Big Drop: Wildtrack APA (England: Low Alcohol: 0.5% ABV)

Visual: Pale yellowed clear body. Some small bubbled carbonation. Moderate grey white head.

Nose: Bread dough and flour. Slightly bitter. Mild sulphur. Cake sponge.

Body: Bitter. Dry. Peppery. Slight charred. Light lime.

Finish: Bitter. Sulphur. Flour. Peppery. Slightly charred.

Conclusion: Ok, just some musings before I get deep into the notes here. As you may have noticed from a lot of my comments recently that I am a huge fan of West Coast IPAs. I like them as they are slightly dry, with out of the way malt, and are nicely to super bitter and hoppy. So, why is it I dislike a lot of APAs for being too dry, bitter and with no malt offset? You would think that they would be my jam. Now there is a difference between how those elements are expressed that explains why I like one and dislike the other, but it does seem odd when you write it down.

The APA will never be my go to beer in general I guess. Though individual APAs have been amazing over the years. This beer in particular isn’t going to be the one to break the trend, though I will admit I am going back and forth on is it actually ok despite that. Not good, but maybe ok.

At its best it has a cake sponge touch, good amounts of bitterness. There is nothing special but at its best it hits the beer bitterness spot for me and that does the job.

At its worst it feels charred and peppery, with a sticky flour like mouthfeel that means the bitterness grabs to your tongue for too long in an unpleasant fashion.

these two extremes are somehow both the same beer. After balancing out the two I’m going to lean towards the “It doesn’t quite work for me” side of things. It is too gritty, too dry and empty for the bitterness to feel like it has something to work with. However, I will give it that it has hints that it can do better in there.

There are other Big Drop beers that started fairly weak, but have improved over time – I presume as they tweak the recipe and brewing process. I hope they do some more work here, as there are hints of something better they could do here with a lot of work. As it is currently though it spends too much time on the unpleasant side of things for me to recommend it.

Background: You may have noticed I have done a lot of low abv beers over this whole covid thing. Trying to vaguely take care of myself to offset how unhealthy in general I am being. Though in good news there is such a wealth of low alcohol beers coming out these days I am spoiled for choice. Big drop have been pretty good in general, though less reliably so than in their early days. Guess it is the risk of trying to do a range of stuff. Another one from Independent Spirit. Had the utterly lovely SOPHIE – Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides as music to help me relax as I drink.