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Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

BrauKunstKeller Laguna IPA

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  • Brewery: BrauKunstKeller
  • Country: Germany
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 6.6 %
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Berlin Bier Shop
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

Despite having one of the largest beer scenes in the world, brewing in Germany is very traditional and there are few new-wave craft brewers drawing inspiration from the scene in e.g. USA, Scandinavia, and the UK. BrauKunstKeller is a new German craft brewer, drawing inspiration from the more hoppy brews and currently brewing small experimental batches, to find his style and market. I managed to grab some of the last bottles left (three different kinds) from BrauKunstKeller at Berlin Bier Shop when I was there over the New Year’s, but I imagine there will be new beers (most likely with new recipes) available there soon, if not already. First up, is what looks to be a typical West Coast IPA, hopped with Centennial, Cascade and Chinook, and brewed with Pale Ale, Munich and Crystal malt. The first thing that strikes me is that the ingredient list is very similar to the Pale 31-inspired beer I brewed on Sunday, which sounds promising! The beer seems to have been bottled in the end of October, so should be quite fresh! Let’s see how it tastes!

BrauKunstKeller Laguna IPA
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The beer pours with a slightly hazy amber-orange color, and a slight creamy off-white head is formed with the pour, but it collapses quite quickly. There are some drapes of lacing left along the glass. Nice appearance, but could have used a fluffier head.
Smellwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The aroma is a blend of caramel and hop tones, with resiny, floral, citrusy and almost berry-like tones. The aroma reminds me a lot of my homebrewed American Strong Ale/IPA. For an IPA, this could perhaps have used a slightly more bright and fresh hop punch, but I like the caramelly sweetness behind the hop nose as well.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The flavor begins with a similar caramelly maltiness that was present in the aroma. A subtle dank, earthy and resiny hoppiness joins in with the malt, but the hop flavors aren't 'in your face'. The beer finishes semi-dry and with a quite light bitterness. No off-flavors or other problems, which is nice to see, but I feel the recipe could use some adjustments still. The bitterness seemed quite light for the style so would personally raise it 10-20 IBU, but the low bitterness might have been the purpose (i.e. not to make the beer to extreme for the German market). Would also use slightly more flavor/aroma hops and decrease the percentage of crystal malt a notch, to give more room for the hop flavors and crisp up the flavor a bit. Otherwise really nice, and I somehow recognize my own homebrews in this beer.
Mouthfeelwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The beer has a medium body and a medium-low carbonation level. It is quite easy to drink, but it feels slightly flat in the mouth and could use slightly more carbonation.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
I was pleasantly surprised by this beer, and it was definitely a good 'first try' by this German nanobrewer. It was easy to drink, but a little wimpy on the hop front, as it could have used some more bitterness and hop flavors. I have another IPA by BrauKunstKeller in the fridge, and am looking forward to trying that beer as well. Do give the beers a try if you ever get the chance!

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