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A few people have complained lately that there’s never a good beer to drink when they’re driving – so this week’s beer is a tasty Wheat Pale Ale by Mikkeller that you can drink more than one of easily and drive okay after.
Let’s start with Mikkeller’s description of the brew:
This beer is so fresh and tasty, we recommend you take it for a DRIVE! Besides the usual ingredietns, we added real sunshine. Cheers!
I’m liking the description for this one as it clearly states that it’s a beer for drivers at 0.3% and although Mikkel says that real sunshine is added – I’m not so sure but I wouldn’t be surprised knowing him!
Let’s start with the ingredients for this one, I think Belgian Wheat and Pale Malt have been used. As for the hops, it’s Centennial and Cascade. It’s then fermented with Belgian brewery D’Proef’s house yeast, once in Primary and then in secondary in the bottle.
Moving on, the beer pours a hazy Straw colour. You can either pour it lightly or pour it normally depending on how much yeast you like in the brew. It’s got a great head with good retention, leaving dotty lacing on the sides of the glass as it subsides. On the nose we have lots of Lemon Zest, Wheat and a slight Cracker aroma. It smells a lot better than a lot of the Low Alcohol brews! On the palate you have a little bit of the expected Cracker and flour notes as its a low alcohol brew but then some real flavour kicks in. Grapefruit Juice, Lemon Zest and Honey backed up with a nice wheaty backbone. Definitely better than a Becks Blue! The beer has Medium to High carbonation and finishes quite dry. I think Mikkeller have done really well with this seeing as it’s only 0.3% and seriously recommend this one to all drivers or people that just don’t fancy a heavy beer (or a water break).
You can purchase Drink’in The Sun at the Brewdog Store. It says it’s 1.4% but don’t worry – it’s a typo.
EST. CALORIES: 8 ABV: 0.26%
This week, a beer that nearly went extinct. Tracing it’s roots back to Germany, we have Westbrook Gose. A salty beer with Coriander seeds added, designed to drink during the summer. We’ve never had a Gose on here before, so I thought it would be rude not to! (Gose is apparently pronounced Gose-uh, the more you know!) It’s currently seen a revival with American Breweries producing it and German breweries and pubs producing and selling it again.
Let’s start with Westbrook’s description of the brew:
This is our interpretation of Gose (pronounced “Gose-uh”), a traditional German-style sour wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt. Once nearly extinct, this very refreshing style is making a comeback.
I like this description, it’s to the point, has a little bit of information about the style and lets you take it from there. I like how this beer is making a comeback, because to be honest there’s nothing quite like it. Sure, you have Berliner Weiss that is similar but, this one is salty and slightly citrusy and I’ve introduced it to people that wouldn’t usually be into beer. The type of people that put half the pot of salt on their chips and citrus freaks. Usually they’ve absolutely loved it.
Let’s get on to the recipe, the malts are 2-Row, Sauermalz and Malted Wheat. This is inoculated with Lactobacillus and left for three days. After this, the small amount of CTZ hops are added along with Sea Salt and Coriander during the boil and Fermentation. It seems like a simple recipe, but it’s not! The Sour Mash method is notoriously difficult. It’s definitely an interesting one to try, though.
When you pour this beer, it’s a pale straw colour with a big, fizzy white head. Eventually this dissipates and leaves no lacing and no trace of the head. It looks a bit like Apple Fanta but paler. On the nose there’s Tart Citrus, a touch of Coriander and Wheat. On the palate, it’s so complex for a sour, first is the extremely Tart Citrus, then it moves on to a Salty Flavour with a Wheat Backbone but after this, surprisingly it goes sweet with flavours reminiscent of Apple Cider. What a great brew! It’s Medium to Thin Bodied, but by no means watery. It finishes Sweet and Sour, which is very refreshing and perfect for Hot and Humid weather.
EST. CALORIES: 120 ABV: 4%
This week’s beer is the Special Cucumber Calypso by Siren Craft Brew. This was a limited beer, but it’s so tasty that it definitely deserves a mention! Cucumber had been added to the beer, and being such a fan of Gherkins (Pickles) it was one I most definitely had to try!
