For a certain breed of the beer-loving public, a double release like this is just about as good as it gets. To celebrate a year of using their Clean Fusion process, One Drop have released two hazy DIPAs brewed with the same ingredients: one using Clean Fusion and one without. It’s like getting your own little sneak peek behind the curtain of a brewery’s development process. But, instead of talking about each beer individually, why don’t we just go through and talk about what sets these two otherwise identical beers apart?
I should start off by saying that With & Without are both very fine beers. It’s not like One Drop have purposefully half-assed one of them to make their Clean Fusion process seem like some sort of magic bullet; you’d be stoked to be served either one. The combination of Citra. Mosaic, Simcoe and Nelson Sauvin is nigh on the perfect blend to create an excellent modern IPA with tropical fruit, juiciness and deep, dank resin.
Just from pouring these beers into glasses side by side there are stark differences. With is hazy enough to be fully opaque and Without, while still being hazy, allows you to still see partway through and therefore has a less saturated golden sun hue. The other significant difference from the pour is the contrast between hop aromas out of the glass. Bright and punchy tropical hops spring from With from half a metre away: pineapple, mango and grapefruit oozing from the glass. Hop aroma from Without is noticeably more muted: similar characteristics, however less fruit driven and more hoppy, if that makes sense?
One the palate, With leads with a more upfront bitterness: grape and pineapple hop compounds with a full and only mildly sweet malt body. Without, on the other hand again, is less bright and comes across with much more overripe mango and a more earthy base note. The bitterness is not as immediate, but it’s smoother and longer lasting. It’s also distinctly sweeter than With but not unpleasantly so.
So, which is better? Honestly, it’s a hard call to make! With is bright, punchy and all about fruit. Without is hoppy, sweet and dank. With is an ever so slightly more pleasant drinking experience but I’d be very sad if I never had a beer like Without again.
Published April 28, 2023 2023-04-28 00:00:00