I love ducking down to Batch Brewing Co. The staff are some of the nicest in the business, and when approaching the beer fridge it’s always an exercise in: “What have they gone and done now?” You’re just as likely to pick up a classically brewed BJCP style as something that could easily be explained as potential ingredients put through a random beer generator, complete with an intensity dial. Well, this time around I’d estimate that the Batch random beer generator was set at an intensity of roughly 36 percent: normal styles but with one extra thing.
First up is the Coffee Pale Ale. Originally brewed as part of a Christmas box with new stablemates Bucket Boys in 2021, it’s been given a slight tweak and a fresh release for the regular punters. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a few white stouts recently, but I was totally thrown by my first impression here. This is not a coffee beer so much as it’s a nice pale ale with a hint of coffee. The Azacca and Cashmere hops stand out with tropical fruit and citrus aromas backed up by coffee highlights. Clearly, the single origin Ethiopian coffee has been utilised in a way to emphasise the brighter fruity notes rather than showcase than any roasty or dark character. Good fun.
Next we have a Tropical Nitro IPA. Pale beers on nitro can sometimes get a little confused about what they’re trying to be. The creamy mouthfeel created by the tiny nitrogen bubbles are often at odds with any kind of biting bitterness or something that would normally be crisp and dry. In that vein, Batch have opted to brew something closer to an oat cream IPA, but allowing the nitro to give the full body effect, as opposed to the protein rich oats. Straight off the bat, this bad boy reeks of Sabro. The telltale pineapple and coconut combo with a touch of grapefruit is layered on a smooth and subtly sweet body. There’s a bit of lactose here, but it’s restrained and marries well with the mild bitterness.
Our final normal beer but with one extra thing for today is Das Roggen. Literally translated as The Rye, Das Roggen is a German style lager, brewed with rye and smoked malt. Utilising Kiwi maltster Gladfield’s Manuka smoked malt, Das Roggen starts off with a huge whack of honey baked ham and campfire smoke. The palate is very clean with a ham sandwich vibe of rye bready malt, spice and smooth smoky ham. Written like that it seems like it’s a bit full on, but I promise you: underneath those big-ticket characters, it’s a light and easy-drinking lager. Reckon you could pair this with almost any food and it’d be a winner.
Published April 22, 2022 2022-04-22 00:00:00