2012 marked the birth of the Iron Brew Competition, and Iron Chef-style homebrew-off hosted by Mellow Mushroom and ourselves. In it, teams of homebrewers were each charged with brewing a beer using one common ingredient. The winning team would get to brew their recipe with us, on our full-sized system. Not too shabby!
Year two saw roughly fifty entries, and a secret ingredient (in this case, ingredients) chosen by none other than Mr. Charlie Papazian. Brewers were charged with using any combination of basil, rosemary, lavender, or coriander, in their beers, which otherwise could only be made with malts, hops, yeast, and water. The leeway lead to a lot of creativity, but there had to be a winner. Imperial Storm Trooper White IPA, from Nifty Brewing, walked away with gold.
This wheat-based IPA is like stepping into a greenhouse. A huge bouquet of floral aromas leads the way, not only from the ultra-fresh herbs but also the Citra. Coriander and basil made their way into the boil, and lavender into the dry hop. If one of the judges didn’t say “it’s like drinking a garden,” they damn well should have.
Look for it on tap in our tasting room, and a couple of Mellow Mushroom locations around town, for a limited time.