Before you read this article I’d like you to stop for a minute and try to think of how many breweries you know that don’t brew any beers labeled as an “IPA”. Between standard IPAs and all of the sub-styles and variants that carry the IPA name I bet you’ll have a hard time coming up with more than a handful. The few breweries that shy away from the hop-bomb craze usually fill a specific niche in the beer market, focusing on a particular set of styles like Belgian beers, traditional lagers or sours beers. One local example is Mystic Brewery in Chelsea who specialize in brewing delicious Belgian style beers from house cultured yeast strains. While Mystic does make some beers with generous doses of hops, for example their spring saison Mary of the Gael is a delicious mixture of expressive yeast and aromatic hops, they don’t brew an IPA. The closest they come is probably their India Wharf Pale Ale, an English style pale ale brewed with American hops. India Wharf Pale Ale is part of the Wigglesworth Series, a set of bottle conditioned traditional British ales designed by Mystic co-owner Alastair Hewitt. India Wharf Pale Ale is available year round on draft and in 500 mL bottles.
Mystic India Wharf Pale Ale pours a deep clear copper with a sizeable white head. The scent is all hops, floral and grassy with a little citrus. The hops also lead the flavor, notes of lemon, pine, cut grass and earth along with a present but not overwhelming bitterness. This is balanced by a noticeable but mild malt backbone, touches of white bread and crackers. The beer is crisp, clean and very easy to drink at 5.1% ABV. The finish has a little hoppy bite and minimal aftertaste. India Wharf Pale Ale is a very well done pale ale, a nice mixture of the classic British style with plenty of flavorful American hops. Mystic might be best known for their saisons (which are amazing), but this shows how versatile they can be. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5
Previous Mystic Reviews:
BREWERY OVERVIEW, Mystic Flor Z, Mystic Melissa, Mystic Descendant, Mystic Vinland Three, Mystic Brewery visit and Day of Doom, Mystic Hazy Jane, Mystic Mary of the Gael, Mystic Vinland Two, Mystic Table Beer