IPA – English: Hawkeshead IPA

This weeks Beer is brewed in Cumbria, more notably the Lake District. Hawkshead are an independent brewery in the Lake District and today I’m writing about their great IPA. I first discovered this beer on a trip to Keswick, which is a fantastic place that I recommend. The beer market is actually pretty booming in Cumbria, with a lot of traditional and craft breweries making amazing beer.

Let’s start with Hawkshead‘s description of the brew:

A modern IPA, amber in colour, with huge, complex hop flavours from a blend of American and New Zealand hops, including Cascade, Columbus and Motueka, and balanced by sweet malt. India Pale Ale is a classic British beer style, traditionally brewed strong and well-hopped to survive the voyage to India. This IPA takes well-hopped to a new level by using some of the finest, most flavoursome New World hops now available.

This description gives a lot away about the Hops, which I really like as it appeals to the Beer Geek in me but if someone was picking this up as their first beer they wouldn’t know what to expect. What an interesting Hop concoction though! It made me really look forward to this beer when I read it. After this, the usual India Pale Ale story that we all know. The IPA’s that passed through the sea to India were much different though, but that’s a conversation for another time!

As the Hops have been revealed in the description, let’s start with the Malt! I think the Malts in this beer are Crisp Maris Otter, Caramel Malt, 2-Row Carapils and a touch of Biscuit Malt. A very English IPA base, but the Hop bill makes you think differently – Cascade, Columbus and Motueka, what a fruity mix!

This beer pours an Orange/Amber colour with a thin white head which sticks around for most of the time drinking, it leaves some nice dotty, sticky lacing on the glass which is very welcome. On the nose, wow! Those Hops really come out, lashings of Citrus, Tropical Fruit and Orange Peel, it’s like a New Zealand summer in a glass. The palate brings out a nice, sweet Malt backbone with a touch of biscuity, bready flavours that carry through the entire time. On top of this you get the choice of Hops working their magic, lots of Tropical Fruit and Citrus to start, a touch of Pine and then on the finish you get a delicious Summer Fruit flavour lingering in the back of your tongue. The beer is well-bodied and has medium carbonation. It finishes Medium-Sweet. I really recommend this beer as the weather gets better, although I had my first one in a Rainy, November Lake District I can tell that this is going to be one of those quintessential Summer garden brews – even at 7% which is quite undetectable whilst drinking.

You can buy Hawkshead IPA in the UK at:

Hawkshead Shop (Out of Stock, 6 Bottles Minimum)

Amazon (In Stock at time of writing!)

Hippo Beers (In Stock at time of writing!)

EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%

Milk Stout With Chocolate and Peppermint – American: Twisted Manzanita Enlightenmint

This weeks beer is something I enjoyed thoroughly in San Diego, and was one of the highlights of the trip. Twisted Manzanita Enlightenmint – A Milk Stout with Chocolate and Peppermint. I enjoyed this beer in their Pacific Beach Taproom, a must visit and something I included in my post earlier in the week.

Let’s start with Twisted Manzanita‘s description of the beer:

– Memorable like your favorite holiday treats; Big chocolate with a peppermint burst.
– Flaked barley gives it a creamy, robust body that supports the delicate flavors to the finish.
– Full-bodied and dark as night for maximum enjoyment on a winter evening.

Short but sweet description, which I’m always a big fan of. There’s hints at the flavour, and even the recipe which is always good, but then the real tasting notes are left up to the drinker – which I always find enables you to enjoy the beer more. Although it’s suggested that it’s enjoyed in winter, I had this beer on a warm evening in San Diego and have no regrets!

As for the recipe, let’s start with the malts and fermantables. 2-Row, Crystal 60, Special B and Chocolate Malts are used, with Flaked Barley as a fermentable to add a little body and make it a bit creamier. The hops are Kent Goldings or Mt Hood, as they don’t take a front seat in the brew. Cocoa and Peppermint are added during the boil and Peppermint and Lactose (Milk Sugar) are added during Primary Fermentation. Essentially, this beer is Dry-Minted!

