Dangerous Man is happy to present it’s Vienna IPA!
This amalgamation beer can be broken down into several segments so that we can figure out the intention of each ingredient. Unlike a lot of American IPAs, Dangerous Man’s Vienna IPA has a forward and complex malt bill that interacts and compliments the hops, instead of only bringing the hops forward. We’ll start with the base malt, move to the adjuncts, move to the other adjuncts, and then round this out with the hops.
The base malt of this beer is Vienna malt, which has it’s origins in Vienna, Germany. It is a malt kilned at slightly higher temperatures than pilsner malt giving it a more caramel complexion and imbibes a slightly red hue to the beer. By kilning at a higher temperature, the diastatic power of the malt (the ability of the “diastase” enzymes, alpha and beta amalyase, to break down complex starches into simple sugars in the mash), is lessened, though only slightly. This makes it an excellent malt to make a complete malt bill out of, or just use to strengthen the body, color, or particular flavor qualities of a beer. Vienna malt offers nutty, bready, and slight caramel flavors to beer.
Vienna malt, and lager, has a very complex history that involves several breweries in Germany, Austria, and Denmark, missions to the UK to secure malting techniques, and the great work of Louis Pasteur in the now worldwide principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization. Anton Dreher used techniques learned and perfected in the UK to produce a lighter kilned malt that created a “bright” color in his lagers. After the isolation of pure-cultured, single-celled yeast was isolated at Carlsberg it began to be used all over Germany, helping to define that regions style and lagers all around the world. Vienna malt and yeast went hand-in-hand to create a very popular lager in its time. Unfortunately, the Vienna lager has fallen in disarray, and is often not produced in the region it hails from, but instead has transferred over Mexico with the immigration of Austrian brewers, and has a strong presence there still. For more information on this subject, read this post, “The Birth of Lager,” by famed beer expert Michael Jackson.
The Vienna IPA also features the adjunct malts of Chateau CaraGold, Flaked Oats, and Golden Naked Oats. The Chateau CaraGold comes from Castle Malting of Belgium. It adds a striking golden color to the beer and emphasizes caramel flavors already present. This malt was used to enhance the color and visual depth of the Vienna IPA, giving it a pleasant appearance, as well as an impressionable malty quality.
Oats, in general, thicken the body of beer and create a creamy draw. Simpson’s golden naked oats act as a dehusked crystal malt that imparts a nutty flavor and thickens up the body of the beer. They are a unique malt and are similar to crystal rye and are often found in porters and stouts, though many American brewers find places for them in their beer. Generally, the golden naked oats are used on the lighter side as an adjunct because their dehusked nature can cause for a sticky and stuck mash, creating many headaches for brewers on brew days.
Okay dokey, part way through.
Grade B Maple Syrup
Maple syrup was added during the boil of the Vienna IPA. Grade B maple syrup is harvested at the end of the harvest season, is generally located closer to the center of the tree, and has a darker color. It also has less sugary sweetness of typical Grade A maple syrup that we traditionally use for pancakes and every other breakfast food, and instead has a much stronger “maple tree” or “woody” punch. This flavor will blend in with the nutty notes of the Vienna base malt, and the berry and caramel notes from the Chateau CaraGold and Simpsons Golden Naked Oats, creating a beer with a very complex malt character whose subtleties lie in the interaction between grains and sugars.
We’ve reached the finish line of our Vienna IPA description: hops. This beer utilizes Warrior, Simcoe, Willamette, Crystal, and Chinook at various points in the boil, and some during dry hopping, to create a piney, earthy, and pungent aroma to this beer. These hops were chosen for their specific flavor and aroma qualities to best enhance the woody aspects of this beer.
Dangerous Man’s IPA has a pronounced hop presence with distinctive earth and pine notes. Supported by a woodsy and woody malt nose, and very rounded draw. Wide, bitter, with a dry finish, this IPA is distinctive to Minnesota’s Midwestern roots and features.