Shipyard IPA, Shipyard Brewing
Added: Saturday, February 1st 2014
I have chosen this beer for two reasons. It’s a superb example of an IPA and is also a tribute to the late Peter Austin (see obituary on this site), the founder of Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire in the late 1970s. Alan Pugsley, who brews Fuggles IPA, learnt the brewing skills with Peter at Ringwood then moved to the United States, where he helped set up the DL Geary brewery in Portland, Maine, before opening his own Shipyard Brewing Co in the same town. Portland is famous as the birthplace of the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the brewery is close to his home and the town’s historic shipyard.
Peter Austin allowed Alan to brew Ringwood’s prize-winning Old Thumper under licence and also gave him a sample of the house yeast culture. It’s a well-travelled culture, for it originated at the Hull Brewery where Peter was head brewer for many years. Hull, in common with Portland, is an important harbour town.
IPA, a much-travelled beer style, squares the brewing circle. While it’s brewed in the U.S., it’s much closer in style to an English IPA than the more aggressively hopped modern interpretations produced by many American breweries. The character of the beer is defined by the use of just one hop, the English Fuggle. Alan could have used Willamette, an American offshoot of the Fuggle, but he has gone for complete authenticity.
The hops give a characteristic earthy, resinous, spicy and piny aroma and flavour. The grains are pale, crystal and malted wheat that combine to produce a biscuity, nutty and creamy note. Malt and hops are underscored by the distinctive orange fruitiness of the Ringwood yeast.
The beer is available in branches of Morrisons and Tesco at £1.79 for a 355ml bottle. It’s imported by Marston’s and will be available in other outlets supplied by the Burton brewery.