I have to apologize to Joe from Holy Waters for taking way too long to write this review. So much just got in the way…
But I got to finally reviewing Holy Waters Brewing while at the recent Delray Beach Craft Beer Fest. It’s nice to see them again, especially head brewer Joe Gongalez, who is simply enough good people. Here’s a little bit of the fun he brought:
Jack’s Wild Party (Pale Ale, 35 IBU, 6.1% ABV) definitely lives up to its name. As a pale ale, it’s nice and light, with a brevity only slightly kicked up by hops. That sort of spiky roughness is accentuated a bit with brettanomyces yeast, which gives it a slightly (just slightly) sourness. From there, peaches are added, which helps greatly to amp up the sweetness of an otherwise dry beer. In all, the beer does wonders. The juicy peach flavors mix well with the brett and the light, pale malts, keeping the beer flavorful and complex, yet soft and drinkable.
Ameri-Koln (Kolsch) is a little more complicated to describe, however. To start, I love a good Kolsch. It’s lighe, just a touch on the sweet side, not terribly hoppy, and very flavorful. But it’s quintessentially European, and a Kolsch isn’t a proper Kolsch without Noble hops.Plus it has to be brewed in the city of Cologne, Germany to truly be considered a Kolsch. It’s sort of like how Champagnes not brewed in the Champagne region of France aren’t technically allowed to be called Champagnes. Appellation d’origine contrôlée and all that jazz.
So Holy Waters decided not to do a Kolsch. They did what they called an ‘American Style’ Kolsch. Joe described that they replaced all the Noble hops with American varieties. They also increased the IBU with both late-addition hops and dry hopping.
They definitely made it their own. Pale Ale and IPA lovers will really like this beer. It has that light sweetness and wonderfully hazy straw color that a tasty, proper Kolsch will have, but with a nicely moderate hop punch to it as well. Quite nice.
It’s nice to see Holy Waters out and about at beer festivals, but here’s hoping Joe and the crew get their own place soon. In the meantime, keep up with them.
Drink Florida Craft,