It seems that there’s no description for this one, either as it was a limited release, so lets crack on to the recipe! I think this particular iteration of the brew has Pale Wheat, 2-Row and Vienna Malts in. As for the Hops, they aren’t very detectable, but there is a Citrus undertone so I’d probably go for Centennial or Cascade. After this, because so much Cucumber flavour comes through I’d probably say it’s Dry-Cucumbered during fermentation (that sounds rude). Dry-Cucumbering (had to do it again) is the same as Dry-Hopping, but Cucumbers are used. So during Secondary Fermentation, the Cucumbers are added to the beer.
When your pour this beer, it’s a Cloudy Orange with a Thin to Medium white head. It dissipates slowly leaving a little bit of dotty lacing. Some Yeast clings to the side of the glass as you drink, which is a nice touch reminding you that you’re drinking a Berliner Weiss. On the nose, massive Cucumber aromas, some Brettanomyces and a nice Wheat note on the tail end. I absolutely love Cucumber, so the first time I picked this up just by smelling it I wanted to drink it straight away! On the palate, again big Cucumber notes, Wheat, Sour Funky yeast and some Citrus undertones. The Wheat and Malt backbone of this beer really carries through and allows the Cucumber to come through which is a great touch! It’s medium-bodied, with quite high carbonation. It finishes tart and dry. The regular Calypso is refreshing, but this one takes it to a new level with Cucumber added. Let’s hope Siren brew it again soon!
As this was a limited release, unfortunately it’s all sold out – but you can get the regular Calypso here and I really recommend it!
EST. CALORIES: 120 ABV: 4%
This Friday’s beer is an Imperial Saison from Belgian Brewery, Struise. The brewery was voted the best Brewery in the world in 2008 and my friends at House of Belgium were kind enough to send me a bottle of this seasonal beer to review. Saison is brewed in the cooler months and made to drink in the summer, so it’s one of those styles that go hand in hand with Summer!
There’s no description for this beer, so I’ll move on swiftly!
As for the recipe for this one, it’s kept well under wraps. However, after trying this brew I’m going to give it a good go! I think Munich, Honey, Golden and 2-Row Malts have been used in this one. Usually Saisons also have Wheat or Oats in too, but I don’t think this one does. As for the hops, I think Struise have been quite experimental with this one. Styrian Golding, Saaz but with some Centennial and Sorachi Ace hops. This beer is then left to naturally ferment, which gives Saisons their funky flavour.
This beer pours a Ruby/Dark Amber colour with a thin White head which dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. On the nose there’s Citrus, Honey, Floral, funky Belgian Yeast and Brett notes. I’m still really unsure if there’s Wheat in this beer as there’s that signature Wheaty smell on the nose too. When you taste this beer, the first initial notes are the tartness from the Brettanomyces. The Sour and Funky Belgian notes are the backbone for this beer throughout the palate, with Citrus, Lemon Peel and Honey building throughout. For a Saison, this is very well hopped! The carbonation is very low, which was an initial surprise for an Imperial Saison, but the mouthfeel is thick and oily. It finishes Dry.
EST. CALORIES: 330 ABV: 11%
This mid-week beer is from the Welsh Tiny Rebel – Their Urban IPA. I’ve always admired Tiny Rebel as a brewery and it’s nice to be able to include them in this blog – expect to see a few more of their beers soon as they do some good’ns! This is a 5.5% IPA which always seems to be on tap in my Local in Summer, so I thought it would be the best one to go for in the current season!
Let’s start with Tiny Rebel’s description of the brew:
A carefully-crafted intercontinental blend of hops helps us take traditional IPAs to the next level with Urban IPA. If you’re bored with soulless IPAs drunk by farmers in wellies, it’s time to go URBAN.
A nice, short description letting you into an insight on how they make the beer and a little joke about some of the blander IPA’s out there in the UK. There’s not really much else to say about this as it’s quite a short description. I must say that the little poke against a certain Brewery in Farm Territory made me crack a smile, though.
