Black IPA, session IPA, barrel-aged IPA and now, a white IPA. That’s what happens when a hop-forward brewer like Deschutes’ Larry Sidor teams up with Belgium-born, witbier expert Steven Pauwels of Boulevard. Last May, the two devised a new take on the Belgian wit, adding sage, lemongrass and a wealth of hops to the traditional coriander and orange peel spices for what they call a white IPA.
For this particular collaboration, Sidor and Pauwels devised the recipe, and then returned to their separate facilities to brew the beer. Drink the beers side-by-side for a fascinating example of how each brewer’s style shines through a shared recipe.
Boulevard’s version sports a determined white head with fabulous lacing, and emits a robust herbal, earthy aroma with light wafts of citrus. Deschutes’, on the other hand, delivers some wit spice, but its bouquet’s packed with hoppy orange, lemon and pine scents. On the tongue, Boulevard’s herbal spice augments the added sage while a modest dose of hops elevates the beer beyond the classic style. Deschutes’ version is decidedly hoppy: Dank pine covers the tongue as the citrusy hop notes draw out the lemongrass. Both beers take a different approach, offering unique entry points for the consumer. Boulevard’s version is perfect for wit fans looking to expand their palate, while Deschutes’ brew will find favor with hop heads that want to enjoy subtle Belgian-style spice on the side.
Are you lucky enough to live in an area where their distribution overlaps? Which version do you like best?