This beer pours Pitch Black with a good sized Tan Head that retains well, leaving a little bit of spotty lacing. On the nose there’s a huge hit of what I can describe as Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate notes, even more Peppermint, Caramel and Cocoa Powder. When you taste this beer, it’s incredible how much the Mint has worked it’s way into the flavour, lots of Peppermint, Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Ice Cream, a little bit of Nut and finishes with some more Sweet Peppermint. This beer grows on you even more as you drink, you can’t tell it’s 8% at all. This beer has a good, creamy sticky body and finishes medium with a touch of bitterness. I’m definitely going to be bringing back more than one bottle of this next time I visit!

Currently, the best way to get this beer is by stocking up on a visit or if you have friends in California, ask them to send you some of this lovely stuff! I’ll definitely be trying to get my fair share!

EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%

IPA – American: Stone Enjoy By 4/20/15 IPA


This week’s beer is something I picked up whilst in California. Stone’s Enjoy By series is quickly becoming a very sought after beer, and I was happy to sample a few and bring a couple back.

Stone’s idea was to make an IPA that doesn’t really last, which means you definitely need to drink it by the “Enjoy Date.” What better way to advise people than to plaster it on the front of the bottle as part of the name? I picked up the Enjoy By 4/20/15 (20/04/15), also lovingly called “Enjoy by 420” by lover’s of Hop’s naughty cousin.

Let’s start with Stone’s Description of the beer.

You have in your hands a devastatingly dank double IPA. Freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, hoppy IPAs – but we’ve taken it further, a lot further, with this one. We brewed this IPA specifically NOT to last. We’ve gone to extensive lengths to ensure you get your hands on this beer within an extraordinarily short window, and we’ve sent a very clear message in the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right NOW to enjoy this IPA!

I’m enjoying the Stone bravado on this description and the fact they changed “fresh” to “dank” in the description. Dank is a word that’s used to describe Hops as well as the “other hop” so it’s a good play on words. As I said, the date is plastered on the front of the bottle as part of the name, and I don’t think another brewery could do it and get away with it like Stone do.

Let’s start with the Hops on this one, as there’s a lot! Centennial, Warrior, Amarillo, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, Cascade, Motueka, Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy are used. It seems like Stone threw their whole store of Hops at this one, excluding a couple and it definitely shows. As for the malts in this beer, we’ve got 2-Row and Maris Otter Pale. A nice basic base for a lot of hops. After this it’s Dry hopped for around 7 days whilst it ferments with a good, clean, hardy yeast like San Diego Super.

This beer pours a nice translucent Orange with a Medium white head. The retention on this one is great, especially for a 9.4% brew. When it starts to dissipate, it leaves rings around the glass as you drink down. On the nose, wow, you can really tell there’s a lot of hops in this one. Mango, Pineapple, Orange and Tropical Fruits hit first, with a touch of Pine and Sweetness from the Malt on the finish. Whilst drinking this beer, the first thing you’ll notice is the bitterness from the word go. On the Palate lots of Pine, Citrus Peel and Tropical Fruit. This is definitely an IPA for warm weather, although it could also work in the colder months as that Alcohol is detectable but not overwhelming. On the finish there’s a few Grapefruit notes and a touch of sweetness from the Malt. The beer is surprisingly smooth, and although starts bitter and dry, finishes sweet with good carbonation. If you can get your hands on this one, I really recommend you do!

Your best bet to find Stone’s Enjoy By IPA’s in the UK are in Brewdog bars across the country, you could always import from Quality Liquor Store or Craft Beer Kings if you really want it! Alternatively, if you have friends in California, ask them to send you some of the next iteration!

EST. CALORIES: 282   ABV: 9.4%

Sour – Collaboration: English: Wild Beer Co. New Zealand: Good George Beer English: Burning Sky Shnoodlepip

Well, I’m back and trying to fight my jetlag whilst writing this, I think that’s why the picture I took of this one looks extremely sinister (a complete accident). But what better way to cure Jetlag than a great Sour Beer and a bit of Sunshine?

