It’s April, which means the Firestone Walker Propagator is celebrating another anniversary. 2023 marks seven years of brewing at The Propagator R&D Brewhouse in Venice, and with that celebration comes a massive double IPA to mark the occasion – Gen-7.
Gen-7 Double Cold IPA is available now in four-pack 16-ounce cans at our three locations – Paso Robles, Buellton, and Venice – and at our online store. You can also join in on the celebration at our Anniversary Party at the Propagator this Saturday, April 15.
Keep reading to learn more about the beer.
Building on our continuing series of anniversary double IPAs based on the recipe of our original Gen-1 IPA, Gen-7 channels the brewing approach and philosophy that we have been excited to explore over the past year.
In our seventh year, we went hard into the world of cold IPAs, which are fermented with lager yeast at warmer temperatures, closer to where ales are normally fermented, and often contain adjuncts like corn and rice to lighten the beer’s the color and body. We explored the broader lager yeast-fermented hoppy beer space from West Coast pils on the lighter side, up through IPAs fermented with and without adjuncts, all the way to decadent double and triple IPAs. Throughout the journey, we learned to love the clean hop and malt expression we get with these lager fermentations.
“Cold IPA” is a term coined by former Firestone Walker brewer Kevin Davey while he was brewmaster at Wayfinder Beer in Portland, Oregon. Kevin is a lager brewer at heart, and he was looking for a way to merge classic American adjunct lager brewing techniques with West Coast IPA to create a beer he called “Wester Than West Coast.” Adding corn or rice followed the American tradition of reducing protein levels to make a clearer beer with traditionalAmerican malts, with the added effect of lowering color and body, producing an extra pale and dry beer.
Fermenting with lager yeast at a warmer temperature reduced the sulfur levels that can clash with American hop aroma in traditionally fermented lagers. This approach makes for a dry, bitter, clean, and crisp IPA that, in many ways, resembles a West Coast IPA with the extra drinkability associated with an American lager. This combo has already proven to have broad appeal in the craft beer market, and it’s quickly been adopted by brewers all over the world.
For Gen-7, we decided on a massively hoppy Double Cold IPA at 8.7% ABV brewed with pilsner malt, rice, and dextrose, which gives it a bright golden color and relatively light and dry profile for such a big beer. We built the hop blend on the classic Gen-1 mix of Citra and Mosaic, this time blending Citra with Mosaic Cryo and Mosaic Incognito in the whirlpool. Incognito is a newer type of varietal hop extract that allows us to pack in even more mosaic flavor in the brewhouse without overloading our kettles with green matter.
For the dry hop, we layered on more Citra and Mosaic Cryo, plus Strata CGX (another cryo-like concentrated hop pellet) and Rakau from New Zealand. This blend gives Gen-7 a punchy mix of citrus, stone fruit, melon, and berry flavors.