January 26, 2023

Oak & Ash Experimental IPAs ➯ Number 1

The four "experimental" IPAs
from the Oak & Ash Brewery:
On sale only in this four-pack.

It's been quite a while since the Oak & Ash Brewery in Beit Shemesh has come out with a new beer.  Brewer partners Asher Zimble and Leiby Chapler have concentrated on producing their core beers as well as Buster's ciders and mixed drinks.  Asher told me that this a situation brought on by the "economics of wholesale," meaning, you have to be sure that what you brew will sell.

Now, exploding out of nowhere, Oak & Ash has produced a very limited edition of four "experimental" IPAs that were brewed without thinking too much about the commercial side.  

"The concept here," continued Asher, "was to make cutting-edge beers to sell directly to people who are looking for new and interesting beers.  We didn't even set a budget for this brewing.  We put in as much fruit or tea or spices as we felt necessary to get the flavors we were looking for."

Only a few hundred of these four-packs were produced.  They are selling now for 80 shekels ($23.50) on the brewery's online store (https://oaa.co.il/oakash-shop/).                

IPA No. 1➯"Leiby Dreams of Peaches":
Brewed with white peach puree,
rosemary extract and vanilla.
The bottles are not sold individually, but only in the four-packs, where they are simply numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4.

I thank Asher and Leiby for sending me one of the first of these packs off the bottling line.  Now it seems that every beer lover (or at least beer geek) in Israel is ordering one for Fear Of Missing Out.

So let's begin with Number 1 -- "Leiby Dreams of Peaches," referring of course to Leiby Chapler.  It is a hazy IPA with additives of white peach puree, rosemary extract and vanilla.  For the 300 liter (80 gallon) batch of beer, 120 kilograms (265 pounds!) of peach puree was added.    

It pours out completely opaque, the color of peach juice, a kind of greyish orange juice.  There is no lasting head, but you can see flecks of fruit floating in the beer.

120 kilograms of white peach puree
were used to brew IPA No. 1:
"Leiby Dreams of Peaches."
Unripe peach is the dominant aroma, supported by a grassy/earthy scent, strong herbal and some vanilla.  The initial taste is stark bitterness, but with flavors of peaches, vanilla and a lingering spice that could be rosemary.  It's not the rosemary you cook or spice foods with; somehow the brewing process has changed the flavor.  There's also a slight sour tinge.  The body is full, with a juicy mouthfeel.  The 6.4% alcohol by volume was hardly felt.

In short, Number 1 was not to my taste, but I'm glad I didn't miss the experience of drinking it.  Oak & Ash should be appreciated for making these "experiments" and bringing them to the public.

Up next: Number 2.  Stay tuned.        

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if the fruit ones are my "cup of tea," or should I say mug of beer...


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