Friday, May 31, 2013

"Some years ago-- never mind how long precisely-- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world."

-- Ishmael, Moby Dick.

Clarity of Style: Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest vs. Dunedin Brewery Three Copper Coins

With our 5th IPA Festival upon us, we've chosen two distinct, festival beers for our head-to-head style series. The first is a guest brew by Sierra Nevada, the Southern Hemisphere Harvest, taking its name from the fresh New Zealand-grown hops it's brewed with. The second is our own in-house brew, Dunedin Brewery's Three Copper Coins. The Hemisphere Harvest follows the tradition of West Coast American IPAs, while our Three Copper Coins takes a hoppy approach to the Pilsner style, a style of pale lager made famous in the Czech Republic city of Pilsen during the 1800's.

The appearance of Southern Hemisphere Harvest is a crystalline, brilliant amber with an orange hue. The craggy, light tan foam floats atop like a yet-to-be-explored mountain patiently waiting for a worthy foe. This contrasts to the Three Copper Coins' hazy yellow with consistently fine bubbles across the top, a yellow finished off with a hint of light green.

In the quality of aroma, these two brews further contrast each other – sweet grass, Meyer lemons, and the slight scent of carbon dioxide comes from the Three Copper Coins, truly an approachable, light-hearted beer. The Southern Hemisphere Harvest continues it's theme with caramelized cherries and blood orange finished off with a slight sweetness.

We venture further into the Southern Hemisphere with the taste of mandarin orange, wilted hibiscus, dark cherries, and a hint of slightly roasted oak. This beer has found it's proper place in the world and we've been transported to a mountain-side villa at the peak of reaping season. We're cooled by a dampness in the air as our tongue is coated and the brew is finished off with medium bitterness and a light sweetness. This is an experience for travelers with a flair for the exotic and desire for adventure.

The Three Copper Coins on the other hand transports us back to a bustling, seaside village marketplace with subtle white grapefruit, light pink rose petals, and a bit of lemon zest. White oak finishes things off after a mouthfeel as easy to drink as juice from a juice box; the slight zing is fruity and tart. This is an experience for someone looking for a refreshing, leisurely stroll in a busy world, not unlike our own seaside Dunedin.

Two very distinct beers; two very distinct experiences. But this Saturday, take the challenge: compare these two brews at the IPA Festival and let us know, where do they take you?