Schlafly Beer | Tasmanian IPA
ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 65
Schlafly Bottleworks’ Tasmanian IPA (TIPA) is part of the brewery’s Special Release series, and is available only from October to February. Per the Schlafly website “Our Special Release Series represents a seasonal lineup showcasing bigger beers… with a focus on unique process and huge flavor …” TIPA certainly fits that bill.
The first of many six packs I’ve picked up this year was “Bottled With Love” two weeks before my purchase and it showed. Super fresh, it’s a beer that pushes bright citrus smells into your face as soon as you pop the top. As I get ever deeper into the endless list of IPA options out there, I’m getting ever more snooty on the freshness factor. TIPA allows for no snootiness as it hits on the notes I look for in this regard – fresh hop bite and a big aroma. The malt finish is smooth and I find the 100% Australian hops – Galaxy and Topaz to be exact – subtly sweeter than the typical American hops I’m used to.
Why did Schlafly decide to go the route of all Aussie hops? Surely there was a reason they decided to source all these tasty hops from the other side of the world. I reached out and got the full story from Dan Kopman, Co-Founder of Schlafly about why they sourced their hops from Bushy Park Estates farm near Hobart, Tasmania.
The first year we brewed TIPA was 2012. The first year we brewed with the Australian hop, Galaxy was 2010. The first yards of Galaxy were in 2008. Galaxy was really the first of a new generation of Australian hops grown at Bushy Park or their farm in Victoria, bred from a pretty unique mother plant and various crosses. TIPA is brewed with Topaz – another Australian variety bred from the same mother plant, as the bittering hop and Galaxy is the late hop addition in the whirlpool and is used exclusively for dry hop.
I was first introduced to the hop in England on a family visit (my wife is from Scotland our kids were born in the UK). I was visiting a hop grower in East Sussex who had a sample. He is friends with the farm manager at Rostrevor, the HPA [Hop Products Australia] farm in Victoria. You could tell by “rubbing” that this was something very different from the US aroma hops. So we got some samples via the grower in England in 2010 and did a really small brew.
Then we got more after the 2011 harvest and brewed a 20th anniversary beer with it in 2011. We were so pleased with this beer that we entered into a longer term agreement directly with HPA starting with the 2012 crop and following the harvest in March of that year we introduced TIPA as a special release seasonal. That has continued. While we have increased our purchases of Galaxy and started to purchase other varieties from HPA, we have continued to offer this as a seasonal. In short, the growing conditions in Tasmania are very unique and the mother plant that they have employed for breeding is not like anything I have seen before or since. It is a bit like Jurassic Park!
In 2016 we will introduce a new beer that features two other Australian varieties, a relatively new variety, Vic Secret and a brand new variety, Enigma. The beer will also include some US and European hops. A sort of “these are a few of my favorite things”.
So, here’s to 2016 and the new Australian beers Dan and the wizards at Schlafly are brewing up!