At Home #3 - America and the meaning of local

At the end of 2013, during the celebration of Fes-t'hi beer festival in Vilanova i la Geltrú, two Americans -Scott and Alan- appeared all of a sudden announcing that they would open a brewery in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona. With the fascination for North American beer in full rise, the popularity that Edge Brewing managed to achieve as a project was such that it succeed in being the best rated new brewery at the Ratebeer Best 2014 awards -which used to be quite relevant-. Their totally avant-garde approach, with American-style recipes, various limited editions and high-voltage collaborations marked the beginning of what we now think of as normal.

'Paradoxically, Edge became a very powerful ambassador of Catalan and Spanish beer'

Edge Hoptimista

If I had to choose my favorite beer of the brand I would probably be tagged as conservative, but anyway I would choose one of the veteran recipes, Hoptimista. A West Coast IPA that sits on the higher tier of the style in terms of colour and maltiness, with the hops in front as you smell and with that particular intense and persistent bitterness that made a whole generation of drinkers in this country fall in love with IPAs.

Once poured, it displays a tone between gold and amber, bright and clear, with a good white, fluffy and durable crown. Hop aromas dominate, with the classic hints of grapefruit, orange, pine or resin, skilfully accompanied by lighter touches of caramel, toast, muffin and the usual jam, typically from the fermentation profile. Lively and dry, with a long and bitter finish, which leaves an interesting aftertaste of black tea leaves.

Classic in the best sense of the word, with everything you expect in an American-style IPA found in its proper measure. In the era of Hazy IPAs and DDH IPAs, new beers are launched vindicating a past in which bitterness did not seem to bother anyone -quite the contrary, actually- but there is little need for them when there are excellent beer out there already. It looks American from every side, yet I consider a fresh batch of this beer to be one of the best local experiences one can have.

Edge Juggernaut

Juggernaut is a very descriptive and frankly adequate name to designate a beer that we could consider to be the older sister of the previous one. It is a 9.2% ABV Double IPA, with a classic character too, and a trajectory of more than four years in the portfolio of the brand, despite not being strictly part of the core range.

In the glass it is very attractive, with an amber to copper colour, crystal clear and with a nice whitish foam. In terms of aroma, it shows great parallels with the Hoptimista, although with a higher and more complex citrus range, to which we could add hints of stone fruit; mainly peach. Likewise, the richness and intensity of the malt rises, with a fairly complete range caramel bouquet. Jam, pine and resin complement the set, which manages to maintain a moderate sweet sensation and a medium body that gives it lightness without having to resort to the use of dextrose. Smooth, silky and with a long and very bitter finish, like in the old times.

I have always thought that the key in this type of beers is to find harmony between the freshness of the hops, the sweet sensation mostly associated with malt and the alcoholic level, which is expected to add intensity to the beer but not excessive warmth. In this sense, it seems to me a very well made beer, pleasant and dangerously easy to drink. Without stopping, it will possibly destroy you: here is the meaning of juggernaut.


Leaving aside considerations related to its sensory profile, there are two common aspects in the previous beers that seem very remarkable to me: a good value for money -in its online store, 12 packs are around 3€ a bottle- and its absolute representativeness of two typical styles of the North American brewing tradition. Paradoxically, in such an American scenario like the one described, it was with beers such as the previous two, and thanks to their ability to smoothly communicate beyond our borders, that Edge Brewing became a very powerful ambassador of Catalan and Spanish beer.

In large part, also, because the project has always made a clear effort to relate to existing brewers, their consumers and the rest of agents. Its evolution demonstrates the extent to which it has been permeable, currently integrating a great diversity of profiles in its staff, and with a frankly varied portfolio of beers in terms of brewing traditions. Beyond having taken deep roots in their neighborhood and in their city, the inclusive attitude of all the staff who have been part of the group, their absolute willingness to collaborate and their desire for common growth makes them one of the best examples of locality within our beer scene.

And before closing, remember that if you want to enjoy American beer with a Poblenou accent you can buy Edge Brewing's in their online store.

Salut i birra!


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