Batch 1: Psychedelic Haze

Disclaimer: In the spirit of paying tribute to musicians in a lawful way, we will not be disclosing who each beer honors without legal consent.

In the 1960’s, a musical revolution took place as rock and roll spawned many sub-genres.  Musicians were experimenting with long delays, fuzz distortion, wah wah pedals, and phasers.  Enter psychedelic rock, an attempt to musically enhance the mind altering effects of hallucinogens.  We wanted to brew a beer that captured the attitude of this genre and its innovation.

We thought of one of our favorite psychedelic rock artists and asked ourselves, “How would this drink?”

The fuzz distortion pedal, innovated in the 1960’s, was certainly not the first form of distortion.  It was already possible to get distortion with faulty amps or speakers, but the fuzz pedal made it more consistent and controllable.  Distortion is a sound that some consider abrasive and annoying, while others enjoy the compressed and overdriven sound.  It is not a stretch to compare distortion in music to bitterness in beer.  While many prefer low to no bitterness in beer, there are plenty of us who enjoy challenging our taste buds with something a little more assertive.

Next, we thought about how this artist wasn’t the first to use wah pedals, but certainly helped make them mainstream.  Psychedelic rock musicians were not shy about experimenting with new effects and technology.  We decided to do the same.  Hop extracts have been around for many years, used mostly by commercial brewers to preserve alpha acids.  However, recently, co2 hop powder was made available as a way of capturing the aromatic oils of our favorite hops without too much vegetal or polyphenol flavor.

To emulate the medium to slow paced tempo, we considered how that would translate to a beer.  The beer should sit on the tongue for a bit, and not fade too quickly.  A higher gravity beer made sense, with a good malt backbone to encourage the beer to drink slower.  A dry beer might be too quaffable and go down too fast.

The overall feel of the music is loose, relaxing, and psychedelic.  This played a role in hop selection.

Based on all of the above considerations, the recipe began to take shape as a New England style IPA.  We formulated a recipe with a smooth, mild bitterness, and an intense, tropical fruit, hop aroma.  Stay tuned to find out how the beer turned out and how you can sample our first pilot batch.  Cheers!

Author: Chris

Brewer, programmer, and handyman. I write about brewing, programming, game design, and small business.

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