Friday, January 16, 2015

Vestan West Coast IPA by Heidrun Brewing Co/Drygate

Vestan West Coast IPA 6% by Heidrun Brewing Co.

Rather than having a Dry- or a Tryanuary I've gone vegan for a month.

Beer-wise, having a Veganuary means being a little bit more discerning about what you fill your glass with. Beers that use isinglass, or finings, are out. (Isinglass is derived from dried fish bladder and is used to help filter out the small particles of dead yeast left over from the fermentation process.) Bottle-conditioned craft beers are a fairly safe bet for vegans; mass-produced beers and cask ales less so.

Vestan West Coast IPA is one such vegan-friendly beer, and hails from the Drygate Brewery in Glasgow under the Heidrun label. Bottle conditioned, this powerful IPA proclaims its vegan, unfiltered status on its lo-fi branding, something more breweries ought to consider.

The aroma on Vestan carries a big resin and pineapple hit, thanks to the hefty helpings of Simcoe and Amarillo hops, both hugely popular in American IPAs.

Unlike many IPAs though, Vestan West Coast IPA pours very cloudy and has little carbonation, much like a cask ale. The first taste is a headrush of pine and pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine and new leather, and there is a long, long-lasting bitterness that carries with it hints of pepperiness. At 6%, Vestan is a big, bold and brooding pint, one that's more suited for sharing than for sessions.

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