Let’s start with the Hops in this one, I think Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Citra have been used in this one. As for the Malts, we’ve got 2-Row, Caramalt, a touch of Golden Light and then a little Red Wheat. After this, it’s fermented with a nice San Diego Style yeast.
When you pour this beer, it’s a deep Orange with a thick White Head which has the best retention of the beers I’ve seen as of late. It eventually dissipates to a thin head and sticks around the entire time you drink, leaving foamy lacing around the glass. On the nose, there’s Citrus, Passion Fruit and some Floral/Rose notes which are interesting. When you taste this beer, you get a huge hit of Grapefruit, Citrus and Rose water. A nice, sticky Caramel backbone carries throughout, which is a great touch to this super-citrusy IPA. The body is medium, with medium carbonation. The beer has quite a creamy feel in your mouth and finishes dry.
You can buy Urban IPA at:
EST. CALORIES: 165 ABV: 5.5%
Just to start this post off, it’s our 1st Birthday today! The response we’ve got from this blog over the last year has been incredible. We’ve got to try some amazing beers, go to some amazing events and meet some great people! Thanks for coming along for the ride, it doesn’t stop here so thanks for your support and lets carry on spreading the word of good beer! Speaking of beer…
(PS. Apologies for the cheesy edit, I couldn’t resist)
What better way to celebrate a First Birthday than a Triple Dry Hopped, Double IPA from Firestone Walker?! This week’s beer is Double Jack, and if you’re living in the UK there’s going to be a link at the end on where to buy this beer! It also arrived very fresh, I’m not sure how it happened but the fact is I can have a beer I’ve admired for a long time without going all the way to California and smuggling back a few bottles!
Let’s start with Firestone Walker‘s description of the brew:
A dangerously drinkable Double IPA. Double Jack opens up with bright grapefruit and tangerine American hop aromas. Beautifully crafted undertones of stone fruit are revealed upon first sip, followed by the essence of blue basil and pine. A sturdy pale and crystal malt backbone brings balance to high hop intensity. Complex and aggressively hopped, and flawlessly balanced.
A to the point description with this one, almost like a wine description with the amount of flavours suggested in the brew! However, Firestone Walker are from the Wine region of California so it’s understandable.
Let’s get on to the recipe, as this is a Double IPA lets start with the Hops. In this one, the bittering Hops are Warrior and Columbus, the late Hops Cascade and Centennial. After this is the crazy Triple Dry Hopping with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe for 3 days. As for the Malts, from the recipe it seems to pack a good Malt bill with 2-Row, Munich and Light Crystal. It’s fermented with a pretty Standard California Yeast.
This beer pours a lovely Golden colour with a Medium White head with great retention. Rings of lacing line the glass as you drink, making for a really attractive looking brew! On the nose there’s lots of Grapefruit, Orange, Pine, Caramel and that signature Firestone Walker Vanilla. On the Palate you’ve got a big initial hit of Tangerine, Mango, Citrus and bitter resinous Pine. This is all backed up by a fantastic Chewy Caramel backbone throughout which really carries the beer and makes it insanely drinkable for a 9.5% brew! This beer is very well bodied with medium carbonation and finishes quite dry.
This is one of my favourite beers, it’s been really hard not to fanboy during this one! As promised, you UK Visitors can grab this beer from: Bier Deluxe and grab a few other hard to get beers there too!
Now we’re off to Celebrate our First Birthday in style!
EST. CALORIES: 285 ABV: 9.5%
This week’s beer is Brewdog’s tribute to Stone’s Enjoy By, which I reviewed earlier this year. Although this beer is a tribute, it’s definitely Brewdog’s twist as it’s definitely a different recipe but with the same intention – to brew an IPA that’s not meant to last to drink fresh. It’s one for all you Hop-Heads out there!
Let’s start with Brewdog’s description of the brew:
This beer is Born To Die.
Savagely bitter, exceptionally dry, this IPA is born to die on a predetermined day. It proudly displays its short-lived life span front and centre.