This Friday’s beer is Shnoodlepip. A collaboration of Wild Beer Co from Somerset, Good George Beer from New Zealand and Burning Sky in Sussex. What I admire about Wild Beer Co is that they really push the boundaries of beer, and teaming up with these other craft brewers meant that there definitely wouldn’t be an exception to the regular schedule, if you can call their brewing schedule regular!

Let’s start with the online description of the beer:

A collaboration of three brewers, three nationalities and six ideas brought together to learn, experiment and enjoy. Made by Kelly Ryan from Good George Beer in NZ, Brett Ellis (originally from the US) from the Wild Beer Co, and Mark Tranter from Burning Sky Brewery. This beer explores new ideas, techniques, ingredients, combinations and processes.

Using all three brewers combined knowledge and experiences to create an incredibly unusual and complex beer, this utilises every opportunity to take advantage of amazing ingredients and try alternative techniques.

Full body, gentle-sweet spiciness, a dry depth with oak undertones, and tropical fruit character, all finished off with tangy Hibiscus flowers – this is one shnoodlepippin beer!

I like this description, it’s very light hearted, gives you an insight into how the beer was brewed and the story of the collaboration. What’s also great about it, is that it doesn’t give too much away and although flavours are mentioned, it leaves it open to the “beerholder” (a phrase I learnt in the United States last week!)

Let’s start with the hops in this beer, I believe that the New Zealand influence is definitely on the Hop front and New Zealand Pacifica Hops have been used. As for the malts, I think Two-Row and Caramel Malt have been used, using the Sour Mash method along with Somerset Sharpham Farm Spelt. During Secondary Fermentation in Red Wine Barrels, the Pink Peppercorns are added. Later on, it’s “Dry Hopped” with the Hibiscus and Passion Fruit for a little longer to ensure the flavours come out in the final product. It’s fermented with Brettanomyces Yeast to really get the residual sugars out and create even more of a sour flavour.

When you pour this beer, it’s a very colourful Orange with a medium head which dissipates very quickly. I’d also say it’s as fizzy as Champagne. On the nose there’s lots of Brett Yeast aromas, Spelt which is similar to Wheat in the aroma, Passion fruit and some peppery notes with hints of Honey and Summer Berries. On the Palate it’s a little less complicated, but still delicious with a lot of Sour Brett Notes with Passion Fruit and a light Peppery note in the background, malty sour mash flavours carry throughout. It’s quite a thin feeling beer in the mouth but, as I said the beer is very fizzy and the bubbles more than make up for the body and bulk it up a little. I often find that Sours that have a little more bubbles always go down very well. It finishes dry.

This is a perfect Spring beer, if you can get your hands on it!

You can buy Shnoodlepip in the UK at:

Amazon (out of stock)

The Pint Shop, Cambridge

Bottledog, London

EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%

Barrel Aged Scotch Ale – Scottish: Brewdog Bourbon Baby

This week’s beer is a Barrel Aged beer that you could actually determine as a Session Beer. Bourbon Baby, by Brewdog. The beer starts life as a Scotch Ale, and is then Barrel Aged. Quite an interesting concept, and definitely one I wanted to write about.

Let’s start with Brewdog‘s description of the beer:

Bourbon Baby is a baby Scotch ale which we’ve gone on to age in bourbon barrels.

The Scotch ale base is light bodied and low ABV, and brings toasted shortcake and blossom honey flavours; the barrel ageing adds a demonic, dark vanilla twist. Rich brown sugar, hints of smoke, spiced fruit, chocolate and raisins are just some of the multitude of flavours that have developed.

Our aim was to showcase barrel ageing in a lower ABV beer and we felt the malty scotch ale base was the perfect way to do this. The body remains light, yet there is a complexity quite unlike anything you would normally expect in a Scotch ale.

Bourbon Baby is a small batch beer and is available in limited quantities in bottle and draft, and will cope with further ageing in the bottle but is best suited to drinking fresh. 

