Willie's Revenge Red Rye IPA

Tab: 

Named for our resident brew dog Willie, this is his punishment for us in the form of a potent, dank Rye IPA, payback for the typical long brew days. We took the grain bill for our Husker Red Rye and boosted the gravity bit, and upped the hops to 3.2 pounds per barrel to get a well-balanced and flavorful red ale with a huge resiny hop presence. The spice of the rye is an excellent counterpoint to the loads of American hops added late in the boil, giving notes of grapefruit, pine, blueberry and lemon. For those that like the malt body of an IPA to compete with a potent hop profile, this is a balanced and flavorful beer worth a try.

Tap Date 2/2 OG 1.064 IBU 70 AVB 7.2%

Aroma: A prominent to intense hop aroma featuring one or more characteristics of American or New World hops, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Many versions are dry hopped and can have an additional fresh hop aroma; this is desirable but not required. Grassiness should be minimal, if present. It may have low peppery rye malt aroma. A low to medium-low clean grainy-malty aroma may be found in the background. Fruitiness from yeast may also be detected in some versions, although a neutral fermentation character is also acceptable. A restrained alcohol note may be present, but this character should be minimal at best. Any American or New World hop character is acceptable; new hop varieties continue to be released and should not constrain this style.

Appearance: Color ranges from medium gold to light reddish-amber. Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy. Medium-sized, white to off-white head with good persistence.

Flavor: Hop flavor is medium to very high, and should reflect an American or New World hop character, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Medium-high to very high hop bitterness. Malt flavor should be low to medium-low, and is generally clean and grainy-malty although some light caramel or toasty flavors are acceptable. A light grainy spiciness from rye malt should be present. Low yeast-derived fruitiness is acceptable but not required. Rye malt contributes to a dry finish; residual sweetness should be low to none. The bitterness, hop flavor and dryness may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. A very light, clean alcohol flavor may be noted in stronger versions.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a smooth texture. Medium to medium-high carbonation. No harsh hop-derived astringency. Very light, smooth alcohol warming not a fault if it does not intrude into overall balance.

Overall Impression: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American and New World hop varieties. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dry finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

Comments: A modern American craft beer variation of American IPA. Rye malt character should be noticeable, otherwise enter in American IPA. Oak is inappropriate in this style; if noticeably oaked, enter in wood-aged category.

History: Looking to add complexity and variety to their IPAs, craft brewers and homebrewers substituted rye malt for a portion of their base malt. Rye IPAs, RyePAs or RIPAs have found a place in many craft breweries seasonal rotations.

Characteristic Ingredients: Pale ale or 2-row brewers malt as the base, 15-20% Rye malt, American or New World hops, American or English yeast with a clean or slightly fruity profile. Generally all-malt, but mashed at lower temperatures for high attenuation. Sugar additions to aid attenuation are acceptable. Water character varies from soft to moderately sulfate. Restrained use of crystal malts, if any, as high amounts can lead to a sweet finish and clash with the hop character.

Style Comparison: Drier and slightly spicier than an American IPA. Bitterness and spiciness from rye lingers longer than an American IPA. Does not have the intense rye malt character of a Roggenbier. Some examples are stronger like a Double IPA.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.056 – 1.075
IBUs: 50 – 75
FG: 1.008 – 1.014
SRM: 6 – 14
ABV: 5.5 – 8.0%

Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, Arcadia Sky High Rye, Founders Reds Rye, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger, Arbor Brewing Ryeclops Imperial Rye