A White Elephant is appearing in West Virginia. It’s no hallucination but is an honest to goodness tasty beer with an interesting back story. If you haven’t had a chance to try White Elephant White IPA by Big Timber Brewing Company, it is now pouring at all West Virginia locations of Pies & Pints.
Earlier this year, Pies & Pints got together with Big Timber Brewing to sponsor a ProAm brewing competition. From the finalists, Big Timber would select one beer to brew as a 15 barrel batch. Pies & Pints would then feature the beer at its three West Virginia stores.
A bunch of homebrewers jumped to enter the contest. The beers were judged and three finalists were selected. They were a New England IPA, a big Black IPA, and a White IPA.
Then, Big Timber’s brewers got together with Pies & Pints’ beer experts and reviewed their options. They discussed how each beer would differentiate itself in Pies & Pints normal line up of beers. They looked at which of the beers would best fit into Big Timber’s production timeline, hit a desired consumer price point, and the have the shelf and transportation stability they desired.
At the end of the day, the White IPA was selected. CraftBeer.com describes a White IPA as a Belgian witbier hopped like an IPA. It is similar color, body and esters as a witbier but with noticeable hop aroma, flavor and bitterness.
Paden Morris comes out on top
The chosen beer was submitted by homebrewer Paden Morris from St. Marys, WV. Morris is a member of the Wheeling Alers homebrew club. Morris got to do a brew day with Big Timber and help brew his beer recipe on their commercial brewing equipment.
Big Timber Head Brewer Matt Kwasniewski was very complimentary of Morris’s beer.
“We really like the way the combination of hops and the slight funkiness from the Belgian White yeast combine to create a complex yet crisp taste,” he said. “We found that Paden’s beer would work the best for all parties, and we are really pleased with how it turned out.”
Big Timber’s White Elephant White IPA comes in at 5.5% ABV, with 56 IBUs. It’s taste is fruity, spicy, and tart.
Pies & Pints offers the beer at $5 a pint and $15 for a 64 oz pitcher. It’s available now at their Morgantown, Fayetteville and Charleston locations.