Saturday, February 8, 2014

Anchor Zymaster Vol. 5

Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, CA – Zymaster Vol. 5 Harvest One American Pale Ale  

Stars: 3.5  
Date sampled: Jan 2, 2014
Format: 22oz bottle
Where we found it: Whole Foods, Roosevelt Way, Seattle

After sampling over a dozen experimental hop varieties, the folks at Anchor Brewing Company were so struck by one variety in particular that they immediately knew they had found the inspiration for the fifth installment in their experimental and innovative line of brews known as the “Zymaster series.” In October 2013, Anchor released Zymaster Vol. 5.

The first thing you’ll notice about this beer is how the smells and flavors imparted by this new mystery hop create an unmistakable flavor profile of melon and peaches.

The sweet notes of peaches and melon seem to continue to float over a pleasantly bitter linger (the later likely being produced by the more familiar Nugget hops added early in the boil.) The medium-full body of this not-so-pale pale ale provides a wonderful stage for this “bitter-sweet” interaction to play out. I probably would have called this one an IPA rather than just a pale ale.

But it is not just the experimental hops that make this brew intriguing. More commonly used in the production of lagers, Anchor uses a method of carbonation called “bunging” in order to produce their ales. And this method, which involves closing the vent on the fermentation tank when fermentation is nearly complete, results in more “champagne-like bubbles” than do more common methods of carbonation. In Zymaster No. 5, this produces a wonderful crispness that really brings out the hoppy aromas.

Very solid and a nice opportunity to try some brand-new ingredients.

- Sam 

7.2% ABV