One of the most exciting aspects of starting a brewery from the ground up is the fact that you define what the brewery, and in my opinion- you personally, stand for with each and every decision of each and every day. That is why at Dry County we have already carved out a few guiding principles from which we are determined to never waver. One of those major principles is that every beer in our portfolio should serve to influence the Georgia Craft Beer landscape in a positive and meaningful way. I am humbly confident when I tell you that we believe Dry County IPA will do just that.
I can also honestly say that I believe our counterparts in the Georgia craft beer scene have been putting out some of the most creative (and most delicious) IPAs on the East Coast over the past few years. And while my palate definitely appreciates their work, it does mean that in order to brew an IPA and have it serve a purpose in the crowded landscape that is IPAs in any market, we had to look outside Georgia (and the South East) for inspiration.
The inspiration for Dry County IPA came about as the direct result of numerous beers tasted while on a West Coast brewery road trip (read: business trip), stretching from San Diego to Seattle. I visited numerous breweries on the trip, and while I took something unique away from each brewery that I visited, there were two locations that really inspired the way I approached crafting our IPA upon returning to Georgia.
The first brewery to provide major inspiration was Pizza Port in Carlsbad, California. I was blown away by the hop character and overall balance that the brewers were able to present in extremely clear, extremely low SRM IPAs. While there were plenty of “creative” or “interesting” beers served that night in Carlsbad, Swami’s IPA was definitely the beer to remember when crafting Dry County IPA. The second brewery that played a role in recipe development was Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Elysian was one of the breweries I was most excited to visit when planning the trip to the West Coast, having read Elysian Co-Founder, Dick Cantwell’s, “Starting Your Own Brewery” multiple times during this start-up journey. Ironically, Elysian was bought by AB-InBev the same week that I was in Seattle, which created mixed emotions as I sat there, thoroughly enjoying their Space Dust IPA. Regardless, Space Dust and its incredible hop profile definitely helped in the crafting of Dry County IPA.
So what can we tell you about Dry County IPA before you can taste it for yourself later this year? Dry County IPA features the light to medium body and color of those inspirational west coast IPAs, as well as the dry finish that I personally love to find in an American IPA. This is achieved by mashing low (below 150F) and letting the yeast work until completely finished with the wort. Chinook and Columbus hops are used as bittering additions, with Amarillo, Cascade, and Simcoe added late in the boil. Dry County IPA is then generously dry hopped with additions of Columbus, Amarillo, and Simcoe. This hop combination, in tandem with a couple brewery secrets, lend this West Coast inspired IPA just the right amount of southern grit and makes me proud to announce Dry County IPA as the first offering from Dry County Brewing Company!
P.S. Details related to specific launch dates and venues to come later in 2015. Also, keep an eye out for details regarding the inspiration for our Double IPA, also with release date yet to be announced.