Name: Galaxy Valley
Brewers: Garage Project (New Zealand), Trillium Brewing Company (United States)
Style: Specialty IPA: New England IPA
Review Year: 2021
Wellington’s Garage Project is off to Australia’s Derwent River and Buffalo River Valleys for their third hop harvest collaboration with Trillium Brewing Company. Galaxy Valley is a “Hazy Double IPA” that features a hop-free boil and a massive dry-hop addition of Galaxy and Vic Secret. This is a hazy homage to the new wave of Australian hops.
This beer is being evaluated as a Specialty IPA: New England IPA (21B) in the context of the provisional guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) for the said beer style. The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Hazy pale gold; foamy white head with good retention. Prominent ripe peach, mango, orange, and pineapple, composed mainly of the aroma coupled with low piney and oaty notes. Revisiting, low pungent (e.g., onion and garlic) aromas started to surface. Medium-full body with moderate carbonation; low chalky/ gritty afterfeel. Like the aroma, the flavor burst with an assertive ripe peach character and is backed up with moderate mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and resin. Moderately low bready malt backbone. A low pungent flavor (e.g., onion and garlic) was noted alongside bitterness (moderate) and an oaty flavor (medium-low). Off-dry finish; aftertaste lingered briefly with the subtle resin, lychee, and hop bitterness.
Galaxy Valley is a feast of bright juicy citrus and tropical fruits with a dash of resiny hop and oaty accents. What caught our attention were the impressions of onion and garlic in the aroma and flavor, characteristics that seem to be linked loosely with the term “dank.”
Digging deeper, pungent sulfury notes of green onion and garlic are actually a few of the many characteristics associated with the newer American hop varieties, but the Australian and New Zealand hops like Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin are known generally to yield unique flavors of stone fruit, lychee, and white wine grapes. Others have noted that while Galaxy has high alpha acid content, it is used often for late/ dry-hopping such as the case with Galaxy Valley. Moreover, this Australian hop variety can be intense and even pungent, lending qualities of passion fruit, citrus, and apricot among others. But as perceived, these pungent qualities were low and did not interfere with the fruity and “juicy” qualities essential in a New England IPA (or a Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double IPA if you are using the 2021 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines). The mouthfeel also had that lightly gritty/ chalky afterfeel that could still be tempered slightly for a smoother beer. Overall, this is a very good beer. Enjoy while stargazing.
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