So the third IPA Day has come and gone because for many out there everyday is IPA day. I must admit that my first beer yesterday was a Pilsner Urquell but not just the one that is popping up on taps around Ireland. Instead, the SAB Miller-owned company is doing a big promotional push and offering people the opportunity to try the famous unfiltered and unpasteurised version served directly from an oak barrel. This is pilsner in its rawest form and I like the pleasant slightly sour bitterness that comes across. It was great to try this in a pub beside my house even though it wasn’t the same as having a pint of it with head brewer Vaclav Berka during the European Beer Bloggers Conference in June.
I suppose that given the day that was in it, I had to have an IPA. It was a nice evening and I wanted something that would be somewhat more a sipper than a refresher. I went with Mikkeller’s Koppi IPA. This version contained Citra© and Ethiopian Michiti coffee. It was produced by De Proef Brewery, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø’s go-to Belgian laboratory, not far from Ghent. Dirk Naudts runs the “trial brewery”, a commercial spin-off from a university brewing school (perhaps UCC might take note), which specialises in the architecture of beer and brewing for third-parties. It’s no surprise then that a successful partnership with legendary “gypsy brewer”, Mikkeller was to flourish.
Now back to the coffee IPA. Even before you start to decant it into the glass you’re struck by rich orange aromas. It pours a thick caramel and orange colour complete with a head that bubbles like sugar as it boils & caramelised. It has an aroma of orange citrus peel and only the slightest vanilla coffee note. On tasting it’s somewhat reminiscent of a chocolate orange. It’s a case of burnt orange notes with an espresso-like bitterness that continues long into the finish as the citrus notes subside. It did the job for the evening that was in it.
— Aidan Sweeney (@sweeney_aidan) August 7, 2014