Firebrand Brewing Co NEIPA (330ml can, 5.5% ABV)
This is a foamy one. As soon as I open it, the top of the can – and my fingers – are enveloped with froth. Pouring it results in a head the size of the Mekon. Even though it’s a small can, I can’t get it all in the glass in one go. It’s a case of pour, wait, pour, wait, pour.
When I get one of these vigorous beers I wonder why it should be so … enthusiastic. Is it that it’s been shaken up in transit? Is it that the beer has been bottled/canned for longer, and the yeast has had more time to turn the residual sugar into carbon dioxide? Is it simply one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe, like gravity, or the continuing popularity of The Archers?* Whatever the reason, I’ve learned always to open beer in the kitchen.
The aroma of Firebrand’s NEIPA is a riot of bright citrus and tropical fruit. Orange, pineapple, mango and pine vie for attention on the pallet, and it’s surprisingly thick for a pale ale. On the can it’s described as a ‘cloudy, juicy IPA’ and they’re not wrong. A mouth-coating fruity bitterness finishes things off beautifully.
You might have to wait a while for all that foam to subside, but the best things come to those who wait.
Written by Richard Salsbury
* Yeah, I said it.