Dunedin House of Beer has been quietly amping up experimentation with its house brews, posting several bold treatments to the menu alongside its always-popular mango hefeweizen.
For starters, there's the subtle citrus of the Orange Rye pale ale, which is nearly the complete opposite of the Peanut Butter blonde, a strange and decadent brew that tastes exactly like it sounds (it's the only HoB beer to use flavoring extracts, which means that it's also okay for peanut allergy sufferers to consume).
Then there's a beer that's sure to inspire a range of emotions: the Cool Cucumber IPA. Cucumber's stock as a beer flavoring additive has risen in recent years, but it's typically restricted to a role in saisons, Berliner weisse and wild ales.
HoB has taken a different route, peeling and juicing hefty quantities of fresh cucumbers and adding them to a moderately hopped IPA. The beer pours a bright amber and has an interesting and spicy aroma from the combination of cucumber juice and earthy, pungent hops.
Flavorwise, Cool Cucumber has a classic American IPA hop profile — think the pine and grapefruit flavors of the West Coast IPAs of the '90s and early 2000s — which provides a perfect backdrop for cucumber, a delicate flavor that could be lost in the tropical, fruity IPAs of today.
As with other cucumber ales, it's likely that Cool Cucumber will be a love/hate affair, but it's an ambitious brew that makes and excellent thirst-quencher for those who don't mind a little cucumber in their beer.
— Justin Grant
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