Light Gold to Gold / 5 – 8 SRM
Assertive / 40 – 70 IBU
Sweetness Low to medium
Balance Toward Hoppy
Collaboration is a popular idea in a lot of places, but in the beer world it’s ubiquitous. The word is probably tossed around brewing circles more often than you’d hear Jack Donaghy whisper “synergy” on 30 Rock. A lot of folks really look for these beers, and that makes a lot of sense. A few well-known brewers come together, and you get the best that each has to offer. The results aren’t always that special, but one collaboration in 2010 turned out such an interesting beer that it spawned an entirely new style: the White IPA.
When Steven Pauwels of Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City and Larry Sidor of Deschutes in Bend, Oregon came together for a collaboration in 2010, the result was bound to be good. These two masters of their craft brought an incredible amount of experience and creative energy to the proverbial table, but they also brought two very different backgrounds in brewing. Pauwels, Belgian born, working at a brewery known for their farmhouse and Belgian-inspired beers on one side, and Sidor, whose brewery sits in the hop-centric Pacific Northwest (this does oversimplify these brewers, because both produce excellent beer from every region and background).
The result was a combination of two of the most popular beer styles in the world: Witbier, with its fruity yeast character, coriander and orange peel, and wheat backbone, and IPA, with its citrusy, fruity, piney hop profile. When you look at those two flavor profiles, mixing them doesn’t exactly sound like a slam dunk recipe, but it wasn’t the half-court heave as time runs out either. When Pauwels and Sidor agreed on a recipe, including what spices they’d use, they each went back to their respective brewhouses and put their mark on the recipe. The result was so popular that other brewers started testing, recreating, and fine-tuning similar beers across the country.
Today, you may not find this style in quite the abundance that you’ll see other specialty IPAs. Ironically, though, it has a lot of the elements that remain extremely popular in the modern style of hazy IPA–lots of wheat, giving it a nice fluffy mouthfeel, expressive yeast that contributes elevated fruitiness, and high hopping rates using distinctive American-style hops. One of things we all love about beer is the massive variety that’s available from just a few ingredients, and this beer is a one-of-a-kind, perfect example of that.
Aroma – Hop forward, featuring American hops (citrus, pine, resin). Significant Belgian yeast profile.
Appearance – White, most often with haze. Large, foamy head.
Flavor – Medium to high bitterness. Belgian phenol and ester profile.
Mouthfeel – Medium-light body. Clean finish from bitterness.
Vitals – 5.5 – 7.0% ABV, 40 – 70 IBU
Serve fresh in Pint glass, Weißbier glass, or tulip at 38º
A fruity, spicy, refreshing version of an American IPA, but with a lighter color, less body, and featuring either the distinctive yeast and/or spice additions typical of a Belgian witbier.
Moderate fruity esters – banana, citrus, perhaps apricot. May have light to moderate spice aroma such as coriander or pepper from actual spice additions and/or Belgian yeast. Hop aroma is moderately-low to medium, usually American or New World type with stone fruit, citrus and tropical aromas. Esters and spices may reduce hop aroma perception. Light clove-like phenolics may be present.
Pale to deep golden color, typically hazy. Moderate to large, dense white head that persists.
Light malt flavor, perhaps a bit bready. Fruity esters are moderate to high, with citrus flavors similar to grapefruit and orange, or stone fruit like apricot. Sometimes banana-like flavors are present. Hop flavor is medium-low to medium-high with citrusy or fruity aspects. Some spicy clove-like flavors from Belgian yeast may be present. Coriander and orange peel flavors may be found as well. Bitterness is high which leads to a moderately dry, refreshing finish.
Medium-light body with medium to medium-high carbonation. Typically no astringency, although highly spiced examples may exhibit a light astringency which is not distracting.
A craft beer interpretation of American IPA crossed with a witbier.
American craft brewers developed the style as a late winter/spring seasonal beer to appeal to Wit and IPA drinkers alike.
Pale and wheat malts, Belgian yeast, citrusy American type hops.
Similar to a Belgian Wit style except highly hopped to the level of an American IPA. Bitter and hoppy like the IPA but fruity, spicy and light like the Wit. Typically the hop aroma and flavor are not as prominent as in an American IPA.
Blue Point White IPA, Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA, Harpoon The Long Thaw, New Belgium Accumulation
Hop profile of an American IPA, but with Belgian yeast character and spices added. More hoppy than a Witbier.
A single infusion mash is traditional, and hopping rates vary depending on desired bitterness and aroma profile. Spices can be added on either the hot or cold side. Fermented at various temperatures depending on desired yeast profile: higher for more fruitiness, lower for a cleaner profile.
AT THE BREWPUB: Embered Endive Salad
CASUAL DATE: Mediterranean
FROM BF DISTILLING CO: Black Flannel Dutch Sould (Genever)
NEW: The Bad Plus
OLD: George Rochberg, The String Quartets
Pour lime juice, simple syrup, and Genever into a cocktail mixing glass, fill with ice, then stir. Strain into a martini glass, top aggressively with White IPA to produce a nice foam head, then garnish with grated lime zest./p>