Beer: Paul McConville samples the Tutti Frutti and Hop Bomb IPAs in Meath-based Bru's Urban Jungle series
ONE of the great things about the arrival of summer, sluggish at it tends to be around these parts, is the fact that a lot of fruits that had to be shipped halfway around the world in winter to satisfy our now year-round demand, can be plucked fresher and tastier from closer to home.
Of course, one of the great trickeries involved in the brewing process is using various varieties of hop to replicate the smell and taste of a cornucopia of fruits, and a couple of 5.5 per cent IPAs I recently tried from Meath-based Bru's Urban Jungle series did just that.
Tutti Frutti fires off some lovely sweet and fruity aromas of fresh peach and apricot. It's a light amber, almost straw colour in the glass and there's a slight haze to it. Now, if you are going to call a beer Tutti Frutti, you're going to have to make sure it's crammed with as much fruit as a 10-year-old me used to love to see in the ice cream of the same name.
This has a lot of Frutti, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's 'Tutti', there's a whack of grapefruit and pineapple, which also provide a nice level of bitterness and pith. You can pull out those stone fruit flavours that were prevalent in the aroma, but it doesn't have that in-your-face mash of fruit you would expect.
Funnily enough, I found Hop Bomb, another name setting quite high standards for itself, much more of a fruit fest. This IPA uses a rotating helping of hops, so no two batches are ever the same. Unfortunately, I wasn't fully tuned into this approach at the time of drinking, so I couldn't tell you which were the lucky hops to have made it into this one, but they should definitely get another outing.
There's a lovely stone fruit aroma which just leaps right out of the can on pouring and the beer is a light amber colour in the glass. It's relatively clear and the lager and carapils malt give it a nice crispness and sweetness, but then comes the flood of fruit over the palate. There a bit of peach and mango and a hint of orange marmalade.
In fact, there's something of a trick of the eyes going on here because it's a beer that tastes a lot thicker than it looks. With the amount of juicy fruity flavours crammed into this one, you'd expect it to be a murky, haze bomb, but it's not. The crispness gives it a nice refreshing edge.