Barry Island IPA

Brains Craft Brewery


6.0% abv

Brewed at the brand new “Craft Brewery” at Brains Brewery in Cardiff, Barry Island IPA is brewed in collaboration with my good friend and fellow video beer reviewer Simon Martin of The Real Ale Guide on YouTube. Over the last few years Simon has established himself as one of Europe’s most prominent beer vloggers (video blogger) or Beertubers as we often refer to ourselves.

Simon’s aim was to brew a big US style IPA just like the ones he rejoices over on his channel. Its hopped with Cascade, Summit and Zeus (sometime called Columbus/Tomahawk).

The beer in the glass is a tarnish yellow bronze with a fire extinguisher head of white froth. The aroma is oddly British, a nose of damp hay, old lemon peel, dulled grapefruits, limestone in a stream…earthy and rather mineral like, not what I expected.

The flavour is much more like what I hoped for than the nose. I tasted used ice lolly stick, dry straw, wheat, earthy lemon, waxy honey, spice like bay leaves, dried orange peel a hint of dry pithy grapefruit and the taste of ice cream wafers. The alcohol was a bit too evident, reminded me of a bigger version of Brains IPA or SA Gold. Ending with more sweet malt and a bitterness like tonic water.

One tasting note that I’m going to steal off Terry Kay of Beer Goggles Reviews that hit the nail right on the head…Toasted Cashew nuts. I was searching for a certin flavour and Terry picked it out perfectly.

The main thing that stopped this beer from being the beer it should have been is that Brains house yeast, it make what was supposed to be a big hoppy US IPA into a more traditional British IPA. This style of beer needs a clean unintrusive yeast like a California Pale Ale yeast that does it’s job and doesn’t really leave too much behind. I’d prefer much more late hops or once again that is yeast just taking over. A US IPA needs to be a showcase of hops.

Yes the Barry Island IPA is a full-flavoured barrel-chested rugby player of a beer but I’d have preferred a bit more lupulin-scented perfume than the mud and the grass of The Reservoir Field.

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