UPDATE 143p: Chris Stawney discovered a review of the IPA written by Jim Bonomo of Portland Beer and Music Blog. Be sure to check out his post, part of which we reproduced below with permission.
“The aroma of this beer is straight-up California IPA (the beer is a collaboration with CA homebrew club QUAFF) and in the flavor, the spices are present but in harmony with the sweeter hop profile. The beer features Malty Assam Black Tea from the Tao of Tea, ginger, clove, black pepper, cardamom, and star anise. Close to chai, this beer’s spiciness echoes tea and hops more than curry and heat. At 7%, it approaches Imperial IPA status, but maintains a level of drinkability for those who dig on bold pale ales. Also noteworthy here is the use of the 0% alpha acid Teamaker hop, which provides no bitterness but a complementary tea-like flavor.”
Also, here’s a response from Widmer on the availability of this beer (when can we drink it?!): “The beer will start to ship over the coming days, and you should expect to see it in the coming weeks, depending on what stock is like on the current Rotator IPA on shelves, O’Ryely.”
UPDATE 1241P: Just got word from Adam Parker on the release of this beer at KnB Wine Cellars. It will take place at 5PM on January 31st. The Chai Spiced IPA will be on draft alongside other Widmer beers such as Brrrbon, Galaxy Hopped Barleywine, Lemongrass Wheatwine, and O’Ryely IPA. Every order of the QUAFF / Widmer IPA gets a Widmer Tulip glass along with a sample of another tasty QUAFF homebrew(s). As this event will be a celebration of homebrewing, brewers are encouraged to bring their best beers to share. 6 packs will be available. QUAFF members get 10% off their tabs. Cool!
UPDATE 958A: From Paul via our comments: “Note that many of the QUAFF members participated in this competition and submitted great beers. We had about 20 entries in the 1st round and I believe approximately 5 made it to the final judging. My thanks go out to the Widmer folks for making this a fun event and of course to Chris Stawney my partner in brewing this beer. But fundamentally this is a collaboration between Widmer Brothers and QUAFF (we were just the guys with the chosen recipe).”
UPDATE 930A: A call to Paul Sangster revealed a bit more behind the beer. How did the Northwestern beer giant Widmer come to collaborate with a San Diego homebrew club? One of their brewers used to live in San Diego and was familiar with QUAFF. Widmer wanted to do an unusual IPA for the ongoing Rotator series, so they approached the club. QUAFF produced several beers in a competition judged by Widmer brewers, who came to San Diego, and a blind tasting was held where the recipe was selected.
WIDMER BROTHERS BREWING UNVEILS FOURTH BREW IN ROTATOR IPA SERIES: SPICED IPA
Brewed in Collaboration with San Diego Homebrew Club
PORTLAND, Ore. – Jan. 19, 2012 – Widmer Brothers Brewing introduces the next release in its Rotator IPA Series and the brewery’s first nationally-released collaboration brew, Spiced IPA. Originating from a recipe created by Paul Sangster and developed with Chris Stawney of San Diego’s Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity (QUAFF), an award-winning San Diego Homebrew Club, Spiced IPA offers an intriguing twist on the West Coast’s favorite beer style. Blending familiar flavors with unexpected ingredients, this hop-forward yet balanced IPA carries notes of black tea and spices that come together, much like the brewers behind it, to create one amazing brew. Spiced IPA is a nationwide release available in limited quantities on draught and in six and 12-packs at select retailers.
“From the very first sip, we were impressed by Spiced IPA,” said Joe Casey, Widmer Brothers brewmaster. “In many ways, Paul Sangster’s recipe embodies what Widmer Brothers beers are all about: unique interpretations of classic beer styles. This was a fantastic project to be a part of, and we look forward to continuing to brew more collaboration beers with homebrewers in the future.”
Spiced IPA is the fourth beer of the Rotator IPA Series which features a new, limited-run IPA every few months. “The idea for this beer came from trying to integrate the interesting variety of spice flavors of chai tea with the fruity flavors of a West Coast style IPA,” said Sangster. “As Chris and I tested the recipe, we focused on trying to achieve a good balance between the citrusy and pine-like hop aromas and flavors we love in American IPAs with the herbal and spicy tea notes to give a more complex and full palate flavor sensation. We are really pleased with the way it turned out and are thrilled to be brewing it with Widmer Brothers.”
“We started homebrewing in the early 80’s, and have been part of the local homebrew community in Portland ever since. Throughout the years, we’ve released several collaboration beers locally through our partnership with the Oregon Brew Crew and are excited to release this collaboration beer with QUAFF,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “Spiced IPA is a great example of the innovative recipes that homebrewers are out there brewing today. We really enjoyed brewing this beer and hope others will like it, too.”
About Spiced IPA
In the spirit of collaboration, Widmer Brothers Brewing teamed up with QUAFF to brew Spiced IPA, a beer that offers an intriguing twist on the West Coast’s favorite style. The spices used in this beer include Malty Assam Black Tea, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Star Anise, Black Pepper, and Cardamom.
Malts: Pale, White Wheat, Caramel 40, Carapils
Hops: Alchemy, Millenium, Falconer, Zeus, Galaxy, and Teamaker
Original Gravity: 16
Apparent Extract: 2.5
Alcohol by Volume: 7%
Spiced IPA has a suggested retail price of $8.99 per six-pack and $14.99 per 12-pack.