Wylam

Fundamentals #33 — Wylam Child in Time Cryo Hop IPA

One of the most remarkable feats I’ve witnessed in U.K. craft beer over the past couple years is the transformation of Newcastle’s Wylam Brewery from regional stalwart into one of the nation’s most respected modern breweries.

What’s perhaps most impressive about this is that Wylam has maintained its presence and reputation regionally throughout this transition. Take its Jakehead IPA as an example of this - a beer that’s perfect on cask or keg, and will appease traditionalists and fans of modern beer alike. And by making the former Palace of Arts in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park the home of its brewery and taproom, it has cemented itself as both one of the north-eastern city’s cultural, as well as culinary, institutions.

The Wylam beer I am reviewing today does not play on any of those traditional sensibilities, however. Child In Time is a modern IPA that is - like so many others - in the tradition of the New England style. As in: it’s hazy and juicy as all hell. What’s interesting about this beer in particular though, is its utilisation of cryo hops. The term “cryo” immediately makes me think of its references within science fiction, such as with characters like Futurama’s Philip J Fry or Sylvester Stallone pulling one of his best ever performances in the seminal classic, Demolition Man, as they find themselves unfrozen in an uncertain future. At a stretch it also makes me recall Sly’s good friend Arnold Schwarzenegger in his unfortunate turn as Mr. Freeze in 1997s Batman and Robin… but let’s not get crazy here.

Unlike these examples, however, there is nothing fictional about cryo hops. These are very real indeed, making use of the latest in hop processing technology to produce an intensely aromatic hop powder which, in turn, allows brewers to produce intensely flavoured and aromatic beers. Perfect for contemporary styles such as NEIPA.

Child In Time makes use of Centennial, Amarillo and Citra cryo hops - varieties that, for me at least, predominantly invoke notes of lemon zest, navel orange and pink grapefruit respectively. This is very much the case in this beer. It’s an intense melange of pithy, yet juicy citrus flavours, with just enough dryness and bitterness to keep your palate ticking over, so that it begins to demand your next sip shortly after your last. When I drink this style of beer I don’t want it to be claggy or cloying, which this beer is not. Instead it’s intense, yet clean, and very delicious.

I’m very glad Wylam decided to pursue these modern styles, and that they do it with such finesse.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis as UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up one of the very last cans of Wylam’s hugely popular Child In Time in store or online.

New stuff in store, 22 October

Your usual round-up of all the fresh goodness hitting our shores this week, kicking off with the freshest of the bunch...

  • Moor Envy Fresh Hop. We can't get enough of Moor's amazing can-conditioned beers and nor can you. Justin at Moor has refused to bottle this beer in the past as he doesn't believe wet-hopped beers stand up to the bottling and aging process. However he's now got his fancy-pants canning action, which has allowed him to capture the freshness and seal it in for you to enjoy. This is a fantastically drinkable beer - get your mitts on it and drink it super-fresh.
  • More Bristol action from the much-loved Arbor: we've got The Ego Has Landed APA in bottle and Rocketman IPA in both bottle and on flagon-fill.
  • Wylam Jakehead hits in bottle!
  • From Liverpool's Mad Hatter, Nightmare on Bold St is a beautiful milk stout recommended by one of our customers who told us to look out for it and grab it if we ever saw it. We did and we are very happy about it.
  • We've also finally got Sussex superstar Dark Star's legendary APA in cans.
  • Brewdog's Pumpkin King hits shelves just in time for Halloween.
  • Some welcome returns from the US - Stone Delicious IPA (gluten-reduced but you'd never know it) and Oskar Blues Pinner Session IPA, which is joined for the first time by Old Chub Nitro, a glorious Scotch Ale you need to add to your autumn arsenal.
  • News flash - we've got new Green Flash. The San Diego brewery's Soul Style IPA brings together Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade hops, allowing citrus and floral notes to break gently on your palate. As good as it sounds.
  • FInally, some Omnipollo re-ups - the phenomenally popular Mazarin Pale Ale is back and we've re-upped on the Bianca Mango Lassi Gose. Yee-hah.