West Coast IPA
In the cold grey light of a November afternoon, this is what my apartment looks like. The ceiling and walls are white, with a wooden floor and a gumball red door. The wood is Australian hardwood. There is an American walnut table, designer, with four chairs that don’t match the table, in an Eclectic style. It has six potted plants on it and is overlooked by an original Rebecca Lee Williams. The painting is of different types and varieties of sushi, very chic nowadays if you can get a reservation to any of the restaurants serving it, and it has a white border with a black wooden frame. The kitchen is also white, with a grey glass splashback and cabinets of glass-fronted Melamine, with brushed silver Bosch electric appliances and cooktop, except for a polished stainless steel Breville coffee maker and a brushed steel and glass Anko kettle. A Japanese clock with the numbers replaced by pieces of sushi hangs above and next to the Simpson fridge. On the opposite wall hangs a Fujitsu DC Inverter air conditioning unit above my computer screen – a space age black Asus VS248 HDMI Input 24 inch widescreen monitor connected to a black Arlec case, with a Sennheiser PC8 USB microphone headset. The west wall is floor to ceiling windows, with black electric blinds to keep most of the sun out, and a pirate flag hangs over the door to keep the sunlight off the computer monitor.
I begin my day with a set of one crunches while getting out of bed, followed by a series of body bends as I move to the bathroom to use the toilet, and shower. After the toilet I wash my hands with a Freshwater Farm Mandarin and Cedarwood Oil Revitalising Castile Hand Wash, which is rich in antioxidants and hydrating properties, to prevent the ageing of the skin. Then I move to the shower where I start with a Palmolive Gold bar soap made in Thailand that contains Carnelia sinesis leaf extract, and follow that with Head and Shoulders Ultra 2 in 1 Men shampoo with the boosted formula containing charcoal extract in addition to the sodium laureth sulphate for that deep clean to remove any oils and salts that may make the hair cling to the scalp or flake, plus the additional conditioning effect of the 2 in 1. After this I squeeze some Colgate Total with an advanced whitening formula onto my Braun Oral B electric toothbrush and perform 4 complete and thorough passes of my whole mouth, making sure to polish each tooth and the gumline above it.
Following that I drink two separate bitter extracts, one a decoction of young Sri lankan green tea leaves, the other a single origin bitter Brazilian fruit pit juice, both of which promote liveliness and energy, as well as a sense of well-being and a reason to live.
In the afternoon, a feeling comes across me. Time is up. I feel like an Imposter.
The can is of average height, slightly short in the style of a craft beer. The label is pasted onto the polished silver can. It depicts a man in an off-the-rack, single breasted, 5-buttoned canary yellow coverall, with a darker yellow collar and a delicately off-white eggshell nametag that reads M.Ployee. His glasses – also pret-a-porter, are in the style of Groucho Marx, the kind with the nose, black eyebrows and a black moustache attached right to the frames. If they aren’t attached, then he needs a new facial routine. His brown hair is parted on his right side and swept across in a geometric wave. He clings tightly to a mop, held like a guardsman’s spear in his right hand, and his stare is as vacant as my own. The background of the can is surreal, a reddish peach-pink and raining hammers.
I upend the entire can into a 500 millilitre Brewdog Teku glass, also from Japan. It pours light amber, pretty clear but muzzed just a little by the hop haze. It looks almost exactly like the urine of someone who is dehydrated. I never allow myself to become dehydrated. It’s terrible for the skin.
This is a full, proper beer. It smells tropical, but it tastes dank. Its light and clean, bitter tangerine, but if I’m being honest, the tropical fruit is pretty standard for this hop profile, without the onionyness that can come from mosaic if it’s used injudiciously, rich in citrus and passionfruit and fragrant oily zest. Its very sessionable for a 6% beer. I might even go so far as to say smashable. The ubiquitous Citra grapefruit pith acridity is dialled down, while the lupulones and humulones bring all that bitterness from another direction, to linger and grow gently.
If you’re looking for something completely new, this is not your man. But if you want something in a long-established style, done very well, this could be the brew for you. I sit back. The new Talking Heads record, Naked, is playing through the headphones of my computer, and the sun is beginning to stream in through the windows. I know I was thirsty, but fuck, this was tasty. I could just murder another one.