We talked to Geoffrey Williams, Head Brewer for Eventide Brewing, about their brand new release, The “A” IPA.
The “A” is the first canned release for Eventide in several years. The Grant Park brewery is mainly known for its Kolsch and Pale Ale, but they were lacking an India Pale Ale – until now. Williams tells us more in this interview.
Tell us about how this recipe got started.
I’ve always enjoyed a good IPA and knew that I wanted to bring one into the Eventide portfolio. When we launched Eventide, I had to rework the hop profile of the Pale Ale due a lack of hop availability. Therefore, The ‘A’ IPA started out as a bigger, modified version of the Pale Ale. From that foundation, I was able to build the original Spring seasonal run of the IPA we had last year. It was always my intent to bring it online as a year round offering once I was able to dial in the recipe and have the capacity to support it.
It took you (at least) five tries to get this done. What was the challenge of getting this beer dialed in?
Correct, the one you are, hopefully, enjoying today is the 5th iteration of this recipe. When launched as the Spring seasonal last year I was on version two and while it was a great beer, I felt that I could pull more out of the recipe. I tweaked the malt, water, and hop profile and worked on the hop additions, mash temp, and fermentation temp to really dial in and extract the exact aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and finish that I envisioned. The craft market is flooded with IPA’s so to launch one you really need something special, and I feel The ‘A’ is just that.
What was the inspiration behind the name?
Atlanta has been home to all of us for a number of years now and we wanted to show some love to the city that has supported us from the beginning. We’re very focused on improving our neighborhood and those surrounding us, and we thought that giving the people of Atlanta something that they could be proud of and call their own would be fitting.
This is your first year-round canned release in a while. Why did you feel you needed to add an IPA to your regular lineup?
I like IPA’s and craft beer drinkers like IPA’s, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me. In all seriousness it’s been in the works for awhile, but developing an IPA that stands out in this market takes time. I wanted to be sure it was as close to perfect as possible before it launched.
IPA is a very saturated style in the market. What do you think makes The ‘A’ unique?
The ‘A’ is an amalgamation of popular IPA styles: West Coast hop profile, East Coast malt and yeast profile, and a little New England style haziness thrown in for good measure. I feel that any beer has to be more than one dimensional, but this is especially true of a craft beer style as popular and prevalent as IPA.
You’re currently in the midst of a big expansion. What will this allow you all to do with your beers?
The first benefit will be additional expansion/support across the state and the ability to package our seasonal offerings. Next, will be additional offerings, new styles, increases in job opportunity, and expanded tasting room hours (the last 2 are benefited by the passage of SB85). Once the dust settles from all of those things, we’ll evaluate a move out of state into specific markets with the hope of making Eventide a regional brand.
What’s coming up next for Eventide?
We recently put the finishing touches on our first seasonal package design, Citrus Grove, and will be brewing the first run of it this week in preparation for its May 22 launch date. Next we’ll look to finish out the remaining seasonal designs and will then turn our attention to our tasting room structure in preparation for the September law changes. Also, look for a couple of oak aged offerings to appear later in the year and the possible return of an old favorite for a tasting room only release.
Anything else we might have missed?
We’ll be officially launching into the Savannah market next week and should have a schedule of events to share next week!