As we approach summer we offer yet another strong, big beer. In this case, it’s one our brewmaster Cole never thought he’d make: a double IPA. Cole admits, it took some outside influence to brew this one. With tongue in cheek he says, “With no outside influence we’d brew nothing but 5-7% ABV German lagers.”
Our assistant brewer Tyler was one source of said influence for the Trenchant Double IPA. It’s a known fact: Tyler likes hop-forward beers. Another was American Craft Beer Week. We wanted to brew a beer to release during American Craft Beer Week that people would get excited about, a beer style that epitomized American craft beer in its present state. What better than a Double IPA?
So here you have it, the Trenchant, at 9.4% alcohol by volume, with 84 international bittering units.
Subtlety isn’t the first concept you gravitate towards describing it, but given its upward stats it’s actually quite smooth. There is a bit of warmth from the high alcohol content, but overall its strength is deceiving. It’s fairly dry with a robust, citrusy hop bouquet. To a lot of us, it tastes like orange. There’s also a little graininess to the flavor, but not overwhelmingly so.
Speaking of grain, this beer’s malt bill is composed of 80% 2-row and, with Tyler’s suggestion to make it a little darker in color, it also contains Munich malt, Crystal malt, and a little bit of wheat.
What about hops? By far, this beer contains the most hops we’ve ever used. Cole and Tyler bittered it with Magnum and CTZ, its aroma hop is Amarillo–twenty-two pounds, to be exact–along with a little Centennial and Cascade, also for aroma. It’s been dry-hopped as well, having undergone two infusions with Amarillo, Cascade, and a touch of Calypso.
The sheer amount of hops makes for a great, aromatic bouquet, but, on the down side, the more hops you use in a beer, the less beer you get, as the bitter flowers absorb liquid. In the case of the Trenchant Double IPA, we started with 10.5 barrels and wound up with 7 barrels, after all the hop additions. So, the Trenchant batch is a little smaller than most (so hurry and enjoy it while it’s here!).
Why ‘Trenchant?’ Tyler decided on the name for this one. The adjective ‘Trenchant’ is a synonym for a surprising amount of words, including: incisive, penetrating, razor-sharp, piercing, keen, acute . . . you get the idea. Its official definition: “vigorous or incisive in expression or style.” We’d make the case our Double IPA fits that description.
We hope to see you at KBC while this beer is on tap. Enjoy from a glass, grunt, growler, or from one of our new 32 ounce Crowler cans.