Coast: 7 Grain 7 Hop DDH IPA (Scotland: Low Alcohol: 0% ABV)

Visual: Very pale, hazy lemon juice colour. Thin white head.

Nose: Fresh lemon. Tart grapefruit. Light flour. Light brown bread. Light peppery. Melon.

Body: Bready. Malt drinks/ Ovaltine. Bitty orange juice. Light grapefruit. White grapes. Mild iced tea. Peppery. Traditional lemonade. Lightly wheaty.

Finish: Flour. Malt chocolate. Orange skins. Muggy bitterness. Peppery. Traditional lemonade. Lemon juice.

Conclusion: This is fairly mixed up. I hesitate to say complex, it is more that the varied flavours you encounter here aren’t ones that traditionally mesh. Though based on the name and description it sounds like they threw pretty much everything into the brew here to see what stuck, so I guess some confusion should be expected.

Early on the aroma matches the visual – light but clear grapefruit and melon. As well as that it is lightly peppery but still fairly straightforward.

When you get to sipping is when things start getting mixed up. While I do not know what the grains are used to make the beer, I have a feeling this is where they show their influence most. It is more peppery, has subtle malt drink notes, bready notes and a bit of a wheaty grip. Or at least that is the impression I get – since they are not listed I could be so way off on where these notes are coming from.

The bitterness is present in the beer, in a bit of a muggy way as nothing seems to give it the room needed for it to impact but it is still recognisably hop character and bitterness. The small orange and lemon fruit notes, and an almost traditional lemonade character come out amongst the tarter grapefruit. There is no super heavy stuff, but again it is recognisable, definitely light citrus notes that feel slightly unusual under the darker, peppery, subtle malt notes.

Still, this is full of flavour and never boring, even if it is never really coherent in the trends that its flavours follow. There are a few low abv tells here, mainly in some iced tea like notes but it is generally decent. The biggest flaw is that a lot of the flavours feel ill defined, kind of bash into each other in a muddy mess. This seems to be fairly common in IPAs I have encountered that use a lot of different hops and malts so isn’t a huge surprise here.

Still, for all its lack of focus it is tasty. In these days of great low abv beers this cannot compete with the best ones out there at the moment, but it would have been pretty impressive a few years back before the bar was raised.

Background: I had a Coast beer a year or so ago. I don’t know when exactly, time has no meaning after a year and a half of plague control. Anyway, it was ok, but didn’t grab me enough to get any more. Recently I saw Beercraft had a quite large range of their beers, so I thought I would grab one to give another try. This is that beer. They list on the can the seven hops used – Nelson Sauvin (Woo!) Sabro, Simcoe (Yay), Azzaza, Citra, Columbus and Mosaic (yay again). The ingredient list only lists barley, so no idea what they are using that side. Went back to Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes’ second album Modern Ruin after listening to their newer album last time. Still not grabbing me as much as the first or third album. It lacks the energy of the first, and the variety of the third, but appreciating it more these days as I get more of a feel for the band’s range.