As long as you’re happy with the beer you’re making and your customers are happy to keep coming back and drink the beer you’re making, it would hardly seem to matter what anyone else thinks. However, it’s surely an extra thrill when a group of beer judges decide your beer’s worthy of an award. That was the case for the Flat Rock Brew Cafe’s Red Rye IPA when it was given a silver medal at the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards, the brewpub’s first ever beer medal. And you can understand why it found favour.
With a big rye base constituting around a quarter of the grain bill, there’s an underlying spiciness which is accentuated by two of the hop varieties used, Chinook and Amarillo. On top of that, Cascade and Centennial hops give a big citrus punch and, to balance out all that rye, the quantity of hops overall is actually closer to that which you might expect from a Double IPA. But it’s all a matter of balance: being an IPA, it needed a lot of rye to get that character coming through and because of all the rye it needed a lot of hops. Yet for all that’s gone in, nothing takes over and what you’re left with is a bold but well balanced beer. To paraphrase Flat Rock owner Karl Riseborough, it’s got a lot of what good beer should have: intense flavours but remaining very drinkable. It certainly seems to have the latter all sewn up as it’s the beer that sells out the fastest any time it hits the Flat Rock taps.
- Rye IPA
Silver at 2015 Australian International Beer Awards
Flat Rock Brew Cafe