Craft Beer: Lacada's Three Triangles IPA a pointed collaboration of pop and hop
COLLABORATIONS are everywhere these days and it's not uncommon to see two, or even more, different brewery logos on a skifully illustrated bottle or can in your off-licence.
It makes a lot of sense that like-minded beermakers should put their heads together, share ideas and think outside the box to come up with a brew they wouldn't normal make.
I got a serious amount of pleasure saying farewell to 2017 and ringing in the new year while caressing a glassful of Harmonic Convergence, a belting barley wine brewed with the collective expertise of Galway Bay and Boundary which was pretty much Christmas pudding in a glass. This was quite a limited run, but you can still pick up a red wax-tipped bottle of sumptuous brew if you look hard enough.
But Portrush brewers Lacada have teamed up with an unusual partner for their most recent collaborative brew. For fans of the band And So I Watch You From Afar, the rather spartan design of a single upright triangle with two upside down ones either side of it will be a familiar sight. That's the label that is emblazoned on Lacada's Three Triangles IPA, a kind of Pink Floyd meets Harland and Wolf sort of thing, and it's a nod to the fact that the north coast brewers have teamed with one of the area's best known musical acts.
The beer itself pours quite a murky, almost opaque, brown colour, like a particularly misty night over the Giant's Causeway. It has quite a sharp, piney aroma, with hints of pineapple and you can tell even from the smell that the hops have been dialled up to 11 in this one. They've given this an almighty dry-hopping using mosaic, simcoe and equinox, which explains the fragrant aroma and roaring bitterness.
That hits you on the first gulp with quite a sharp, bitter finish, but once your taste buds settle down, there's lots more going on. It has strong grapefruit and pineapple flavours while the mouthfeel is smooth due to the presence of wheat and oats in the malt bill. It's 7.8 per cent abv, so it's a robust IPA, bordering on DIPA territory.
This isn't the first time music and brewing have collided. British heavy metal veterans Iron Maiden have their own Trooper ale, which they brew with the help of Robinsons Brewery in England, while, in a slightly more left-field collaboration, 80s pop sensation Rick Astley has teamed up with hip Danish brewer Mikkeller to produce a red ale. Sadly, it's not called Never Going To Give You Hop.