To celebrate the return of the Hop City beer festival this week, we’re launching one of our best-ever takes on one of our favourite beer styles: a 7.4% West Coast IPA named TASTY PEBBLE. Showcasing Lemondrop and El Dorado, this 90 IBU ode to Californian IPAs bursts with zesty lemon, fragrant mandarin and resinous pine.
It’s no secret that, at Kirkstall, we love the flavours of West Coast hoppy beers. Our own history, learning from the likes of Sierra Nevada, Stone and Firestone Walker before we set up our own brewery, gave us a strong background in the way these beers are made. It’s a foundation to which we enjoy returning on a regular basis, like a holiday to a simpler time.
Development Brewer Stu Ross, himself no stranger to heavily hopped beers in the West Coast style, designed the recipe for Tasty Pebble after his recent trip to California. In fact, our new West Coast IPA is inspired by the first pint he drank in San Diego, which was, in his words “an IPA that was clean, bursting with bitterness and hop aroma.”
The objective was to recreate this style’s best attributes, whilst keeping the qualities we like all Kirkstall beers to possess: bold flavours equalled by drinkability.
The grain bill for Tasty Pebble is a healthy base of Golden Promise, boosted with caramalt and a small amount of dextrose to keep the body light. The mash temperature was kept on the low side, which helps when striving for high attenuation, a lighter body but still a full flavour.
CO2 hop extract from Columbus was used for bittering, and a small addition of El Dorado and Lemondrop were added late in the boil for aroma and flavour. Our big hop additions occurred over two separate dry-hops, post-fermentation. The reason we split the dry hopping in two was to ensure maximum exposure and squeeze every last bit of hoppy goodness into the finished beer.
We’re also delighted that, like Virtuous, Pilsner and a few other beers of ours, Tasty Pebble is gluten free and, like almost all our keg and canned beers, is vegan-friendly too.
The finished beer is an unashamed love letter to a time and place when big beers carried their weight lightly but still hit high, complex and harmonious notes of hop flavour. Massive punches of citrus are followed by rolling waves of pine-sap bitterness, becoming increasingly more-ish with every sip and giving this broad-shouldered IPA with 90 IBUs its bewildering drinkability.
Give your tastebuds an all-expenses-paid trip to the west coast and seek out Tasty Pebble this week – launching at the first session of HOP CITY and everywhere else shortly after!
Tasty Pebble stockists (this will be updated as more are confirmed)
- LAUNCH: Hop City 2022 (first pour Thursday at 5.30pm)
Then to be found at:
- Kirkstall Brewery Taproom and Kitchen
- The Kirkstall Bridge Inn
- The Cardigan Arms
- and more places TBC.