BEER REVIEW: Bomber Brewing, Vancouver BC / Pink Haze – New England Style IPA

This was year one for Bomber Brewing hosting the Pink Boots Society’s “Pink Boots Collaboration Brew” and year four for me being a part of the team in Vancouver. Every aspect of this brew was a true collaboration, with Claire Wilson, head brewer of Dogwood Brewing (and also our Pink Boots host in 2015 & 2016), alongside Ashley Brooks from Four Winds (last year’s host) with lead brewer Rachel Young of Bomber. Ashley also provided some special Four Winds yeast that upped the juiciness factor to complement the beer style. Several other women were there to help with the grunt work (have you seen how much grain needs to be shovelled out of a mashtun) and collectively coming up with the name, “Pink Haze”. It was such a great time and a wonderful opportunity to connect with fellow women in the industry. Looking forward to next brew!

LUNDY DALE

PINK HAZE”

Style: New England India Pale Ale

ABV: 7.2% IBU: 48 SRM: 8.5

I knew that the “Pink” in this beer’s name referred to the Pink Boots Society, but was nevertheless relieved when it poured a hazy – not turbid – medium gold rather than something resembling a rosé. The real “pink,” it would seem, was reserved for the aroma, which boldly proclaims red fruit like strawberry, red currant and even a hint of pomegranate.

If the “North East” in the name of this beer is a reference to the style known as New England IPA, or ‘neepa,’ then Bomber and Pink Boots missed the memo on the aroma-forward nature of the style, because this offers both aromatics and bitterness, as do all-too-few neepas. The front delivers some more berry fruitiness, but I believe most of that to be retro-olfactory. There is also a good deal of herbal and even slightly piney bitterness lurking behind the fruit, flourishing in the mid-palate. The fruit theme continues satisfyingly into the quite dry finish, though, with very soft hints of dried strawberry and currant completing the profile of this balanced and flavourful west coast take on a “north east” beer.

STEPHEN BEAUMONT

Bursting with fruity hop character, this ale exemplifies the increasingly popular New England IPA style. Citrus hop aromas of grapefruit and tangerine mingle with passion fruit, papaya and apricot topped with a floral hint of roses. A sweet, bready malt flavour with notes of honey sets the stage for the juicy hop flavours which mirror the fruity aromas. Unlike traditional IPA styles, the balance of this beer is fairly even with hop bitterness supporting the sweetness of the malt and hop flavours. The finish is slightly dry, with a subtle piney bitterness lingering on the palate. The beer is hazy as expected for this style with a straw colour and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Juicy and refreshing, this hop forward ale makes a great patio companion.

AMANDA NEALE