Welcome to the inaugural post in my Signature Six Series. Throughout this blog series, I aim to make a deep dive into a mixed six-pack that best represents the style and substance of a brewery.
Beers included in this series are nominated and supplied by the brewery in focus.
Introducing Chilly Water Brewing Company
Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Chilly Water Brewing Company rolls with the tag line “fine ales & lagers.” Two locations are open to the public, the brewery located in Indianapolis’ southeast side and taproom in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, north of downtown Indianapolis.
At the time of writing, their tap list offers a significant variety of styles. Multiple IPAs, Lagers, Stouts, and Porters, and even a Bock.
My introduction to Chilly Water Brewing was through my Master of Marzen 2021 tournament. They were first-time entrants and made it through to the third round of the tournament.
The sixer that Chilly Water Brewing Company submitted for the Signature Six Series included:
- One Hop Wonder IPA
- Built To Last German Pilsner
- Blood Tracks Blood Orange IPA
- Lima Ranchera Cerveza
- Foggy River Hazy IPA
- Rice Rice Baby Japanese Style Rice Lager
Let’s get rolling on these reviews!
One Hop Wonder IPA
One Hop Wonder is a great example of a classic, West Coast-style India Pale Ale.
It pours a pale amber and is largely translucent. A generous and dense head is built and retains well lacing the glass liberally. It’s aroma is hoppy and floral.
Hoppy and flavorful from the outset, the tasting experience is quite consistent. A generous piney hop surfs on the tastebuds, maintaining its intensity and resulting in a firm yet pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. That bitterness holds throughout the experience, pulsing in intensity with each additional mouthful and building a touch throughout. Mid-bodied and smooth, a resinous and bitter mouth coating is left by each mouthful.
As far as flagship IPAs go, this one is a real winner. It executes on the basics, creating a flavorful and highly enjoyable experience. It’s not flashy, but it’s particularly well-brewed. Checking in at 6.9% ABV, I see this as a great option for a session of brews.
This is a great start to my Chilly Water Brewing Company experience.
Built To Last German Pilsner
Built to Last is an easy drinking and incredibly flavorful brew.
It pours a translucent straw color and develops a dense and persistent head that laces well. it offers a mild and slightly grassy aroma.
A light and crisp opening is quickly rushed by a pleasantly earthy and bitter mix of flavors. Where many pilsners are thin and not particularly flavorful, this one holds no punches. The bitterness holds through the rest of the experience and dominates the aftertaste. It builds slightly between brews but never overwhelms.
As alluded to before, this is a much more flavorful brew than many other pislners. It is well-brewed, packed with flavor, and easy to drink. I would take the IPA over this if I had to choose, but I find this to be one of the better pilsners I’ve tried. A great brew to try.
Blood Tracks Blood Orange IPA
Blood Tracks IPA balances citrus and hops excellently.
It pours a deep amber with a slight red hue. A dense head builds and retains quite well throughout the experience, creating intense rings of lacing. It’s aroma is citrusy and warm, with a deep blood orange base, a clean sweetness and a heat that clears the nostrils.
It’s a true rollercoaster of flavor, opening quite mild, transitioning to a sweet and citrusy blood orange flavor, then balancing a sour and bitter mix of citrus and hops on the backend. The sour/sweet side of the citrus dissipates reasonably quickly, leaving an intense bitterness that retains and builds significantly. I can see this one being a bit much for those that don’t enjoy the piney side of hops or citrusy bitterness. That said, if you enjoy those flavors you’re going to love this.
Blood Orange IPAs are reasonably common these days, and I often find the style highlights more of the sickly sweet and bitter elements of the fruit. Chilly Water did an excellent job here though. The blood orange is particularly well leveraged, drawing on its strengths and complimenting it with the hops. It’s a bit more boozy than their flagship, checking in at 7.4%.
Where One Hop Wonder was a love letter to simplicity and baseline execution, Blood Tracks builds on the fundamentals and adds its own stylish flair. It’s a really enjoyable brew that I find particularly easy to recommend.
Lima Ranchera Cerveza Lima
Lima Ranchera is a crisp, dry and refreshing brew with a classy twist.
It pours a deep yellow color, is translucent and builds a thin head that dissipates quickly, without lacing. It’s aroma is dry and citrusy, leveraging the lime without intense acidity.
Consistently flavored from front to back, it’s a relaxing and enjoyable brew. Clean bodied, dry and slightly tart from the limey twist, it’s a mild drinking and intensely refreshing brew. A slight dry tartness holds on the aftertaste, creating a moreish experience. Whereas the lime twist in other brews is often particularly sweet or sour, Chilly Water have done an outstanding job of leveraging the milder qualities of the fruit to compliment a dry brew, instead of overwhelming it.
This would be an absolutely outstanding decision for a hot day in the outdoors. Poolside, at the beach, while grilling, whatever it is this is your beer. And at 5.3% ABV, you can sting a few together without getting completely wrecked. This is an amazingly enjoyable brew that gets my seal of approval.
Foggy River Hazy IPA
Foggy river is a smooth and dry-bodied brew that brings the hops.
It pours a light amber color, is translucent and builds a sense and robust head that retains well and laces liberally. Its aroma is mild, dry and unassuming with a mild heat that sits on the nostrils.
It opens fairly mild and clean, seeing a rush of hoppy bitterness on the backend of the brew. A clean, hoppy bitterness holds on the aftertaste and builds a bit between sips. Where many hazy IPAs are sweet and juicy, this one is clean, dry and the right amount of bitter. It’s an interesting mix of a typical NEIPA mouthfeel and a flavor profile that’s closer to what you may expect of a WCIPA.
I really enjoy this brew. It’s a bit unusual for its style, but all it’s unusual in all the right ways. The 7.1% ABV is a bit of a silent assassin, with little boozy heat or flavor present. This is quite possibly my favorite brew from the sixer.
Rice Rice Baby Japanese Style Rice Lager
Rice Rice Baby is a light, dry and crushable brew. Where it isn’t a powerhouse of flavor, it would be an amazing brew on a hot summer day.
It pours a translucent, pale straw color and builds a reasonable head that dissipates very quickly. A mild, slightly boozy aroma with a generous warmth is offered by the brew.
From a flavor standpoint, it’s a mild yet enjoyable brew. It’s dry and clean drinking, not offering much depth on the flavor side. That said, I think this would hit the spot on a warm day. It’s a great accomplice for outdoorsy summer activities where you want to cut the heat and manage a buzz throughout the day.
Overall, this is a clean and enjoyable brew. It’s no powerhouse of flavor, but the dry finish makes it an intensely refreshing and quite enjoyable brew. If you’re looking for something light and crisp, this is your brew.
Chilly Water Brewing Company have put together a solid core of brews and their two seasonal inclusions were excellent too. I enjoyed each of these, making Chilly Water an easy brewery to recommend. Check them out if you get a chance!
Thanks again to Chilly Water Brewing Company for supporting Signature Six and sharing these brews.