KOELSHIP IPA: OUR OWN SMODDY BEER STYLE
Title Disclaimer: We actually believe that beer styles do not exist. So we'll leave it to you whether you wish to read on, or whether there's something better to do.
On our latest releases you might notice we are using “Koelship IPA” rather than the typical “New England IPA” to describe our beers. While our yeast strain, methods of hopping, and ingredients are still mostly typical of NE IPAs (and we are New England brewers by experience and training), we’ve found ourselves drifting in our own direction over the past few years – particularly when we introduced whole cone hops to our process. Other little things have changed as well. For instance, we stopped the second dry hop stage (to us, in our beers this just tastes only of the hop pellets themselves and covers over the complex, evolving, hard to get fruit characters that we really geek out on).
“This is about making the most of what we do well, what we want to do well and what our brewery is telling us.”
Our Koelship IPAs are about the wide world of fruit characteristics you can get from hops, without the granular aspects of post-fermentation pellets. This is a character we like in other breweries’ beers, by the way. It’s true that some drinkers can taste these fruity flavours less than others, and if that’s you we apologise but know you have many other great UK craft breweries to choose from.
Koelship IPA a softer, rounder, and yes, less obvious kind of hoppy beer with an additional bitterness to protect the exposed wort. This mild bitterness prevents acid-producing bacteria like lactobacillus from growing in the fermenting beer. “Lacto” is very much a passenger in our wort, having exposed ourselves to it in the koelship. Thankfully that fact is rarely apparent in the flavour of our beer in instances (like this) where we don’t want it.
We’re not trying to “create a beer style” or make judgements about late hopped hazy pale ales. This is about making the most of what we do well, what we want to do well and what our brewery is telling us. If all brewers marched to the same drum then we would still be brewing nothing but adjunct lagers. We’ve also made our own spelling of “coolship” too. Just ’cause.
Finally, it’ll be nice to move out of the, “Is this an east coast or west coast IPA?” realm too. Every beer deserves to be judged on its own merits. Beer “styles”, as well-intentioned as they are, can cloud judgement with preconception, and clog the works with unrelated information. Although you need to know the sort of beer you’re about to drink, we prefer to drink beers for who they are and who made them, not how they compare to a list of numbers and prior experiences. Beer always has to be about the future because it only exists in the present. Every beer is gone as soon as you taste it. So enjoy the moment. Cheers.
Want to know more about the traditional us of coolships? Read our blog “A Cooler for All Occasions”.