Today’s Crafty Surprise is the Balter Brewing Company XPA. The can itself looks simple but very inviting. The style is XPA, the volume is 375ml with an ABV of 5% and a bitterness of 30 IBU. I have heard a lot of good things about this beer so without further ado, let’s get cracking.
This XPA pours light golden in color, slightly hazy with a reasonable collar of white foam that has an excellent head retention. Upon holding this beer into the light to inspect the carbonation amongst the haze, it reveals a generous level of sparkling bubbles. This beer sitting in front of me looks very inviting, it almost looks like it has this magic iridescent glow to it.
I’m picking up very tropical and floral notes on the nose with no detection of alcohol fumes. Already I’m feeling like I should be on some secluded island with my feet in the sand facing the ocean on sipping these cans, along with a fruit platter of pineapple, passion fruit, grapes and mango.
As it was on the nose the taste of alcohol is not detectable. The flavors of the hops initially are tropical fruits with nothing in particular standing out above the rest. Towards the end, my taste buds have come alive and the citrus flavors are making an appearance along with a hint of pine.
This XPA is very soft on the palate with a light refreshing body. The carbonation on the tongue is high as it dances intimately with the moderate level of bitterness on the back end.
I’m going to come straight out and say it, “This is a bloody good beer”. The Balter XPA has just elevated itself to the top of my stock list for the upcoming summer. You can tell that the shark warrior Mick Fanning is a part owner of this brewery because this beer has beach, sun, surfing and punching sharks written all over it, as it’s perfectly balanced and extremely enjoyable.
What is an XPA?
I know XPA stands for “Extra Pale Ale” but what is the intent here?
My thoughts are that the brewer of an XPA is trying to go lighter in color, bitterness, and body while letting those aromas and hop flavors shine through without being too overwhelming.
If you know more about the XPA style please educate me in the comments below.
I rate this Balter XPA a 4.7 out of 5 and I highly recommend you try it for yourself.
Do you agree with my review? Is this the perfect beer for summer? Will it give you the courage to take on a shark? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.