Our first TIPA, it's all about balance... | Brew By Numbers

Balance – it’s something we strive for in every beer we brew, from saisons to stouts. Often, balance in brewing means nuance and delicacy: carefully threading flavours together into something complex, subtle and intricate. Sometimes it means something very different.

Our new 85 Triple IPA takes our love of hoppy beers to the maximum – delivering all those huge tropical and citrus flavours at 10% ABV, yet still with the drinkability of other BBNo beers. That means balancing the beer less like a gently-worked tapestry, and more like a colossal monument: building sturdy foundations and using careful, technical precision.

So, what is a Triple IPA? Beers like Bell’s Hopslam, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger and Stone’s RuinTen IPA defined the parameters of the style as it emerged, while more modern beers like Other Half’s All Green Everything have given Triple IPA a newer, even juicier context. Typically, Triple IPAs sit at 10% ABV and above, with a huge charge of dry hop and a rich body and resinous bitterness to support it. If a Double IPA is grade-A essay on hop flavour, a Triple IPA has to aim to be an A* with distinction.

We’ve learned a lot from every single Double IPA we’ve brewed, which we hope has helped us to avoid any mistakes in our first TIPA. Balancing intense flavours at higher strengths can be extremely difficult, which is exactly why it’s so important to select our ingredients carefully.

Triple IPAs, particularly when brewed in the East Coast style, display a thick, full malt body to match their hopping regime and higher alcohol by volume. Hops provide the fruit aromas and flavours, but the all-important juicy texture and drinkability comes from the grain. This meant lots of oats and wheat, because the proteins and texture from these grains boost the mouthfeel and smoothness of the beer.

As for the hops, not just any will suit the style. A TIPA’s alcoholic strength can overpower some hop notes with their booziness, and just increasing the hops can create overly dominant or clashing flavours, and other problems besides. With so much variety out there, you really need hops suited to the job. We chose our freshest Mosaic for leading the dry hop, in concert with El Dorado and Calypso to complement Mosaic’s funkiness and intensity with softer, citrus and fruit-salad notes.

By making our brewing choices carefully, we hope to blend these flavours and textures together like a cocktail. Vibrant notes of mango, melon and pineapple, supported with a smooth and juicy texture, land with a refreshing, grapefruit-pith bitterness.

85|Triple IPA has really pushed our skills and our brewhouse to the limit – and it’s a challenge we’ve enjoyed. Applying learning from every brew and evolving our beers in new directions is really what BBNo is all about. Every time we reach a new milestone in a style is a cause for us to celebrate, so we hope you join us in tasting 85|Triple IPA from its general release on the 29th April!