Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tongue Buckler's LIttle Brother

I missed the news on Ballast Point's new Homework Series of beers.  According to the Full Pint, which is quoting from the San Diego Reader, The Home Work Series is a "spin-off" brand developed to honor Home Brew Mart.  The new brand has its own label, which not only distinguishes it from other Ballast Point beers, but that also provides detailed ingredient information for the home brewer.   Ballast Point Brewing's Homework Series Batch #1 Hoppy Red Ale is the first of the series.  (The picture I took of Batch #1 would not load correctly, so I borrowed picture of the label below from

Batch #1 Hoppy Red Ale is just that, a hoppy red ale.  This limited release beer is excellent.   The beer poured a dark mahogany, with big, sand colored foam that laced all the way down the glass.  Batch #1 is rich and full bodied, and it drinks bigger than its 7.0% adv due to its richness.  The hop bitterness is balanced by a sweet, caramel malt character.  The strong roasted malts provide the beer's heft, and according to the label, six different malts were used in the brew process, including Briess Caramel Vienna and Briess Caramel Munich.  The beer's two hops, CTZ and Centennial, held their own against the malts, bringing a commanding bitterness.

Batch #1 is chalky dry, which adds to its complexity.  Batch #1 reminded me of Ballast Point's Tongue Buckler, a massive 10% abv imperial red ale, which has a huge hop profile (hence the name Tongue Buckler).  While Batch #1 may cede some abv to Tongue Buckler, it compromises nothing in flavor.  There are not enough red ales, and even fewer hoppy red ales.  I don't know the future plans for The Home Work Series, but I hope Batch #1 Hoppy Red Ale is not a one-time release, and I'm already looking forward to Batch #2.

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