KC Bier Company - Noble IPA
- ABV: 5.4%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 42
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: IPA Glass, Pint Glass
- Malts: Pils, Vienna
- Hops: Perle, Ariana, Amarillo
KC Bier’s Noble IPA is a brand new product from the brewery, and we’re excited to bring it to our members this month. Pouring a radiant golden-copper hue with plenty of persistent foam, it drops sheets of lace as we drink down the glass. There’s a super inviting aroma here, delivering lots of juiciness. Look for a complex profile that’s got a lot of facets including shades of orangey citrus, soft tropical fruits, jasmine-like floral touches, and some hints of gooseberry and maybe even some flashes of red currant – likely thanks to the inclusion of the relatively new German hop, Ariana, which can offer unusual fruity character in our experience. On the palate, this IPA comes across bold and beautiful, with robust citrus character leaning toward resinous grapefruit zest, along with some spicy herbal notes, wisps of peppermint, and touches of tropical fruit and flora. Look for the malt backbone to come through with plenty of support for the bold hops, offering a dash of residual sweetness and moderate caramelization, leading to an overall impression that’s more robust than most IPAs of this alcohol level, likely thanks to the brewery’s prowess with decoction mashing. The hop bitterness comes across with a good deal of firmness, augmented by the resinous hop character to easily dry this brew out in the finish, which hangs on with a juicy and zesty citrus note. For pairing options, we’d gravitate toward complementary citrus notes. Pork belly with a citrus glaze sounds great to us, as does roast duck with a spiced orange sauce. Szechuan orange peel beef will work well too, along with grilled chicken thighs basted in a citrus-infused teriyaki sauce. Cheers!
In the 1800s, German immigrants brought their brewing traditions to America, and pale lagers soon became dominant in the U.S., much as in Europe at that time, as well. Sadly, industrialized “macro-brewing” led to the cheapening of those styles with corn and rice adjuncts which turned those lagers into a shadow of what real German beer is actually like. When the American craft beer renaissance began in earnest in the 1980s, brewers focused on styles less familiar to American audiences, typically British and Belgian ale styles, while authentic German beers, typically lagers, were often ignored.
KC Bier’s founder, Steve Holle, set out to change that. The great-grandson of German immigrants, he developed an appreciation for German beer from his father, and from time spent studying in Hamburg. He became a highly experienced homebrewer, a beer writer with numerous articles and books to his name, and a GABF beer judge. His brewing education includes studies at Munich’s Doemens Brewing Academy.
In 2014, Holle opened KC Bier with his friend and Bavarian native, Jürgen Hager, as well as Karlton Graham, a German-trained Kansas City homebrewer whose education includes Chicago’s famed Siebel Institute and a stint at Doemens. KC Bier’s motto is “We put the i back in bier,” and their focus on and success with traditional German style “bier” certainly attests to this. The brewery crafts an array of German specialties using malts from a 160-year-old family-owned company in Bavaria; yeast from the famed Andechs monastery & brewery in Bavaria, which has been brewing for over 500 years; and hops grown on a 600-year-old farm in Bavaria’s Hallertau Valley. For more info about the brewery and their Bierhalle and Biergarten, visit kcbier.com.
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