Mad brewer’s mood swing

How can a quirky beer like Hoppy Hefe come from the same brewery as the bland and boring James Squire 150 Lashes – the one thrilling and edgy; the other, well, it’s wet and alcoholic. But Maybe that’s just a mad brewer’s mood swing.

The latest offering from Mad Brewers – Malt Shovel’s Chuck Hahn, Tony Jones, Rob Freshwater and Dayton Coffey – puts a novel spin on bottle-conditioned wheat ale.

Wheat beers generally rely on high acidity, not hops, for their freshness and bite. But Hoppy Hefe takes several cues from the American Pale Ale style – full, malty body, high alcohol and really pungent, assertive hops, added late in the brewing process.

Brewer Tony Jones calls it a “mongrel of a wheat beer with no claim to nationality” – a fair description for a brew that occupies no known niche.

Malt Shovel Mad Brewers Hoppy Hefe Ale 640ml $9.99
The colour’s medium amber with a light yeast haze (hefe); the aroma combines ale fruitiness with rich, sweet maltiness, cut by fresh, citrus-like hops; and the opulent, malty, alcoholic palate benefits from fresh acid, courtesy of the wheat, and the challenging but delicious dollop of lingering, bitter hops.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 14 March 2012 in The Canberra Times