India White Ale — Spearhead Brewing Co.

One of the downsides of this beautiful new theme for my blog (if you’re here for your first time, it used to look a lot different. Worse), was that building it into my blog ate up a lot of my time. Like, I barely did any reviews, unless they were hugely time-sensitive. So there is a small pile of bottles in my beer fridge that are waiting to be reviewed. This one has been there the longest, and that’s a shame. Spearhead makes some very creative and tasty beers. And while I’m a bit worried about all the India X Ales/Lagers that keep popping up (and tend to agree with Stephen about this), I’m always willing to give things a fair shake. Made as a mix of styles, between IPA and hefeweizen, but with added mango and orange juice/peel. The trainspotters will point out that German hefeweizen would never have fruit added, that would be more in line with a Belgian-style wit, but I assume they used a German yeast strain, and besides, they’re hardly the first to look past this convention (I’m looking at you, Amsterdam!).

India White Ale — Spearhead Brewing Co.

India White Ale — Spearhead Brewing Co.

Style-name-fanatics might blow a gasket, but relax, regardless of nomenclature, this is delicious.

From a blank 341ml bottle India White Ale pours a lightly hazy deep gold, with a big fluffy head.The head drops fairly quickly, but leaves a lot of lace, and a decent layer of foam hangs around for most of the beer.  Aroma is bananas, cloves, wildflowers, and citrus. There is also a touch of melon and grass, both of which have a hoppiness to them. Taste is interesting, and presents quite differently. Immediately the hops are prevalent, herbal and spicy (they say it has Golding hops in it, which might mean both types, but if not, I would guess East Kent), with an earthiness. Bananas and cloves show up on the mid-palate and linger with the hoppy bite at the finish. The linger is just a little wheat beer-like with a biting dry hoppiness.  It’s interesting, because I get what they mean about it being a mix of an IPA and Weisse. I’m no BJCP zealot, but I would have tended to call this an American Wheat, like the hopfenweisses of the world, but I can also understand that in an effort to explain in the name, what a less indoctrinated drinker is about to sip. I still don’t love the prefix-everything-india trend, but if it wasn’t such a big thing in brewing right now, this particular case probably wouldn’t bother me at all.

Nice work, Spearhead!

Buy India White Ale

At bars around the GTA and at any festival Spearhead is pouring at, I’m sure!

Drink It With

This is a tough one. The hoppiness lends itself to spicy fare, but the classic wheat characteristics are more inline with lighter stuff. So here’s an idea: Ever had blackened catfish? Yes, that would work here, but why not try something different. Make blackened shrimp skewers. Maybe even cook them over an open fire! For cheese, again, it’s a bit of a tricky choice, so why not go for something a bit out of the ordinary? Maybe a young cheddar (rather than my usual recommendation of a funky older one). Especially if it’s from a place that uses good grass-fed milk (I’m looking at you, Monforte Dairy). Creamy with just a touch of sharpness, the hops will definitely cut through, but the fruit and spice will work well with the younger creamy rich cheese.

About The Brewery

At Spearhead, we believe that rules were meant to be broken. So when brewing our beer, we dispense with inhibitions and preconceptions. We believe that there are no boundaries when making beer. We use unusual ingredients and brewing methods that challenge the imagination—both yours and ours. We don’t want our beer to fit in; we want it to stand out. We may do some crazy, unusual things when brewing our beer, but for us that’s what it’s all about! We hope you love drinking our beer as much as we love dreaming it up and making it for you.

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