Drink This Beer – Wild Heaven Goodvice
About a year after releasing its first India Pale Ale (Wise Blood IPA), Wild Heaven is coming out with a Double IPA.
Goodvice is the Avondale Estate’s first entry into this style. We talked to brewmaster Eric Johnson about the development of it.
Tell us about the development of Goodvice. How did you come up with the recipe?
This beer has been in process for the past few months as we’ve rolled of a host of bigger IPA’s on our pilot system and have been working to the end of developing a giant, hop-forward beer that really showcased these next gen hops we’ve been playing around with. The malt bill is deliberately simple (mostly Golden Promise and naked golden Oats) because I didn’t want too much to distract from the delicate flavors and aromas of the hops.
You’re experimenting a bit with this one, with Loral, Ariana and Ekuanot (Equinox) hops – three fairly new varieties. What does that combination do for the beer?
The world of hop breeding is changing every day and it’s amazing to see the results of all of this hard work. Today we have access to the most delicious, expressive hops ever and, as Brewers, we are learning new ways of using hops with every batch we make. The new hops are like finding a new culinary ingredient. It’s hard to resist the urge to see what it can do in a new beer.
Another fairly recent invention in brewing is the development of Lupulin powder. What does that do to a beer?
So, in Goodvice, we use Lupulin powder for all of the whirlpool hops (Loral and Ekuanot). This further processing of the hops has removed a meaningful amount of the vegetative material from the hops which yields a cleaner, tastier product. When you’re looking at adding 5-7 pounds of hops per barrel you will quickly develop unwanted vegetal off flavors with significant amounts of leaf or T90 pellets. Lupulin powder delivers the amazing flavor and aroma without the unwanted plant material.
You have been working on this for several months. What was the biggest challenge in developing Goodvice?
Finding the right hops and combinations of hops was a huge part of this project. We weren’t trying to make a beer that resembled someone else’s and that required looking at new ingredients and different ways of using them to make this beer amazing and unique.
How important was water chemistry in developing this beer?
Water chemistry is the most important factor in an IPA by far. Of the 15+ test batches I did on this beer there was as much effort put into the water profile as any other ingredient. The beer is, after all, 92% water!
This is your second IPA release (after Wise Blood IPA last year), and first Double/Imperial IPA. Was this something you felt was lacking in your lineup?
Perhaps. That’s not ultimately why I made the beer. I love the style. It’s what I drink when I’m out, it’s what I drink at home, etc. We waited to release hoppy beer mostly due to our deep respect for the category. I really wanted mine to be fantastic and it had not previously been a focus of ours so there was a learning curve.
For those that may not know, what exactly is the difference between an IPA and a Double IPA?
In a nutshell, a double IPA should be higher in alcohol and higher IBU’s. It’s an amplified version of its little brother. It’s definitely a space for the hops to shine. It is, by design, not a terribly balanced beer. That’s ok though. It’s not for everyone.
When can we expect to see Goodvice on tap and on shelves?
We will release limited draft later this month. Not sure on cans. That might just be at the brewery.
How is the progress on the second location (West Beltline) coming?
We are now in the exciting stage of dealing with the lovely city of Atlanta. After we get all of the plans and permits hammered out we’ll be breaking ground. Hopefully that will start in the next few months.
What’s coming up next for Wild Heaven?
New stuff for us in 2017 is going to be a host of sour releases. We have about 130 barrels that have been quietly aging for a while and we’re super excited to have them finally making their way into market. You should also expect a Nitro ESB collaboration with a British brewery for fall.