IPA is the new black. Or the new 40. Or something. I have enough trouble keeping up with LOLs and Junners and Jeggings and fixies* without trying to work out other peripheral issues of Pop Culture. What I do know, is beer.
Before finding the light and seeing the true path and all that, I drank whatever was on hand, on tap or on special which rarely included anything more exotic than a mainstream beer with the word ‘Premium’ on the label. Then my eyes were opened. It was Melbourne Cup Day and, in an act of baseless anticipation of a windfall, I pre-celebrated by grabbing a six-pack of “Microbrewery Boutique Artisan Craft Beer” which caught my eye.
If I could remember accurately I’m sure I would attest to the fact that my purchase was determined by the packaging, the branding and the colour of the label. It was confirmed by the knowledge that it was a local product, too. It was the now defunct Pale Ale brewed by Mountain Goat in a pokey little brewery in industrial backblocks of Richmond. It was so different to what I was used to drinking and yet it seemed so familiar. There was a definite extra ingredient, the identity of which I was unable to nominate. I now know that mystery element to be love. This was a beer that was made with me in mind. It was a beer that a brewer wanted me to drink, rather than a beer that an accountant wanted me to buy.
And so to the present.
The Pale Ale was replaced in 2009 by the now top-selling Steam Ale. At the same time, the IPA was also rested, becoming a regular seasonal available only in 640ml bottles. A cracking example of both the traditional IPA style and the brewers’ craft, the IPA is to be added to the shelves alongside the Steam Ale and the iconic flagship Hightail Ale as an all-year-round Goat offering. Previously brewed with Cascade and Galaxy hops the regular version will be brewed with Citra and Galaxy and come in at 65 IBU and 6.2% ABV.
As we speak the beer is being bottled and packed and Mountain Goat co-founder Cam Hines told Australian Brews News that eager drinkers should see the IPA gracing shelves around the country by the end of October. Perhaps as a concession to its bigger flavour and higher ABV, the Goat IPA will appear in four-packs, rather than six, and cartons of 24.
So, to my opening and the contention that IPAs are all the rage – how will the Mountain Goat IPA stack up? Of course, if it’s anything like the previous incarnations of the brew we have little to worry about and the awards and accolades will flow forth. I will await the release eagerly and sip my way through one or two when they land, happy in the knowledge that someone out there will be experiencing the same revelation I had all those years ago.
*Junners are when someone (usually me, according to teenage daughter) wears Runners with Jeans, hence, Junners. This is not acceptable. Jeggings are leggings made to look like jeans. I still don’t get it, nor do I wear them. Fixies are ironic modes of transport for Hipsters which are NOT, as they were in the 80’s, a type of undies.