Every time a new IPA is launched, my Twitter feed goes wild, so it was inevitably full of excited retweets when the first photos of CBC’s swanky IPA label started to circulate. Well, the Mandarina Bavaria IPA has now hit the shelves/taps and I managed to get my hands on a bottle. If you’re a C-hop fanatic, the aroma might leave you wanting more, but then this isn’t meant to be an American IPA. Coming from CBC, it could only be a German beer and has indeed been dry-hopped with the German Mandarina Bavaria hop – something deliciously different.
It’s a beautifully balanced beer, with malt and hops playing nicely together. Aroma-wise, there’s some roasty malt notes and of course, some citrus from the hops (they don’t call this hop strain Mandarina for nothing). You might also pick up a touch of spice – think noble hop aroma. The malt-hop balance continues when you sip. I got malt up-front (a touch of toffee for me) then a delicious, long-lasting bitterness.
CBC’s IPA is 6.5% ABV but it’s so crisp and refreshing you could easily down a few – beware! Hooray for another IPA in the South African beer stable – good job they have a huge capacity as it’s undoubtedly going to fly off fridge shelves.
How much: Around R28 for a 440ml bottle from a liquor store, R35 for a 500ml draught in a bar
Where: It’s becoming more visible in good bottle stores. At the moment, you’ll only find it on draught at Banana Jam Cafe, and of course at the brewery itself.