Things are evolving at Shedshaker. There's been staff changes and the installation of a new canning line. The brewery is set to relocate to larger premises in the near future.
One of those to join in 2023 is head brewer Andrew Cronin, formerly of Cavalier Brewing. West Coast IPA is not his first creation for Shedshaker, but it is the first beer to be packaged using their new canning equipment.
West Coast IPAs weren't always easy to come by during peak "haze craze", but much to this writer's delight the style is clawing share of throat back from its juicy cousins. And this offering from Shedshaker is a textbook example, with no BS.
According to Andrew: "No incantations were chanted, no Californian punk was played during fermentation, no puns for the name or novelty artwork were created."
Pouring a deep gold with crystal clarity, the beer boasts a beautiful, fluffy white head that leaves intricate lacing on the glass. Malt profile is low, existing only as stable footing for a hop quartet of US and Australian varietals: Galaxy, Centennial, Eclipse and Simcoe. The result is a piney, vibrant, admirably bitter IPA that loiters on the palate.
Golden Strong Ale is a Belgian-style ale that continues Shedshaker's tradition of celebrating classic European styles. Upon pouring, this beer reveals a deep gold hue, subtle haze and minimal head retention. Delightful estery aromas are present at the outset and persist on the palate with hints of clove, as well as some spice character, no doubt from the Saaz hops. To keep things interesting, some livelier Motueka and Riwaka hops have been added too.
There's a light but noticeable alcohol warmth as the flavour coats the palate; it's not a full mouthfeel, but the taste does linger. Shedshaker's golden ale is, indeed, strong, but it's not without subtlety. "A wolf in sheep's clothing", it says on the label. At 8.5 percent ABV, indeed it is.
Published July 26, 2023 2023-07-26 00:00:00