Last week I was hanging about Mondial a little too much (you can read about that next week), but I had the opportunity to try out some great new brews. Biererie Shelton was one among many that stood out. Their products are from the mind of Darryl Shelton, who is currently contract brewing out of Oshalg Brasserie & Distillerie. Biererie Shelton’s new Shelton NEIPA was a dazzler! It will be hitting stores tomorrow around the Montreal region so I decided to take the time out to give you a glimpse ala Hopcitizen.
Contract brewing is a controversial topic in the craft beer industry with some breweries standing against it whilst others are all for it. Some of the reasons that contract brewing can be beneficial are:
- Brewers who wish to start a brewery without initial capital to invest or without investment backing into a production facility are able to brew and release their product.
- Allows brewers to in turn promote their product and gain investors or future funding from the bank once their product is seen as successful in sales with a lower risk.
- Contract brewing allows the contracting brewery who has currently invested money or has investment backing, to utilize their full production capacity if they are not able to themselves at the time.
- Contract brewing allows the contracting brewery to gain more financial benefits to further invest in themselves and their products.
Some say the downfalls are:
- It dilutes the market allowing anyone who is capable to brew beer to release their product easier, causing more competition and more options to choose from.
- Breweries who have worked hard to gain investment or invested themselves, and been through the blood, sweat and tears of finally getting to the point of financial return find it unfair that they have competition that is able to brew beer with lesser financial risk.
There are many more points that are for and against contract brewing and most people have their own opinions about the matter. I for one am for anything that creates more good beer on the market, widens the local market, and eventually gives the opportunity for those brewers to expand and gain their own facilities. The day in age of starting business the old fashioned way is long gone, the market has a whole different dynamic and in my opinion contract brewing benefits the brewer as well as the brewery who is backing it. It is a win win! Craft beer is not about competition, it is about comradery, and what better way to do it than contract brewing. Oshlag allowing other brewers to utilize their facilities has only send the Quebec beer market in a positive direction. Enough about that now, off to the beer!
NEIPA || ABV: 7.5% || IBU: 56
Fresh off the canning line! The aroma has the standard IPA hoppy bitter kick with a thin layer of fruits swimming around the air. A great hazy appearance which is a staple for NEIPAs. The color dances in the gleaming sunlight and sends memories of drinking orange juice early in the morning as the sun rises through the window. Except it is night time and this is an adult orange juice which contains alcohol and starts with some interesting burst of delicate hops and fruits. The first sip is supremely smooth and sends a rush through your body as the beer falls down and waits fro your emotions to react. And the reaction is like nothing you have ever felt. Anytime you try something new your body reacts in different ways. This beer has me doing the macarena right now, damn I am getting old.
It’s not like a crazy tropical fruity bomb like the Boreale NEIPA, rather a much more complex NEIPA and definitely hitting that top level for me. Fruity tropical bomb IPAs are great, but in recent times too much focus has been put on IPAs being tropical fruity, and IPAs that are not tropical fruit bombs are being considered “not an IPA.” It is still an IPA just not a tropical forward one. I personally love tropical fruity IPAs, but I still enjoy the more complex, balanced and dynamic IPAs which I feel most NEIPAs lose out on by only focusing on the hops. The Shelton as well as many other “Hazy” IPAs are doing just that. Adding more dynamic and interest in the beer as well as adding a complexity where the hops, malts, tropical fruitiness, and the bitterness all combine together to create a pleasurable drinking experience.
For me the Shelton is really solid, It starts out lighty fruity and hoppy, and the hops carry through till the end. The bitterness is light and clean on the finish. There is a bit of a yeast profile in the middle which carries through to the end and maybe a bit too sweet, which maybe I’m not a big fan of. But everything else about this beer seems to be on point for me! As far as a first batch and first release this has been very well made. Usually with 1st time brews there is a lot of tweaking and adjustments that may be required according to the brewer, but this one has already started out on such a great point, I can only imagine what the next and further batches will progress. I’m sure they will be a delight and can’t wait for more, keep it up Mr. Shelton!
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen