National Off-Licence

Hop Off at Eight Degrees

Up for discussion today are the two new beers from the guys at Eight Degrees Brewing- Hurricane IPA and Cyclone IPA, and it seems they're more like twin beers, albeit non identical twins. To reflect the fact that the brew team includes an Aussie, a Kiwi and three Irish guys, they've devised what they describe as "A Howling Gale on steroids", basically a 7% IPA, and have brewed one batch using southern hemisphere hops chosen by the two guys from the southern hemisphere, and a second batch using, well, you get the point. It's an idea somewhat similar to Brewdog's IPA is dead it seems; one IPA, many different hops.

Hurricane IPA

For the Hurricane IPA "Team Ireland" chose American hops, namely Simco, Citra and Mosaic. The beer itself pours reddish copper with a fluffy, two-finger head. There's some caramel and biscuit on the nose but hey, this one's all about the hops, right? And hops it has. It bears all the hallmarks of these classic American hops with big mango, pineapple and passion fruit notes leading to some lime on the pallet and pine resin on the finish. It's all there, but overall it doesn't drink like a bombastic American IPA and is still in keeping with their mission to "create modern interpretations of Irish ale and lager styles".

Cyclone IPA
Two New Zealand hops, Motueka and Pacifica, and one Australian variety, Ella, were chosen by "Team Aus/NZ" for the Cyclone IPA. The hop character seems a little more reserved than Hurricane with a little more malty sweetness coming through. There's orange peel and apricot fruit aromas paired with herbal accents and a little licorice hanging around the after pallet. These are hops we wouldn't generally see together in these parts and I must say I am left feeling a little intrigued. 

As this brew is being described as a "Hop Off", the vote lies with the public to see which IPA wins out. I know it'll be a tough decision for me, but why not try them yourselves and head on over to the Eight Degrees Brewing website and vote for which one you think should win!

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