When we discovered that Zythognosia was to be organized in Athens in October, we were very enthusiastic. But for us it was too early. Our brewery was not operational yet.
Then we came to think about contract brewing. But where and who could help us? After a quick phone call to Yannis at Charma, or Cretan Brewery as its formal name is, in Chania we found a solution! Yannis had extra capacity and could do a brew for us. The first thought was to brew a Pale Ale or an India Pale Ale (IPA). But Charma brews lagers only. We realized that it was time for a compromise, and decided to go for an India Pale Lager (IPL). At 17°P and with copious amounts of Centenneal, Cascade, Chinook, Galaxy and Vic Secret hops we brewed Solo’s first brew.
Three weeks later we returned to Charma. Exited to taste the result of our recipe. The IPL was quite pleasant. Nicely bitter, good malty base, and packed with hop flavour. But how about aroma? Well…….even though it was dry hopped, the hop aromas where a bit timid. In hindsight we realize that surely, a lager fermenting at cool temperatures, and matures at almost freezing temperatures, would surely absorb the aromas from dry hopping much less or slower than an ale.
So, what to do? The solution struck us with immense impact! Let’s Randalize it!!!!
And what is a Randall. It is a device which our friend Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head developed some 10-15 years back. A water filter, with the filter removed, and packed with whole hops. Used between the keg and the tap. There is no way to get more of that fresh green overwhelming hop aroma into a beer! And the Randall has a nick name: The Enamel Animal. Why? Because it adds so much hops to the beer, so it feels like when you drink the beer, that the beer removes the enamel off your teeth!
So, at the Zythognosia we are proud to present Σολο IPL and Σολο IPL Randallized. Please note that the latter is not for the faint hearted!