Our latest Propagator release, Foggy On The Details, is a DDH Oat Pale Ale brewed in collaboration with Monkish Brewing Co. It’s now available for purchase at our online store and our three California locations. Keep reading to learn more about the beer and the collab.
Our friends at Monkish down in Torrance, CA, have been making an out-sized name for themselves over the past few years brewing hazy New England-style IPAs. As one of the first West Coast breweries to embrace the style, they’ve put their talents to work producing some of the most compelling examples out there. We have long been fans of their work and are excited to be collaborating with them on this new DDH Oat Pale Ale brewed right here at the Propagator R&D Brewery in Venice.
While we love the big double (and even triple) IPAs that Monkish brews, we wondered if we could shrink that vibe down to a more refreshing (and less inebriating) beer to feature at the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival, a historically hot and marathon-length event. With that goal in mind, we settled on a DDH Oat Pale Ale featuring a massive dose of some of our favorite hops and craft malt from Admiral Maltings in Alameda. The Pale Ale style has always been one of our core passions, so combining some of our Pale Ale approach with the modern Monkish approach to Hazy IPAs seemed like the perfect mash up.
After discussions with Monkish founder Henry Nguyen, we keyed in on Admiral’s Clipper Oats as a way to build in the silky mouthfeel of a larger hazy IPA in a smaller package. We blended these with a base of Admiral’s floor malted Pils malt, which has a wonderfully expressive, rich fresh grain character, and then layered on flaked oats and Blonde Roastoat from Briess, which is a lightly caramelized oat malt that has lots of taosty granola-like flavor.
When it came time to talk hops, I knew we needed to include the classic “C” hop that was the heart and soul of our retired legend Pale 31: Centennial. Centennial is one of those gorgeous hops that was a standby in the early days of West Coast IPA (think Union Jack) but also plays well with more modern hops due to its expressive citrus and floral character. It also happens to be one of the top hops when it comes to “survivable compounds” which is a fancy way of saying that it works really well at carrying flavor and aroma all the way through the brewing process, even when used in boi. Of course, boiling hops is one of those practices that has mostly been left behind in the evolution of brewing hazy IPAs and Pale Ales, so we use dit in the whirlpool and decided to pair it with Citra to layer on more citrus and tropical notes.
For the dry hop, we decided to go proper “DDH” Monkish-style and hit it with more Centennial and Citra, as well as Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin at over four pounds of hops per barrel. The Galaxy and Nelson bring waves of tropical fruit character and the full, lush mouthfeel typical in the style. Galaxy in particular has an oily saturated quality when it hits the palate that few other hops can rival, and Nelson layers on that sauvignon blanc-like tropical fruit and diesel edge that makes it one of our absolute favorite hops. This has turned out to be one of our favorite-ever hop combos that we’ve done here at The Propagator!
Fermentation with our house hazy IPA strain accentuates the juicy and ripe fruit notes from the hops and helps sustain the dense haze that carries all of those delicious hop oils across the palate. The result is a hazy pale ale with all the lush hop saturation of a larger IPA in a surprisingly crushable and refreshing package, perfect for a hot June afternoon with a few thousand of your closest beer geek buds.