There is no better time to drink this than the moment you get your paws on it.
Awesome bitterness backed up by unrelenting aromas of resin, citrus, and juicy fruit. Born To Die is a eulogy to the hops that sacrificed themselves in its creation.
An incredibly ambitious and satisfying small batch brew.
This is one of those Brewdog descriptions we’ve come to expect, brash, bold and tonnes of hints at the flavour. Although, it has been noted that Brewdog seem to have stepped down the comedy and over exaggeration in their descriptions lately. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing! In a way I miss their funny descriptions full of things against “the man” but on the other hand it’s nice to see a company evolving!
Anyway, let’s not get into politics! This beer hopped a lot, as it’s an Imperial IPA. The Hops in this brew are Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe. I hadn’t had a beer with Citra in for a little while, so this excited me. As for the Malts, we’ve got Extra Pale, Marris Otter and Pale Malts. Quite a similar Malt Bill to Enjoy by but with the added Extra Pale malt and lowering of the other Malts giving it a paler colour. I’d say that this beer is probably Dry Hopped with Citra and Mosaic and fermented with a San Diego style yeast.
When you pour this beer it’s Amber with a Medium White head, it dissipates down to a thin cap which stays on top of the beer for most of the time you’re drinking it leaving dotty lacing on the sides of the glass. On the nose we’ve got a little bit of Bready Malt, Lemongrass, Tropical Fruits and a splash of Pine. On the Palate, the Bready Malts come through first which is a nice surprise, these carry throughout the beer providing a backbone which the Hops shine off! First a big hit of Citrus and Coriander, then Pineapple and Mango with hints of Bubblegum. It finishes with a Resinous Pine kick. The beer is very well bodied, with quite high carbonation. It finishes dry. This beer is perfect for the summer weather, let’s hope Brewdog release another batch!
You can ask Brewdog to E-Mail you when Born to Die is back in stock or get down to somewhere like Bottledog, who might have a few more bottles left. Grab it before the 4th July! (I know it’s not long).
EST. CALORIES: 255 ABV: 8.5%
This week’s beer is a great chance to show off one of London’s less-known breweries and to thank Alex from The House Of Belgium for my new Indestructible Duvel Glass made from Eastman Plastic. More on his awesome shop and website soon! When I first tried a Brixton Brewery beer it had all the great flavours of a Pale Ale, but there was just a strange taste lingering. Since then, Brixton Brewery have really stepped up their Quality Control and their Beer can most definitely compete with the other Bigger London Breweries! That’s why I was excited to review this one, as at the moment it’s my favourite offering from them.
Let’s start with Brixton‘s description of the beer:
Inspired by Electric Avenue, the beating heart of Brixton and made with New World hops, our full-bodied IPA is packed with energy and attitude. Electric perfectly balances malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness, with a floral, citrus and tropical fruit hit.
I like this description, the fact that their local area has inspired their beer is always a huge positive point. Craft Beer wouldn’t be the boom that it is without the respective breweries local areas spreading the word. Although there’s suggestions on the flavour, it’s short and sweet and there’s still an element of you working it out yourself.
As this one’s an IPA, let’s start with the hops! This one has Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo making for that Classic American IPA Hop Bill. As for the Malts, I think Brixton have got a little creative with 2-Row, Munich, Crystal but with a twist of a touch of Biscuit and Pale Chocolate malts. I’m pretty sure that this one is Dry-Hopped with Amarillo due to the flavour profile I picked up. But it could be a mixture of Amarillo and Cascade. Fermented with a nice, clean yeast like Wyeast 1450.
When you pour this beer, it’s an Amber/Orange colour with a Medium White Fluffy head. The head retention on this one is great, especially for an unfiltered, unfined beer! Once it dissipates slightly, you’ll notice the sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. The head remains throughout drinking. On the nose there’s a big Citrus and Tropical fruit hit with some Pine and Caramel/Bread notes in the background. The Aroma on this one has been done really well! When you first taste this beer, you get a huge Orange Peel Citrus note, then the Grapefruit and Tropical fruit flavours come after. There’s a nice Bready malt backbone backing this one up throughout, which is always welcomed! The beer is Medium-Bodied with High Carbonation and finishes quite dry. This one is a definite for the summer, and at 6.5% it’s most probably one you can session during those sunny BBQ’s!
