Love at first sight
Recently visited a local Total Wine for my new round of beers for review and sampling pleasure. I came across Zero F**** Given (ZFG) from Hidden Springs Ale Works. This is a local Tampa based brewery that I had yet to visit.
As soon as I saw the can, there was no question, it was going home with me. Covered in a old school punk rock or ska band style tattoos. Looks cool. Of course you can’t miss the giant middle finger in the middle of the can. The can it self practically screams, “this is a beer we made because we felt like it. Get over it.”
Kind of reminds me of when Arrogant Bastard came out from Stone Brewing. Entire description was pretty much letting you know you are not good enough for this beer.
When you look at the bottom of the can label, you come across a description that says, “zero IBU.” However I did have one that did not say that, not sure why.
I was curious to to give it a shot. Have only had one or two zero IBU beers and they were enjoyable. Nothing that was amazing, but good.
ZFG does not fit the good category. It is amazing.
ZFG, how do you identify?
It is a very interesting beer. To say it is a pale ale might not be very PC to the beer itself. I wonder if the beer would identify itself as a pale ale?
As soon as you pop the can and pour, the aroma is in your face. It is inviting and says drink me. You can’t miss the sweet citrus smells and tropical feeling it gives you.
Same can be said about the flavor. As you would expect, there is no bitterness but the hops are profound. However, this is where it hits an identity crisis. The hops really bring out the sweetness in the beer but it’s not sweet. The lack of bitterness really gives it a berliner weisse taste but still taste like a pale ale.
They call it a pale ale and it is. Or is it?
On top of it, the beer goes down so easy. It almost goes down too fast.
There is just so much going on yet it’s so simple.
I really found it fascinating to be honest. To have a beer that was so complex but yet so simple amazed me.
The best part is that it can be had whenever. It is a beer for any occasion.
I would not care if the temperature outside was so hot that it made me feel like I was in Satan’s butt hole. Or, so cold my nipples would be considered a concealed weapon. It just fits the bill.
Brewing a Zero IBU
I personally have never brewed a zero IBU beer with the intent of it being a hoppy beer. I have done sours in the past where I did not want much or any hop flavor but never a beer like this.
ZFG has inspired me and I hope it does for you as well. The concept is pretty simple but should you be new to brewing it is pretty much a cold hopping.
You can add hops when chilling or transferring your beer. Or, you can simply do a dry hop addition after fermentation. Better yet, both. Brewing a pale ale like this can be fun because you could go the normal route of adding some color and body to the beer or not. You could do just a simple clean malt profile like pilsner malt so the hops take over.
I know that I will definitely be playing with a few methods of making a beer like this myself at home.
Hat’s off the Hidden Springs Ale Works. Great beer not just because of taste but also because of inspiration as a home brewer to try something new.