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Wednesday
May272015

WOLF OF THE WILLOWS XPA

Wolf of the Willows IPA. A couple from Melbourne, Australia took the plunge and started their own brewery, Wolf of the Willows, in 2014.

The name of the brewery alludes to a story of a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveller, officer and writer known as Pliny the Elder, who first identified the hop vine.

At this time. hops grew wild in the forest. They were described as wild, choking the willows, taking them down like a wolf to a flock of sheep.

Pliny and his naturalist buddies created the botanical name for hops - ‘lupus Salictarius’.  These Latin words can be roughly translated to ‘wolf among the willows’. The botanical name for hops were subsequently changed to ‘humulus Lupulus’. Poor old Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Wolf of the Willows are taking a modern approach to brewing, starting with style guidelines and straying a little to make it their own. They call their debut release an ‘XPA’.

Strangely, in 2014, several breweries released XPAs each with their own definition of the style. Wolf of the Willows describe their XPA as an ‘Extra Pale Ale’. A west coast American style ale, extra pale in colour with extra hop aroma and flavour.  It’s 4.7% ABV and in terms of style it seems to be something like a cross between an American Pale Ale and a session IPA.

Pale yellow with a fine white head. Citrus, passionfruit and tropical fruit aroma. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Clean citrus, passionfruit and tropical fruit hop flavour with a mildly bitter and crisp dry finish. There’s a mild biscuity malt flavour which adds a bit of complexity to the malt backbone without being overpowering. In terms of style is reminds me a bit of Feral’s Sly Fox and Ekim’s After Battle Pale Ale.

An easy drinking and flavoursome thirst quencher.

 

7/10

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