Lovers of Acorn beers will be well aware of their range of single hopped IPA beers, all of which are brewed at 5% and are intended to demonstarte the character of the hop used. The range has been going on for around two years now and has covered many of the common hops that us drinkers come across on a regular basis. We have already been treated to versions using European and American hops, and this year it's the turn of the New Zealand varieties.
And to give them their due, they have tried some fairly unusual hops. I have been treated to European IPAs brewed with Mittlefruh, Spalt, Marynka, and Lubelski, all of which were decent beers. The most unusual was a single hopped Celelia IPA, a hop I had never previously come across, but gave a clean tasting, interesting beer. But that was last Christmas time......
What's worrying me now is the Green Bullet IPA that is hiding in the cellar at The Star Inn. It is part of this 5% range and so promises to be good, but it's just that I do not like Green Bullet, or the flavour it gives beer. Nor does it like me, making me sneeze for some bizarre reason! I have tried my best to find out why we do not get on, but without much success. Checking lots of hop web sites does give me a bit of background information. They tell me it is high in alpha acid, but I have drunk beers with hops with higher rating (Pacific Gem being one), and they have all tasted fine and I have had no ill effects. Other sites mention it's flavour, which is allegedly grassy, resinous, and floral - who are they kidding? I just get an astringency from it which, for me is overpowering and sometimes unpleasant, almost like TCP in a pint glass.
Another problem is that sneaky brewers do not often warn me that their beer contains Green Bullet, so I unwittingly drink it without prior knowledge. I came across it recently in a Brass Monkey beer; I know it has appeared in a Church End's 'Cop Gun' (that's when the sneezing started) and no doubt it has been used in plenty of others I have tried. Maybe if it is mixed with other hops it may cut down the astringency, or may be if it is used differently in the brewing process, or in lesser quantities it works. May be its fairly cheap so brewers use lots of it in their beer. Or maybe I am just a wimp.
Having said all this though, even if the beer does have 'Green Bullet' written in large lettering across the pump clip, and its a beer I have not yet tried, I will still have to drink it. I just hope Acorn have got it right, they generally do, and they have brewed a beer to change my opinion. I certainly hope so and I will let you know.
PS.....Tried it on Thursday night, no sneezing, and a superbly balanced beer. None of the aggressive astringency I associate with the hop. Another Acorn classic.