Not the usual Gusto-Fueled description we’ve come to expect from Brewdog, but I find that quite refreshing. They also don’t claim that they’re the first ones to create a beer like this. There’s a lot of hints about the flavour, but that’s to be expected of them.

Now for the recipe, and as I’ve said before the key to a Scotch Ale is the boil, it’s is a lot longer than a normal beer leading to caramelisation of the malt. The malts in this beer are 2-Row Pale, Caramel Malt, Munich Malt, Peat Smoked Malt and Chocolate Malt. There’s less 2-Row compared to usual to make sure the flavours from the specialty Malts are prominent without the ABV being boosted. Also, Wheat is added for good head retention. The hops used in this brew are First Gold, Willamette and Mt Hood. After this it’s aged in Bourbon Barrels during secondary fermentation.

The beer pours a nice Dark Ruby colour with a Tan head that has great retention. It stuck with the beer for the entire time I was drinking it, which is quite a feat for a Barrel Aged beer! On the nose there’s fantastic Caramel, Brown Sugar, Coffee and Bourbon notes. When tasting this beer, initially there’s a wave of Coffee and Caramel which carries through the beer. Hints of Vanilla and a big Bourbon flavour ending with a nice Chocolate crescendo. The beer is as crisp as a lager, with medium carbonation. It finishes Medium Dry. This beer really is great, wether you’re enjoying a bottle of it or want something a bit different to session. I’d say it’s another great Spring beer, given how crisp and clean it is.

You can buy Bourbon Baby at Brewdog’s store.

EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%

Lambic Fruit Beer – Belgian: Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus

This mid-week beer is from the Highly Rated Belgian Brewery Cantillon. Given the little bit of warmer Spring weather we’ve been having, this beer has been perfect! I’ve always enjoyed Sour beers and IPA’s in hot weather, and as Cantillon know how to make a good sour I chose this particular one.

Let’s start with Cantillon‘s description of the beer:

Kriek certainly already existed in the beginning of the 19th century. It is, however, more difficult to determine when the Framboise-Lambic appeared in the Brussels pubs.
Rosé de Gambrinus

Anyway, the beer certainly was available in the beginning of the 20th century. Paul Cantillon mentions a higher number of bottles of Framboise than of Kriek in his inventory for 1909-1910. During the First World War, the fruit beers disappear from the inventory. From 1922 on, the Kriek will be produced again on a regular basis. As for the Framboise, it was produced for a short time in the thirties and disappeared from the inventory afterwards.

In 1973, a friend of mine, Willy Gigounon, deliverded 150 kgs of raspberries at the brewery. The production of raspberry beers started again 40 years later.

I was preparing a barrel of raspberry beer. The beer coming out of the small hole in the middle of the stave was marvelous.
Rosé de Gambrinus

“It has the colour of onion skin”, said a voice behind me.
It was Raymond Coumans.
He was admiring the colour of the raspberry lambic reflecting in the red copper of the buckets used to empty the barrels. At that time (1986), “Raspberry-Lambic” already was synonymous with a sweet, artificially flavoured beer. This is why we decided to distinguish our beer from the other raspberry beers. Raymond proposed to call it a rosé, dedicated not to Bacchus but to Gambrinus.

The process to make this beer is identical to the one to make Kriek. When young, the Rosé de Gambrinus will still present its full fruity taste. Later on, the lambic taste will become dominant at the expense of the fruit taste.

A very long description from Cantillon, but I like how it gives you the History of the Beer as well as a little bit about the Brewery. Cantillon always seem to leave you to taste and experience the beer yourself, as Lambic doesn’t really taste the same as a lot of other styles, but there’s the hint at Raspberry flavours in the description. I think the same information could come across in a shorter description for lazy readers, but this isn’t a beer I’d recommend for first time beer drinkers.

The recipe for this one is quite simple, but it’s the method that makes this beer taste how it does. The Malts in this beer are 2-Row and Malted Wheat. After this, Three year old dried Styrian Golding hops are used. It is then sent to a room in the brewery to ferment in the open air in a Coolship, meaning it gets infected with natural yeasts and bacteria in the Brussels air. After this, it’s aged in Barrels for two years, and then Raspberries are added for a further year. This means all of the sugar is fermented out of the beer, making it Sour and Tart.

