Just in time for its first anniversary on Saturday, St. Pete’s Flying Boat Brewing Co. has tapped a beer that pushes the envelope by combining two trends — New England-style IPA and Brett IPA — into one unique brew: The Falcon IPA.
By now, you probably know the score with the New England style. It’s densely opaque, hazy and rich with intense hop aroma. Flying Boat utilized an elaborate dry-hopping schedule, including dry hops added during primary fermentation, to give The Falcon this style’s signature juicy, fruit-forward quality.
The hops in play here are Mosaic, Azacca and Citra, all three of which are known for imparting a range of these fruity aromas, as well as a pronounced "dankness."
On the other side of the equation is the introduction of brettanomyces "wild" yeast — specifically of the brettanomyces claussenii variety, a strain known for a relatively clean fermentation profile — with the production of some low-level esters, lending beers subtle, pineapple-like flavors.
The brett fermentation also leaves the beer a touch drier than an average New England-style IPA, which makes its bitterness cut through. The result is a more traditional IPA bitterness relative to the low-bitterness New England style, with a light, brett-borne earthy complexity lingering beneath the surface.
Frankly, this beer won’t be everyone’s thing. But it’s an interesting merging of two styles on the forefront of current beer trends that adventurous palates will appreciate. It’s good to see Flying Boat branch out as it comes up on its first year in the ‘Burg. The Falcon is available on draft exclusively in the brewery tasting room at 1776 11th Ave. N.
— Justin Grant; Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email [email protected]