CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hoppy beer is good. Birdsong Brewing can’t get enough of it. Neither can their fans.
Since December 2017, Birdsong has whole-heartedly embraced creative expression through its special-release IPAs, and there’s no end to the series in sight.
“We have also been putting out new, interesting IPAs utilizing new hop varietals and new school brewing practices,” says Birdsong lead brewer Jeff Bowman. “We are able to give the customer a fresh, local, unique IPA that they may not have had anything like before.”
The seventh in the series — So Fresh Wet Hop IPA — debuts on Oct. 11. The beer features fresh Idaho 7 hops (which were overnighted to the brewery), known for it’s tropical, papaya and piney characteristics. To qualify as a fresh-hopped IPA, the hops have to leave the vine, travel to the brewery and end up in the boil in under 24 hours. The closer to the brew date the beer is consumed, the more intense the brilliant, fresh flavor of the hops.
“IPAs continue to be the most desired style amongst our tap room customers and our wholesale accounts,” says Chris Goulet, Birdsong principal owner. “Rotating handles are the new normal, so being able to offer a new IPA every six weeks or so is really valuable.”
The options for creativity are exciting inside and outside the taproom, Goulet says, with the New England-style IPA Hazy, Sexy, Cool (released in Spring 2018) among the fastest sellers.
“Staff have been excited about each release, often saying that the current release is the best in the series,” Goulet says. “So perhaps we’re getting better as this series progresses.”
And the series isn’t slowing: a Cascade/Citra IPA is scheduled for release on Dec. 8 at the brewery’s 7th anniversary party. “The hops may change on this beer, but the concept will remain the same,”
Bowman says. ”It’ll be a 5.8-6%, bright, citrus forward, hoppy IPA. Something to contrast the barrel aged beers, stouts and porters that tend to be released in the winter months.”
“IPA is such a diverse category, one that is ever evolving,” he says. “I see so much potential for different avenues to explore within the Birdsong series.”
So how long will the series go and will any of the IPAs be added to the year-round release schedule?
As head brewer Conor Robinson said when it was announced last year, “Only Gandalf the White can see that far into the future.”
About Birdsong Brewing Company
Founded in 2011 from humble roots, Birdsong Brewing Co. has grown to become the Charlotte destination for culinary-inspired, super-fresh, unfiltered, American-style ale. Using locally-sourced ingredients and fully embracing musical (and often whimsical) inspiration, Birdsong celebrates creativity with a new, weekly small batch release in the taproom every “Thursty Thursday.” Beloved by locals and sought-after by fans across the Carolinas, the 30-barrel brewhouse and taproom in the Belmont neighborhood embodies the #CanDoWillDo philosophy behind what Birdsong brews, thinks and believes. Charlotte’s third oldest brewery is the first in the Queen City to embrace solar power, installing a 75 kilowatt array for the roof of the brewery in 2018. For more information, visit birdsongbrewing.com.