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep red colour with a large pink head which dissipates quickly until a thin ring around the edges of the glass is left. On the nose, a huge wave of Raspberries, a little bit of wheat and barley and some sour Belgian Funk notes. When you taste this beer, you need to bear in mind all of the sugar has been fermented out. Just like the initial taste, a big hit of Sour Raspberries, followed by some sour and tart Brett (Belgian Funk) notes finishing with some Wheat and Malted Barley and Bready Notes. The beer is Medium Bodied and quite Highly Carbonated. It finishes like a dry white wine. I really do recommend this beer, especially if Sours are your thing! In good weather they’re most definitely a treat.

You can buy Rosé De Gambrinus in the UK Online at (all in stock at time of writing):

Beer Merchants

Beer Hawk

Beer Here

EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%

Smoked Beer – Danish/American: Evil Twin Ashtray Heart

Evil Twin Ashtray Heart

This Friday’s beer is a Smoked Stout by Evil Twin, called Ashtray Heart. We’ve had a Smoked Porter before, and this one is confused. On the front it states Smoked Porter, further on the back it says Smoked Stout. Who knows? All I know is Evil Twin make some great beers.

Evil Twin is run by the famous Mikkeller’s brother Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø from New York. I still feel as though he tries to keep his Danish identity, which is why I’ve declared this as a Danish beer!

Let’s start with Evil Twin‘s Description of the brew:

Amazingly rich, seductively dark and smoking good. Yes a real heartbreaker. We recommend only the truly skillful, heavyweight beer champions to battle this awfully irresistible and potent smoked Stout. Careful this satisfactory product might give you a Placebo effect.

I enjoyed this description, it’s true. It is Seductively Dark… but more on that later! Bit sensationalist in the second section, but I suppose this isn’t a great introductory beer so it makes sense! I love the reference to the Placebo song, and that’s the first thing I thought of when this beer arrived.

It was really hard to find any hints at the recipe with this one, so I had to do a lot of tasting and research. Here’s what I think is used in the beer. As this is a Porter, Stout… lets say Dark beer we’ll start with the all important Malts. Peat Smoked, Black Malt, Pale Malt, Malted Wheat, Rye Malt, Roasted Barley and Carafa Type 2. As far as Hops go, I think Mt. Hood and Centennial have been used. As you can see, a lot of Malt goes into this one, and I think that’s why it leans toward the Stout side of things!

When you pour this beer, it’s very Dark and Black with an impressive Off White head which seems to carry on forever! In fact, pouring this one normally I couldn’t fit it in my Duvel Tulip. It dissipates slowly leaving a little bit of lacing which eventually disappears completely. It’s got great retention and eventually fades to a ring around the glass whilst you’re enjoying this. On the nose, tonnes of peat smoke aromas, a little bit of Rye, Chocolate, Caramel and Toffee with a touch of Alcohol. I love Smoked Beers, so this made we want to put it straight down the hatch! On the palate, lots of Smoke to begin with, Rich Dark Chocolate, Toffee, Burnt Sugar and a little bit of a Citrusy finish. What an amazing, complex flavour. The Carbonation is pretty high for the style, but it was to be expected with this style and actually brings out the complexity in this brew. It’s smooth and finishes Medium Dry. What a beer for Spring weather, although it’s seriously smokey the other flavours in there are ridiculously balanced.

You can buy Ashtray Heart in the UK at:

Beers of Europe

Out of stock currently, but this one is worth trying so keep checking!

EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%

Stout – American: Oskar Blue’s Ten FIDY

Ah Spring! It’s coming and it’s that time of year where you don’t know wether the heavens will open, it will snow, or the sun will be shining with a warm breeze. The same goes for Beer. I always have Stouts, Porters, Lambics, Fruit Beers and IPA’s sitting around to deal with the Schizophrenic weather.

