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Beer – #157 – Adnams – Innovation

Old Blighty calls every now and again and I found it hard to pass up on this, and Adnams Innovation.  Brewed by Adnams In the style of India Pale Ale (IPA) in the nicest of places: Southwold, England, although the brewer says it’s their go at an American IPA.

It’s a 6.7% ABV beer, Bottle Conditioned, in a pint bottle, and that would be 3.4 Standard drinks.  It’s a fantastic presentation with understated embossed, picked out with gold letters labels in a custom bottle

Adnams - InnovationOriginally brewed as a one off to celebrate the opening of our new brewhouse and our new distribution centre, we have decided to repeat the beer again in 2009. It came first in its class at the 2008 World beer awards and has also won a Gold medal at the 2008 BBI (British Bottlers Institute) awards. The beer was created under the direction of our Chairman, Jonathan Adnams, whose instruction was to ‘Brew something to wow me’.
The beer, our version of an American IPA, is brewed with a blend of Wheat and Pale ale malts to give a spicy, biscuity undertone to the beer, but it is in the hops where the beer really shines. A blend of hops from England, Slovenia and America (namely Boadicea, Columbus and Stryian Goldings) combine to give a wonderful grapefruit and tropical fruit aroma and bitterness that is balanced by the sweetness of the barley.

But like I said, the call of the homeland sometimes you can’t pass up, and  the Brits having a crack at an APA, get in!

The initial aroma is mostly of sweet sugars, it pours light beer brown with a reasonable head, but still carries a mostly sweet aroma. Its oddly bitter, and the floral notes don’t sit well together.

This seems to be more malts and caramel than hops if I cut to the chase. And therein lies the rub. If I was an English local then this would be a departure from the standard fare of beer, and I possibly might be enthralled, but I’m not and  as a stand-alone beer compared up against the work of other brewery types this then is  a bit of a pigs ear.

The bitterness is an afterthought, the sweetness is the front taste, carrying it just too far.

I’d be kinder but the pdubyah-o-meter is 5.5 on this, and it’s falling back into the pack of just beers. I’ll grant that the 6.7 ABV content is well hidden, and will eventually make you wish you hadn’t but unless you have a sweet tooth, or want a beer that carries an odd aroma that I’d rather not class as, but I have to, as “Wet grass” then this is beer for you. Not for me though.

A beer for the sweet of tooth and low of expectations.


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