Every craft beer lover knows that the best craft beer is a truly seasonal product. It all comes down to the hops – and when it comes to hops, there’s no beer in the Akasha portfolio that reflects what’s possible in the brewing art than the Korben IIPA.
That’s why the beginning of each year is an exciting time here at the Akasha Brewery. It’s when the top guns of our brewery team – Dave, George and Gareth – get to crack open the good stuff: bags of fresh hops, vacuum-sealed and air-freighted straight from the US of A.
“The buzz around the brewery when the new hops arrive is palpable,” says Dave. “They simply don’t get any fresher – everyone lines up to stick their nose in and get a whiff.”
FRESH IS BEST
To get the most from this maximum freshness, and in accord with its iconic status, the first beer to be brewed from this first hop shipment of every year is the mighty Korben. First brewed shortly after Akasha’s founding in 2015, it was a smash hit right out of the gate.
And despite frequent calls to make it a permanent fixture of our core range, we only brew the Korben when we can get the hops at their freshest, making the first hop delivery of the year such a massive deal: for us, and for Korben lovers generally.
“It’s Akasha in a glass,” says George, Brewery Operations Manager, of the place that Korben occupies. “It’s our take on our favourite style of beer, and a true showcase of what we can do.” Head Brewer Gareth agrees, expanding on what makes the Korben such a unique beer.
“Korben really pushes the limits of what can be created in the brewery without resorting to tricks,” he says. “It’s the furthest and hardest we can push the brewing process, to achieve the balance and flavour that the beer has become recognised for.”
“It’s a crisp, fruity beauty that has a gentle sweetness to help disguise its more monstrous size and intentions; the bitterness tip-toes imperceptibly along your tongue before lacing up some heavy boots and stomping around the back of your mouth. But, all up, it’s lean, clean and drinks like a dream.” – Nick Oscilowksi, The Crafty Pint
BIG, BALANCED AND BEAUTIFUL
A veritable stellar nursery of Simcoe, Centennial and Mosaic hops, Korben’s huge tropical and passionfruit flavour profile, exquisite poise and superbly dry, bitter finish has seen it become one of the top-rated Independent Double IPAs in Australia.
Much of its success comes down to the holistic nature of the Korben’s immaculate conception – an adroit balancing act where all the elements are brought into the finest possible alignment for the ultimate in drinking pleasure.
“As much as it’s about the hops, it’s also about keeping the yeast happy,” says Dave. “Making sure it gets the right nutrients is key – with an ABV of 8.5%, it’s a challenging task to attain that balance and dryness that make the Korben such a special beer.”
While the recipe remains essentially identical to its original brew, time spent perfecting the malt has also gone a long way to ensuring the profile and poise the Korben displays. In a world gone hazy, people are coming back to its classic dry and drinkable style in a big way.
If you’ve had the Korben before, you know what to expect with its latest release: a truly great IIPA that’s earned its place amongst the country’s best examples of the West Coast style, and that’s as good as it’s ever been – if not better.
If you haven’t had the pleasure, we promise you’re in for a treat. Get it while you can.