On December 12th, 2016 we decided to host an underground party in our recently leased torn down warehouse in Little River. The year was coming to an end, and we just received the green light to start construction from the city and county. We were ecstatic, and we wanted to share this excitement with our family and friends before the year ended. We rented an electric generator from Home Depot, we set up a small jockey box, we invited a muralist to paint live, and we had our first Bousa party amidst shadows and construction dust. It was epic, and at the center of the excitement were the first cheers’ with our concept brews; the Honey Blonde, Tripel, and American IPA.
A year and a half later and we finally came up with a name for our American IPA. Brainstorming the names of beers is like brainstorming the name of your next-born child (not that I would know). There are so many cultures and palates in our small company, that different names and tastes resonate with different experiences and emotions. Once there is a semi-consensus on the name, the chances are also very high that a similar brand name is already in distribution (which makes the decision depended on our willingness to risk a cease-and-desist letter from our hyper-competitive colleagues). If you look up the term “Picara” in the Urban Dictionary or (other random sites) you will find some very entertaining and off-the-wall definitions of the literal term. For us, we knew that IPA’s are the best-selling and most mythical beer style in the contemporary “craft” market, and we also knew that just like Bousa, this beer would be a little different, but very proud and independent.
Crafting the Picara IPA
In this market, you either love or hate IPA’s. Many Craft loyalists have made this particular item the sole filter for judging who is “craft” and who isn’t. Notice I am using quotation markets every time I use the word “craft.” Why? Because the term “craft” has become as misused and distorted as the term “natural” in Publix (natural is not organic people…). Personally, I find myself butting heads with people at beer festivals, at bar accounts, and in our Tap Room in the attempt to create a more inclusive Local Beer Community. Our IPA is a testament to our product philosophy of creating beers that are
- A) drinkable to the general palate
- B) inviting to new consumers who are unfamiliar with these niche styles.
Just because someone chooses a Lager over an IPA does not make them less “Craft”, and at Bousa we value educating consumers over impressing them with hoppy egos.
With this goal in mind, our American IPA is a drinkable and smooth IPA that is malt-forward compared to most IPA’s in the market. We have slowly and steadily improved the beer by adding more floral hops in secondary fermentation to create a unique aromatic experience. We have welcomed the darker color as a result of the higher caramel malts used to balance out the natural bitterness of the style. Our focus on aroma and caramel/bitter balance has allowed our IPA to become one of the best-sellers at Bousa, and we are proud of its ability to invite new drinkers to the world of independent beer.