Punkah IPA – English IPA 6% ABV
Hops Used – UK Chinook, Bramling Cross, Phoenix, Goldings, Admiral
Flavour Profile – A well-balanced mix of pine, citrus and grapefruit provide an instantly pleasing juicy hit that is complimented by a sophisticated edge of bitterness to give the beer a modern and distinctly British IPA taste.
Wylam and DEYA have carved out significant reputations in the craft beer world for brewing unique, inventive beers that are keenly anticipated by an ever-growing fanbase stretching across the world. Experimentation and fresh ideas are pouring out of their brewing teams as fast as their latest beer is pouring out of the taps and cans in their busy taprooms.
Wylam, from their Newcastle Upon Tyne HQ in the iconic Palace of Arts building, and DEYA on the edge of the Cotswolds with their brilliantly distinctive branding and destination taproom are both genuine pioneers, produce consistently excellent beer and are committed to quality and authenticity in the way they do it.
Both breweries were also quick to recognise the potential and importance of using quality British hops to bring classic English beers styles to the craft world. More recently however, as the level of confidence grew in our ability to provide British hops with unexpected levels of intensity in both aroma and flavour, they could see their options opening up to include more modern beer and brewing styles.
It was from this that the early thoughts for the collaboration beer began to emerge. Ben Wilkinson head brewer at Wylam talked us through the brewing story of Punkah IPA.
The Punkah IPA story
“I began by researching original IPAs recipes from the mid 19th century and wanted to find a way to give this classic style a very modern twist post-fermentation by incorporating dry hopping. The hope was that we’d be able to develop the perfect blend of old and new brewing styles, and this would result in a reinvention of the English IPA.
Selection of the right hops was critical to this, and a lot of thought and discussion went into the characteristics we needed for each particular stage of the brewing process. Sharing our experiences of using different British hops with the DEYA team was helpful at this point, as well as the advice we got from Brook House Hops. We knew that Chinook for example would provide a very reliable zing to the finished beer, but the right combination of other hops to get a good balance of bittering and aromatics was more of an unknown element.
Working in close consultation with Gareth Moore at DEYA we decided on a 90-minute boil with hop additions every 30 minutes. At the kettle stage we added Bramling Cross and Goldings, with later additions of Admiral and then the UK Chinook. This helped achieve a subtle build up of resin and flavour and a big steep to really ramped up the bittering resulting in 90 IBUs.
To continue the theme of old and new we used a blend of established and newer yeasts whilst retaining the typical water profile that we were used to at Wylam.
After dry-hopping with more potent UK Chinook and Phoenix we were still getting quite separate and astringent flavours, but experience told us that patience was the key at this point. The magic really starts to happen in the tank on the chill, so we just played the waiting game, trusted in the quality ingredients and our brewing instincts and just let the brew gradually mature and mellow.”
“The magic really starts to happen in the tank on the chill, so we just played the waiting game, trusted in the quality ingredients and our brewing instincts and just let the brew gradually mature and mellow.”
It comes as no surprise that the combination of flavours in the finished Punkah IPA work unbelievably well. A heady well-balanced mix of pine, citrus and grapefruit provide an instantly pleasing juicy hit that is complimented by a sophisticated edge of bitterness to give the beer a modern and distinctly British IPA taste. This is a beer style that could catch on in a big way, and if the Untappd reviews are to be believed is already landing very well with its audience, in fact the initial batch sold out within 3 days!
Game changing hops
Ben and Gareth have always been proud advocates of using British hops, and went on to explain why our hops have changed the game for them.
“Before Brook House Hops came on the scene we’d kind of shut ourselves off to using English hops. Not necessarily due to the way they were grown but more the way they’d been treated after harvest. We’re convinced that proper cold storage is key to getting the best from your hops wherever they come from in the world – it makes such a difference. We’ve been blown away by the quality and it is great that modern beer styles as good as this can now be achieved with 100% home-grown hops. “ Ben Wilkinson – HEAD BREWER / WYLAM.
“Simply put, the hops from Brook House Hops are by far the highest quality UK hops we have ever used. Their commitment to optimal processing and correct storage means that we are getting aromas and flavours in UK style beers that we haven’t been able to achieve before. In fact it seems that through them, the potential for UK hop aroma and flavour is being pushed towards higher levels of intensity and clarity.
This is great as a UK brewery, as being confident in the quality and consistency of the hops we are purchasing means we can wholeheartedly support our domestic hop industry. This makes sense for all parties and will help create a positive feedback loop, to help push things further forward.
Many modern breweries default to US-grown aroma varieties when making modern pale ales and IPAs. The quality that Brook House are offering means people can rethink that position which is very exciting.” Gareth Moore – DEYA