On June 8, New Deal Brewery unveiled its first limited-edition beer, a summery WIPA. Brewers Olivier and Martin give us a glimpse behind the scenes at their new creation!
Where did the idea for a limited-edition Boldwin beer come from?
We picked a WIPA because we’d been thinking about making a beer with a malted-wheat and orange-peel base for months. We decided to give it a summery taste by flavouring it with hops that has slight citrus notes, Belgian yeast, orange peel, and dry hopping. We’d planned it to be ready for summer and patio season, which… well, it’s a little late this year! We also wanted to avoid the beaten path and show off our unique know-how with a beer that’s different and a little more ambitious, while still affordable for our loyal clients.
For those who’ve never tried it, what’s a WIPA?
It comes from the blend of “white” and “IPA.” WIPA is a hybrid beer that’s somewhere between a Witbier (Belgian white wheat beer) and an American IPA. A good WIPA is dry, refreshing but bitter, with notes of citrus, grains, and spicy yeast esters. Some WIPAs are flavoured with spices like coriander, but it’s not necessary. What’s most important is that the beer has all the characteristics of Belgian whites and good hopping like an American IPA.
How would you describe the new Boldwin WIPA?
We used a strong dose of Mosaic and Chinook hops as a bittering agent for our Boldwin WIPA. We opted for Mosaic and Cascade as aromatics, and dry hopping with Cascade from Franklin, our Québec producer. Adding orange peel gave our WIPA yet another distinctive flavour. It’s often found in Witbier, and it helped us add to the citrus flavours that are already present in the hops. Together this gives our beer a resinous, lemony taste with a citrus touch. A typical Belgian Witbier yeast was used to add a touch of spice and bread esters to the beer. We also used pale malt from the Caux Laflamme malthouse, which offers local flavours and stability. It also offers something that’s characteristic of WIPA beers: 45% of its grain composition is made up of malted wheat. Our summer WIPA is unfiltered, giving it a layer of yeast that’s typical of white beer. It also has a velvety foam and slightly more effervescence than our regular beers. It’s also pleasantly bitter and you can really taste the citrus notes, especially orange, with final notes that are dry and thirst-quenching.
Was it an easy task to create this beer?
Let’s just say it was a good challenge. We wanted hops that was different from what we normally use to give this beer its signature taste. Working with organic ingredients is a must at our brewery, but on top of the elevated costs of the raw material, these ingredients are also harder to find. We had to look to Michigan to find high-quality Mosaic hops. We also experimented with a new yeast that works differently from our regular ingredient. So there was an element of the unknown when it came to creating our wild new experiment.
How long will Boldwin WIPA be available for? How many litres did you brew?
We brewed 2,000L of our WIPA, which was aged in barrels only. We wager—and we hope!—that this batch goes quickly. It’s offered in barrels so you can fill up your growlers at the brewery boutique, plus it’s available for festivals and bars. We plan to brew another 2,000L, which will be ready by mid-July. Among other projects, we’re planning a small batch of cans for specialized corner stores.
Any stories to share about how this beer came to be?
When we were brewing our 20L test batch, we used way too much orange peel. It’s a really bitter ingredient and it masked the taste of everything else. We then reduced the quantity by half. Our American hops was also held at the border for 5 days more than we’d planned! Which meant we had to stall our production, but thankfully it only meant putting our launch off by a week.
Any plans for more limited-edition beers?
This WIPA is the first special brew in a series of beers we want to launch. Right now, we’re working on three other recipes that we hope will be out at different times. For now, it remains a surprise!