Innovation in the world of hops and hop-adjacent products has been running hot in recent years as breeders look to eke out new characteristics, growers explore new methods of giving brewers the bits they want and removing the bits they don't, while brewers play around with processes. Among the new arrivals on the scene is Phantasm, a powder made from Marlborough sauvignon blanc grapes which we wrote about in late 2022. If you can't be arsed with that deep dive into what it does, in short it's designed to boost the tropical and citrus elements in a beer.
It's been put to use in this Young Henrys Brewers B-Sides release, the punsome Phantasmic Mr Hops in which, if we follow the Dahl-esque path laid out for us, sees said brewers use their cunning – and the Phantasm – to turn out a totally tropical IPA. The funky adjunct isn't alone in its mission either, with Simcoe Cryo, Sabro, Taiheke, and two experimental US hops (HBC 1019 and HBC 586) also added to the pale golden, hazy 7 percenter.
According to head brewer Jesse Searls: "We used ingredients and processes that we had never tried before – from the malt, to the hops, the yeast, the process aids, and brewing processes themselves – almost everything was a first."
With the malt base stripped back to provide little more than a touch of sweetness in support, it's certainly the liveliest, most fruit forward IPA I can recall trying from the Newtown crew: pineapple leads the way with juicy mandarin in support. Lean yet still pretty soft and rounded of texture (which could be the Sabro in cahoots with a little lactose), if you like your IPAs tropical, grab one of these and you'll be B-Side yourself with joy.
PS, this passes the belch test with aplomb.
Published August 8, 2023 2023-08-08 00:00:00