I have been doing a horrible job of writing this summer. I’ve been trying to do more and more with less and less. I’ve been working on Ph.D courses, spending time with my daughter, and while I’m still enjoying beer and getting out when I can, writing is not going well.
I love writing this blog and really want to be doing my best here, but sometimes it’s going to take a backburner as I do it for fun.
Today, I’m going to be talking about three of my favorite things. Beer, Torque and Surly. They got together and brewed a sweet Rye IPA. Ultimate frisbee themed, it is called Callahan. Named after Henry Callahan, one of the early proponents of the sport who was murdered during a robbery in 1982. He is commemorated via the Callahan Award which is given to the best male and female college Ultimate players each year, the Callahan Rules of Ultimate, and a rare move in the game called a Callahan.
But, let’s talk about the beer.
I did receive this beer for free to review. I also bought a bunch of it to drink.
Calahan – Rye IPA
Torque has become a fun brewery here in Winnipeg. From their start they’ve focused on producing a variety of beer options and have always made sure to keep their taproom stocked with some new small batches for people to try out. I’m always excited to see what they’ve got on the menu and they do not disappoint.
For those of you not familiar with Surly, I did an in-depth write-up of them <here> when they first announced their coming to Manitoba. This is big. They have a waiting list for expansion and have chosen to come to Manitoba. They’ve been actively sending more beers our way and have brought in some fun stuff over the past year. They brew good beer and I’m excited to see what they were able to do with Torque.
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 now. Hops are used as a preservative of sorts, to help keep the beer fresh. If you were preparing a beer for a long trip from England to India, you’d need to add a lot of hops. So, while the IPA if consumed in England before shipping would be quite hoppy, at the other end it likely would not. Today, the tradition of hopping beers continues, but we don’t have as far to send them, and the goal is to make a hoppy beer. If you’re curious about IPAs check out Wikipedia, the BJCP Guidelines (Page 37) or IPA Beer.
What makes this IPA different is that rather than using standard malt bill that provides a solid malty backbone, it uses rye. Rye brings a lot of other characteristics to a beer. The most prominent of these characteristics is some peppery notes. Rye’s main contribution to a beer is in its enhancement of the beer overall. Helping bring the different notes to a point and drawing them out. The Rye in an IPA will help accentuate the hops and with enhance the finish.
Let’s get to the beer.
ABV – 6.5%
Appearance – Slightly hazy amber colour with a white head.
Smell – Get some of those peppery notes on the nose along with caramel malt and some grassy hop aroma.
Taste – Smooth front that brings some caramel sweetness from the malt. Then moving into some hoppy bitterness that is accentuated by some of the peppery notes from the rye.
Mouth Feel – Good carbonation with a coarse mouth feel and a nice lingering finish.
Overall Thoughts – The rye notes accentuated the hops to provide a nice lingering finishing that is bitter and a bit spicy. The caramel malt sweetness works well with this. Overall a good Rye IPA that brings a nice balance between these two components.
Do I like it? – Yes, I did enjoy this beer. I find that I enjoy Rye IPAs quite a lot. I like the use of Rye in a beer. This is certainly something that you should check out. It’s worth a taste.
I can’t guarantee any write-ups. I plan to attend the Winnipeg Beer Festival, so I will be doing a writeup of that. Otherwise, I will do the best I can to post as often as I can. No promises.