EST. CALORIES: 195 ABV: 6.5%
This Friday’s beer is claimed to be the UK’s First Triple IPA, which means Triple the hops and Triple the Malt making a beast of a beer. It’s a Collaboration between Tottenham, London’s Beavertown and Bend, Oregon’s Boneyard Brewery. It’s always tricky to make one because the Malt bill cannot be too heavy to create a smooth mouthfeel but generally Triple IPA’s are 10% ABV and over.
I first met Tony, Clay and Melodee, the trio behind the awesome Boneyard Brewing from Bend, Oregon in 2014 at the Brewers dinner after Mikkeller’s CBC. We sat next to each other after an amazing two days of serving our beers in Copenhagen. By this point we had hit some amazing wine and laughed and talked a lot about life and beer. A friendship was formed and good times planned! Roll on 11 months and Tony the Boneyard brewmaster was coming to the UK on his way into Europe. “Let’s brew!?!” Oh yes!! So I asked Tony if he had any dreams of what to brew. Tony said “I like hops!” Well, so do we! Tony and I got chewing over the malts and hops…a lot of hops!!! And how we attain a kick ass, smooth, dry, sessionable 10% triple IPA?!? Easy right! DIPA and TIPA are really tough brews to nail. To create that ultimate high ABV monster that drinks with easy and finesse is a true art form. Take Vinnie’s ’Pliny’s’ and Tony’s ’Notorious TIPA’ as examples. Such well considered and brilliantly executed beers. So it’s our pleasure to give you ’Power of the Voodoo’ Triple IPA. As Tony explained about Boneyard’s Notorious TIPA “Wherever that beer goes, it takes names!” We feel that at 10% ABV, ’Voodoo’ is up there and taking them too. Watch out, Voodoo’s about!
Quite a long description, but it’s got a story in which I’m always fond of. No hints at how it should taste, which is good, with a Triple IPA so many people taste so many different things. I like how they’ve listed Pliny the Younger and Notorious March of the Pigs as influences which are both very well renowned Triple IPA’s. I’m excited for this one, so let’s move on!
As this is a Triple IPA, let’s start with the Hops! Judging by the flavours and influences stated in the description, I think the Hops in this one are Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Zeus, Amarillo and Cascade. There’s also a lot of Dry-Hopping with most of the Hops used, just to get as much Hop flavour in there as possible. As for the Malts, I think Carapils, 2-Row, Vienna, a small amount of Vienna and a small amount of Caramalt are used. This is then fermented with a very clean yeast that can stand up to the eventual high alcohol percentage.
When you pour this beer, it pours a Caramel colour with a Medium white head. The retention is quite good, but it eventually fades and ends up as a Thin head on the beer for the rest of the time you’re drinking. On the nose, there’s Grapefruit, Passionfruit, Citrus, Pine, Pineapple and Orange. Underneath this there’s some Biscuity and Vanilla notes to break up the Hop bomb on the senses. When you taste this beer, you get a big initial hit of Passionfruit and Grapefruit, then there’s a wave of Orange and Pineapple followed by the Pine and Resinous Hop flavours. Again, the Vanilla/Biscuit backbone carries through while drinking. The Mouthfeel is surprisingly Crisp and Smooth with good Carbonation. It finishes quite dry with an extremely subtle Alcohol kick. This is such a dangerous brew at 10%, but still so sessionable! But I really do recommend trying this, it’s one of the best I’ve had so far this year!
You can buy Power Of The Voodoo at the Brewery, Mother Kelly‘s in Bethnal Green and various shops and bars around London. Get it before it’s gone! If you don’t live in the UK, try to get your friends to send you this. It’s a must try.
EST. CALORIES: 300 ABV: 10%