Anchorage Brewing Company - Galaxy White IPA
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Goblet, Oversized Wine Glass
Galaxy White IPA pours a pale butterscotch color, nicely hazed and just what we expect in a witbier. Also present is the characteristic brilliantly white head that a wit ought to possess. The aroma is quite alluring—intensely citrus-forward, with a blast of aromatic hops. Expect notes of fresh lemons and oranges, as well as grapefruit-and-pine hoppiness. It’s a pretty intense hoppiness; all the more impressive is the fact that it’s coming from a single variety (Galaxy). We’d have thought it was a Pacific Northwest variety, especially since this beer is brewed in Alaska, but no, these hops are from down under. Spare no expense, right? Also look for suggestions of passionfruit, which Galaxy hops are known for, but it’s pretty tough to say if that’s just the hops, or also the fresh kumquats. We’re not sure either if the subtle tartness on the nose is exclusively from the wheat, the Brett, the kumquats, or some interplay between all three, but there is a nice, fresh, citrusy tartness suggested in the aroma. The Brettanomyces is also casting off just a touch of pineapple. The beer is young right now, so the funky characteristics from the Brett will increase with time. We also got quite a bit of the coriander coming through as well. Quite a complex aroma, but let us say that for all that’s going on in this beer, it’s just beautifully melded together. On paper, this gathering of ingredients may seem like some mad scientist-brewer’s wild-eyed experiment, and it certainly could be (the winters are very long in Alaska), but that aside, the fusion is gentle and reveals an impressive artistry.
For all its soft, suppleness on the nose, the flavor has plenty of Alaskan ruffian to it. Expect plenty of citrus notes, with a touch of sourness coming from the interplay of the wheat (sour), hops (citrus) and kumquats (sweet citrus and bitterness), all giving the impression of lemons. But like a proper IPA, there’s quite a hefty bitterness. In this case, the bitter notes are coming not only from the hops, but also the kumquats (think orange rind) and the herbs and spices. The finish is quite lengthy, and if you give the palate time to try to recover between sips (it won’t, by the way, this is pretty much a palate thrasher), that’s when the black peppercorns show up, leaving a distinctive tingle that really does taste like freshly cracked black pepper.
Galaxy White IPA is a brand new beer, so we haven’t had any aged samples, but the Brettanomyces and wine yeast used for bottle conditioning this brew will go to work, “funking” things up and even drying it with age. The hops will fade too, so we’re expecting this beer to really change with time in the bottle. Having been matured in French oak foudres (which are large casks, bigger than standard barrels, usually used for maturing, storing or transporting wine), the influence of the oak is a bit tough to pull out of the beer when young (look for a faintly spicy woodiness amidst the citrus peel notes). But the oak notes are likely to blossom as the beer ages and the currently vibrant hoppiness subsides. We’ve kept a few bottles for ourselves as we will definitely be checking in on this beer every six months for at least the next two years (if we don’t drink it all in the next few weeks… damn this stuff is good). We’re happy to debut it for our members, who will receive it 3-4 weeks before it can be found outside of Alaska, in limited distribution. Cheers!
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