It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a beer from Big Drop, despite their presence in the non-alcoholic beer market growing all the time. Looking back through previous review, it seems it was over a year since I put one of the Suffolk-based brewer’s beers through our extensive and some may say lacklustre taste tests. Since that last bottle of Paradiso Citra I reviewed, Big Drop have expanded to other markets, including the US, Canada and Australia; they’ve sponsored music festivals, and released a slew of new beers, many of them collaborations or limited runs. The subject of this review, Poolside DDH IPA, was initially one of these small batch brews, but proved so popular that it’s now made it into the brewer’s core range of beers.
So, DDH… we’ve been through this before – Double Dry Hopped, meaning that twice the amount of hops are used, whether that be at different stages in the brewing process or even just doubling the amount used compared to a standard brew. Big Drop are using Azacca, Chinook, Mosaic and Motueka hops here, all punchy US and New World favourites, offering the aromas and tastes of tropical, citrus and stone fruits, pine and spice amongst them. But as we’ve seen before, just because a brewer is throwing a load of exotically-named hops at their ale, it doesn’t necessarily produce a tasty beer. Big Drop have been hit and miss for me, but I’m hoping this is going to be more of the former.
The beer pours a mid-amber colour with good clarity and minimal visible carbonation. A head makes an attempt to froth up, but quickly throws in the towel and expires, leaving us a few patches of bubbles here and there. On the nose we get tropical pineapple up front with a caramel sweetness and a whiff of vanilla and mango in the background. Whilst they’re pleasant aromas, they’re not quite as strong as I was expecting.
The taste on the other hand is full on. We’re greeted by a strong grassy bitterness with a pine tang, which gets built on by more fruity flavours. Dominating is a caramelised pineapple flavour, joined by spicy mango, vanilla sweetness and a kick of citrus too. There’s body there, probably helped by the wheat and lactose, and the carbonation is at just the right level. It certainly didn’t last long in the glass, a lovely tipple, leaving a long bitter finish.
I can really see why Big Drop have elevated Poolside DDH to their core range, it’s a fantastic hoppy alcohol-free beer with many levels of complex flavours. It may not immediately grab you by the nose, but it’ll pounce on your taste buds and give them a pounding. My first five star mark for taste. Nice to see Big Drop is still able to crank out something of this quality.
Buy Big Drop Poolside DDH IPA
Big Drop’s beers are available in many of the bigger supermarkets, in pub fridges and on tap if you’re lucky. You can also get your cans of Poolside DDH IPA from the following online shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Water, Barley, Wheat, Lactose (Milk), Hops, Yeast|
|Country of Production||United Kingdom|
|Brewer||Big Drop Brewing Co – https://www.bigdropbrew.com/|
|Vegan Friendly?||No, contains lactose|
Big Drop Poolside DDH IPA Review
The nose may be insignificant, but the taste packs in so much fruity flavour and grassy bitterness that it may be time for me to stop tasting so many alcohol-free IPAs. What would be the point?