Whiplash are a Wicklow based brewing project – their Twitter bio says they specialise in “rubbish beers” but actually, they’re awful at rubbish beers because their output is consistently great. We’d go as far as to say they’ve consistently produced the best IPAs and DIPAs in Ireland over the last year or so.
Northern Lights is a beer Whiplash brewed for Hop City while visiting Northern Monk in Leeds. It’s a Micro IPA, which is a new one for us. You could call it a table beer, it’s basically a very low ABV beer, clocking in at 2.8%.
We’ve always been sceptical when it comes to beers below 4% as they’re usually lacking in flavour, body and, y’know, alcohol, often veering into pointless territory. So we went into this one thinking Whiplash might actually succeed in making a rubbish beer for once.
Wrong. So very, very wrong. It’s absolutely bursting full of flavour; think peach, apricot, grapefruit. A tropical fruit punch which hits you with bitterness levels to match. It’s surprisingly full bodied for the ABV and if you didn’t know this was 2.8%, you’d swear it was twice the strength.
NORTHERN LIGHTS!!! Brewed in honour of @hopcityleeds last weekend with our good friends @nothernmonk we decided to arrive with a beer we could all give ourselves a break from the alcohol with in between wall-to-wall incredible single, double and triple IPA’s. What we came up with was ‘Northern Lights’ – a 2.8% ABV ‘Micro IPA’ or Table Beer in a very very modern interpretation of the style. An an ode to the Seshlords of Yorkshire and the North of England beyond. Northern Lights builds on a base of German Vienna malt with heavy doses of Flaked Oats and Wheat along with a touch of Caramalt. Mashed super-hot with a particular process in our mash mixer we’ve done a decent job of retaining a huge amount of body and drinkability for such a low ABV beer. Hopped heavily in the whirlpool with Mosaic, it’s then fermented on London Ale III yeast before being dry hopped in two stages with Mosaic and Vic Secret respectively at a total of 16g/L. Unfiltered and unfined for the full 3D experience, Northern Lights will be available in 440ml cans and have a limited run of juicy kegs this month. Artwork as always by the legend that is @sophie_devere No the glasses are not for sale.
We’re not sure how Whiplash have managed to create such a stunning beer at such a sessionable level. They say they used a German vienna malt base, a heavy dose of flaked oats, wheat and a touch of caramalt before a couple of rounds of dry-hopping with Mosaic and Vic Secret but we reckon it’s more likely to have been some voodoo shit and/or wizardry. There’s no other explanation.
Without hesitation, the best low ABV beer we’ve ever tried.