The craft beer advent calendar is a tradition for me now. It is my third year writing about each of the beers contained within and it’s also a reminder of how far I’ve managed to come with my beer education and this blog. I am a long stretch from where I was when I first began.
It was really fun trying yesterday’s beer from Italy. I found myself reminiscing of searching for craft breweries while I was there. Today I opened the second tab to see what might be in store. From one of my favorite places to visit, Bavaria (Germany) was their Bavarian Winter IPA from Camba Bavaria Brewery.
Camba Bavaria has only been brewing since 2008 and already they have produced over 50 beers ranging from Pale ales, to Helles, to Russian Imperial Stouts aged in cognac barrels. Making use of a large variety of raw materials, they are always working to be innovative. This young brewery has been working to introduce new beers practically every week.
Located in an old mill in Truchtlaching on the river Alz, Camba was originally built as a brewery pilot plant by the brewing plant manufacturer BrauKon GmbH, regarded worldwide as one of the top suppliers of brewery equipment for small- and medium-sized breweries. This means that when Camba started they were already beginning with the ideal conditions for brewing beer giving them a head start in their journey. Currently Camba employs 3 master brewers, 5 brewers, and 5 beer sommeliers and work hard to communicate and exchange with other brewers around the world.
The name Camba Bavaria is actually pretty interesting as well. Truchtlaching was originally a celtic settlement in Bavaria. The word “Camba” means “brew kettle” in old Celtic language and thus pays tribute to that heritage. The second part, obviously, comes from the region in which they are located. The village of Truchtlaching is located in Chiemgau, one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Bavaria.
IPAs or India Pale Ale, have a storied history. The first known use of the term comes from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in 1829. At this time, they were also referred to as a “pale ale as prepared for India”, “East India pale ale”, and “Export India Pale Ale”. These types of IPAs were widely popular amongst the East India company and, while considered very hoppy, they were not much stronger than other beers brewed at this time. If you’re curious about IPAs check out Wikipedia, the BJCP Guidelines (Page 37) or IPA Beer.
While these beers are part of the pale ale family, they are strongly hopped and often showcase the variety of flavours and complexities that can come from the simple ingredients used to brew beer. Many will say the IPAs are an acquired taste, and they are rather unique, the bitterness brought by the use of a large quantity of hops is not for everyone. Whether there is anything special about this in being a “Bavarian Winter” IPA is unknown, but I’m certainly excited to see. Now, onto this specific beer.
Appearance – Pale golden, almost amber with a good 3” of head that retains well and leaves lacing as it fades.
Smell – Resinous hop notes that come through strong. Grapefruit citrus and a sweet tropical fruit note that is likely the lychee (I’ve never had one but my wife says that’s what it smells like.)
Taste – Good bitterness on the front, not overpowering, with a sweet candy like taste and some grapefruit tartness. Finishes with a subtle lingering bitterness and citrus notes.
Mouth feel – Medium body with an upfront resinous bitterness, candy sweetness in the middle and a subtle lingering bitterness on finish.
Overall – A well hopped, but not overpowering, IPA that offers a good combinations of resinous hop notes combined with subtle citrus and candy sweetness.
Do I like it? – I found it to be fine. With the plethora of IPAs out there and the number that I’ve had, I find myself craving different beers than IPAs these days. I wasn’t a huge fan of the candied sweetness, but other than that I found it to be enjoyable.