A Different Approach to IPA - Unfortunate News

While it is not something that we take pleasure in, there are times when batches of beer do not meet our expectations and we must make the difficult decision to dispose of them. Usually this is because the flavor profile of the finished beer is outside our definition of acceptable boundaries we set for it. Some of you may recall a period in 2018 when this happened with our year-round beers, Ichigo Ichie and Ichii Senshin. There have also been times when a new concept, ingredient, or technique we try in a one-off beer does not work out like we expect. We have been less vocal about these instances, but most recently this occurred when we challenged ourselves to make a beer with 100% malted wheat instead of the usual malted barley. While we were able to produce wort and ferment it without issue, the flavor profile of a 100% wheat beer was not one we considered to be enjoyable, meaning the beer had to go down the drain.

Unfortunately, a similar situation has arisen regarding the experimental dry hop beer we introduced recently and were hoping to release in early August. While wort production and fermentation went according to plan, the dry hop itself did not. While we are not 100% sure of the cause, something about the dry hopping process wound up bringing out all of the undesirable aspects of the hops (grassy, bitter, astringency) instead of the lovely tropical and citrus fruit character we expected.

It of course saddens us deeply when we must make these choices, and we realize that the decision to do so is a wasteful one. However, it is also a choice we are incredibly proud to make in the sense that it reinforces the commitment we make to our products and the respect we have for our customers. We have always believed strongly that releasing products that do not meet our standards only serves to disappoint our customers, and in turn damage the reputation for quality that we have worked so hard to achieve.

While this particular brew did not work out as planned, we are enamored with the concept and look forward to finding a time to work it into the brew schedule again in the near future. Until then, cheers to good beer!

Chris Hainge
Head Brewer and Co-Founder
Kyoto Brewing Co.