We’ve seen a lot of insanity over the last few weeks. Things we never thought we’d ever see in our lifetime. New Zealand coming to a standstill. Trump press conferences/medical advice. McDonald’s-induced traffic jams.
Well, hold onto your lockdown pints and get ready for another wild ride. Because Kelly Ryan has brewed a hazy beer: new Little Forker small batch release, Work in Progress 3% Juicy Ale.
He wants to preface this by saying he’s not selling out. He’s not setting a precedent. But Level 3-4 lyf brought about a degree of introspection, previously, er, cloudied by brewing 41 other styles of beers.
Says the brewer: “It’s been a time of self-reflection. Of looking deep within my soul, of asking questions of myself.
“Standing and looking at a mirror. Staring at my Movid-19 moustache, meditating on the realities of life and existence.
“There comes a time in one’s life where you just have to do something that you never really thought you’d do. And, yes, that includes brewing a purposefully hazy beer, and then brewing one of these hop-laden murk-bombs…. It’s actually pretty delicious!”
So how did it all come to this? Kelly says he’s always had a little obsession with sub-4% beers, as well as the process of trying to nail the balance in a beer that has less alcohol characters along with its associated flavours, aromas and mouthfeel.
“So why not try and do a 3% Hazy? Everything in the almost 20 years I’ve been brewing has been about ensuring beer has relatively good clarity (obviously, apart from wheat beers!)” says Kelly.
For a brewer whose hallmark is bright beers, Kelly had to go against his natural instincts.
“Usually I’d start with the water chemistry, moving into mash conditions and looking at how the enzymes behave; generating a solid boil to protein coagulation and flocculation, using seaweed-based kettle fining agents to aid this. Even the addition of gluten-reducing enzymes followed by filtration and extended cold storage/lagering,” he says.
“All of this gets the beer nice and bright. But not with Work in Progress!
“I built it up with solid levels of chlorides in the brewing water to aid mouthfeel, utilising a richer-than-the-norm base malt, and blending it with protein-rich grains such as oats and wheat to get that stable haze.
“And then there’s the hops! This brew was massively loaded with hops in the whirlpool and then an addition of a big nine grams per litre double dry hop (DDH) to really boost the aromatic oil profile without dosing in a lot of bitterness.
“It drinks with the flavour and aroma of a big 5-6% Hazy, but with a bit less booze!”
This is a very limited edition brew – only 43 litres. Get it before the brewer decides to never brew another Hazy again.
Work in Progress Juicy Ale Tasting Notes
Appearance – Hazy orange with a firm white head.
Aroma – Massive aromas of tropical fruit with guavas, mango and tangelo dominating. Enticing as!
Flavour – Initial juicy sweetness, with rich mouthfeel and layered fruit intensity throughout. A soft bitterness with good structure due to the extra protein and yeast presence. Finishes with hop oils coating the mouth and leaving a lingering lemon and papaya aftertaste.
Hops – Crystal, Citra and Mosaic
Malt – Munich, Biscuit, Wheat, Oats
Other – Maltodextrin
AbV – 3%
Bitterness – Medium Low