Newtown’s own, Young Henrys, deliver such a brilliant example of an English IPA, that it deserves to refill your glass again and again.
The beautiful thing about craft beer is the variety. There are beers that taste like chocolate bars and beers that taste like steak.
In America, pumpkin beers are more popular than ever.
But one of the simplest and purest joys in anyone’s craft beer journey is finding a beer that is so perfectly balanced but full of flair that it deserves to be placed on a pedestal as a shining example of what a beer could (and should) be.
So with all the excellent breweries in the UK and the US, and indeed here in Australia from WA to Victoria, it’s pretty awesome that you can find a beer so on-point here in Sydney.
It’s even better that it’s a typically English style of beer.
Young Henrys have become a staple of the Sydney beer scene, especially in their home of the Inner West.
Their Hop Ale, which they claim isn’t necessarily an IPA, captures the spirit and intention of an English IPA in a wonderful interpretation of the style.
The aromas draw you in so well, the hoppy nose is there for sure, but what it does best is deliver a promise. From that whiff you know the first swig is going to be hop-heaven, punchy bitterness layered over malt sweetness.
The head is off-white and it sticks around on top of the dark hazy amber liquid. There are subtle orange and grassy flavours but the caramel/toffee malt pushes through under a lingering, raw bitterness.
It’s slightly resinous but not over the top, the carbonation is light so you can sink a few if you’re so inclined. And why wouldn’t you be?
It’s as solid and drinkable beer as you’re likely to find. It comes in at 6% ABV but it drinks a lot lighter than that.
Beers need to fit a certain criteria to be deemed on style. Obviously, rules and guidelines are there to be broken but generations of brewers have taught us what constitutes a particular type of beer, and recipes have been perfected over time.
It’s a fantastic thing when a beer hits a style so well but then to deliver this consistently is another thing entirely. Hop Ale now comes on tap, in longneck bottles, in growlers and most recently in tinnies. And it hits the spot every time.
It’s a distinctive style and an unmistakeable taste. Because it’s Young Henrys, it’s offered up with a slightly rock-n-roll, swaggering nonchalance but the graft and effort that have gone into creating this beer is obvious.
It wouldn’t be so good if it hadn’t taken some hard work.
If you’re from Sydney, get down to the brewpub in Newtown and try out a fresh one from the tap. Otherwise these are popping up in bottleshops all over NSW so you can’t miss out.
If you’re drinking it home, pick up a Spiegelau IPA glass or a tulip glass and pour it long and heady. IPAs are all the rage and will be a big part of most people’s craft beer journeys. This is a great one for hop-heads and malt-lovers alike.
From: Newtown, NSW
Beer style: Hoppy Ale (IPA of the English variety)
Malt: Ale, Pale, Munich, Crystal, CaraMunich
Hops: Galaxy, Ella, Williamette, Topaz and others
Pair with: Barbecued meats or pulled pork.
Leave a comment below and share your experience with Young Henrys Hop Ale.