based brewery unless there is more than one Paria brewing. Which is possible. Brewed with Chinook, Cascade and Willamette hops, so looks to be a fairly traditional hop load here. Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. A friend had been recommending The Replacements to me recently, so was listening to their “Stink” EP while drinking. Their music style seems to change massively over the years so will have to listen more to see what they are like.