Ingredient shopping is one of the best parts of homebrewing. You get to scour the internet and homebrew catalogs to learn about the wide variety of grains, hops, and yeast strains that can be sourced from around the world. You get to substitute new, exciting options into in-progress recipes to see how the changes affect everything from flavor and body to head retention and perceived bitterness. Homebrew shops are like candy stores to brewers, and there’s nothing like walking through a grain room smelling countless specialty barley varieties and dreaming about what they could taste like in your beer.
2012: One of the earliest homebrew batches of Flip Switch IPA
When it came to scaling up our original homebrewing recipes for commercial brewing, a lot more went into the process than just multiplying quantities by X to achieve a larger batch of beer. On top of thinking about how chemistry changes at larger levels, we also needed to look at our ingredients to see if we could source them at larger quantities, and, if we could source them, which suppliers had them. In this case, it meant we had to tweak the recipe for what would become Flip Switch IPA because the only supplier who sold the two types of Caramel Malts we had been using while homebrewing this American IPA didn’t sell anything else we needed at the time, and paying for deliveries of just a single grain style meant the cost to brew Flip Switch as it had been would have forced us to charge more for a flagship IPA than we were comfortable with.
So before we brewed our very first batch of Flip Switch IPA here in our Lowertown brewery, we subbed out Caramel 10L and Caramel 30L for Caramel 15L and Caramel 35L. The numbers before the L reference the color and flavor impact the grain has on the final product, and going up, even in a small increment, for both Caramel Malts created a subtle smokey flavor in Flip Switch that wasn’t in our original beer. For four years, that’s how Flip Switch was available. We loved it, as have a lot of you. It just wasn’t the same.
2014: Flip Switch becomes our first beer available in liquor stores
As we’ve grown, so has our beer portfolio. We’ve introduced dozens of new beers over the course of our 4+ years in business, and so we’ve ordered new ingredients from new suppliers, built new relationships, and always kept thinking about those early batches of Flip Switch IPA. We’re excited to say that we’ve finally been able to source the Caramel 10L and Caramel 30L malts used in our original recipe of this American IPA. With the addition of our Spark Series limited-run canning series and our shift in focus toward introducing brand new beers on a monthly basis, we’ve been able to reach out and work with a supplier that can routinely provide us with these lighter Caramel Malts, along with other grains we use more regularly now than we did four years ago. The result is the Flip Switch of our dreams. We don’t think of it as new. We think of it as classic.
2018: Flip Switch IPA's original recipe debuts in cans and in the taproom
The beer is still balanced for an IPA, but the piney and citrusy notes of the Citra, Centennial, Chinook, and Warrior hops we use come through much clearer. We’re confident longtime lovers of Flip Switch will still recognize this as the beer they reach for in liquor stores across the metro, but we’re also excited for IPA drinkers to give it a try. This original recipe Flip Switch IPA is on tap in our taproom now and shipping out to liquor stores this week (look for canning dates on the bottom of the can of 8/2/18 or later). We can’t wait for you to try it and let us know what you think.
2018: Brewer Tony getting ready to crack open his first can of original recipe Flip Switch IPA