Huzzah, a new IPA on the South African beer scene. Now I know that there’s not a shortage of beers bearing the IPA handle on their label, but what there is a shortage of in many of said beers is hops. “I want to brew an IPA, but I don’t want it to be too hoppy, because my audience doesn’t want that,” I’ve heard numerous brewers admit. Well then don’t call it an IPA, say I. Call it a pale ale and stop disappointing those with a humulus addiction.
But it seems that Johan Burger, owner and brewer at Stickman Brewery, is not afraid of hops. Foreman is a great intro to American IPAs. And I don’t mean that in a patronising way. It’s got all the aroma you’d want – great whiffs of peach and pine and passion (fruit) with just a touch of dankness lurking in the background. Flavour-wise it is almost all hops – I got peach and mango with a touch of marmalade at the end. There is some subtle malt character going on there too – look for just a hint of Graham Cracker, which is kind of like a digestive but maltier.
I’ve often heard people say that while they like IPA, they can’t drink it all night. I suspect this is one that they could have more than a couple of. It’s a sessionable beer that’s got a long, bitter finish but isn’t as in-your-face as the likes of Blockhouse or Californicator (despite having one more IBU than Blockhouse, at 57). I think this is a beer that’s going to do well – hubby and I fought over the bottle when we cracked it open from our League of Beers mixed case. Huzzah for hops, say I. Huzzah.
Stickman Brewery launched in early 2015. They’re based in a Stikland industrial park, north of Cape Town (and no, that’s not why they’re called Stickman). Their beers are available at a range of liquor stores around Cape Town, Jo’burg and Pretoria, plus a few Cape Town restaurants. Check out their website for all the details.