That being said, this midweek beer is one of my favourite Imperial Stouts – Oskar Blue’s Ten FIDY. It’s brewed in Colorado. It’s nice to see Oskar Blue‘s cans popping up around the UK, as they make some really good beer and the fact that it’s becoming more easily available is never a bad thing!

Let’s start with Oskar Blue‘s Description of the beer:

This titanic, immensely viscous stout is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hides a hefty 98 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt.  Ten FIDY (10.5% ABV) is made with enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY is the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer.

Although this description really “bigs up” the beer, I think it deserves the reputation they are trying to portray. The fact it’s a big, imperial, oatmeal stout… what else could you write about it?! By reading that description, it makes it sound like an absolutely amazing beer, and we’ll find out if it is a little bit later on.

Let’s start with the Malts in this brew, Two-Row, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Munich Light, Crystal 77, Cara. Also Flaked Oats are added as a fermentable. Next up, the Hops! Ten FIDY is Hopped exclusively with Columbus. A pretty simple recipe, like a lot of Oskar Blue‘s beers… but so effective!

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep, thick Black with a Tobacco coloured head with absolutely great Head retention for this style. It even leaves sticky lacing on the sides of the glass! I don’t think I’ve had an Imperial stout, apart from this one that had such great retention and actually left lacing on the glass! On the nose there’s lots of Roasty Malt notes, Coffee, Chocolate and a light bit of Alcohol in the background. How does this beer taste? Where do I start?! Smokey flavours, Raisins, Roasty Coffee and Chocolate notes, Light toffee and a touch of sarsaparilla and molasses on the finish. The beer is quite thick and viscous, lightly carbonated and finishes Medium dry. This is a fantastic beer for colder weather, and definitely one of my favourites!

You can buy Ten FIDY in the UK at:

Brewdog Store

Bottledog, Kings Cross

I’m sure this beer is going to pop up in a lot more places soon, as the Oskar Blue’s Beers are being more widely distributed in the UK. If not this batch, the next in Autumn.

EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%

Fruit Beer – English: Samuel Smiths Organic Cherry Fruit Beer

Samuel Smith's Organic Cherry Beer

This Friday’s beer is a little different compared to a lot of beers I’ve featured, but definitely deserves a mention! This Friday’s beer is the Organic Cherry Fruit Beer, brewed by Samuel Smiths. The Brewery was founded in 1758 in Tadcaster, near Leeds and remains independent to this day. Rare these days!

Let’s start with Samuel Smiths description of the beer:

Handcrafted at the tiny All Saints Brewery set in a time warp in Stamford using the old manually operated brewing equipment. Finest organically grown barley and wheat are used to create a  complex ale which, having undergone primary and secondary fermentation with different yeasts and extended maturation, is taken to Samuel Smith’s small, independent British brewery at Tadcaster. There it is blended with pure organic cherry fruit juices and more organic beer to create fruit beers of considerable strength and flavour. The smooth distinctive character of the matured beer serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pure organic fruit juice.

Quite a humble description really, I feel like there’s a little too much emphasis on the fact it’s a Small, Manual, Independent Brewery. Although John Smith of John Smith’s Big UK Beer fame once owned Samuel Smith’s I always either get a “who’s that” or “ah yeah Samuel Smiths! Small brewery up North!” so it’s a shame they think their reputation has to be broadcasted.

The recipe is a little tough for this one, as it’s a blended beer. I’m pretty sure the beers that are blended are near identical in recipe, however. After a little research and taste testing, my take on the brew is as follows: Malt Bill: Munich Malt, Pale Malt and Malted Wheat. Fuggles and Bodicea Hops. This is then aged on Cherries for 30 Days during secondary fermentation and blended with some of the original brew, a little like a Kriek.

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep Red with an off-Pink, almost White head. It sticks around for a little while and then fades into a ring around the glass, leaving no lacing. The fact this beer has been aged on Fruit for 30 days makes this not much of a surprise! On the nose, there’s a big Sweet and Sour Cherry aroma, with some bready yeast/malt notes and some big Sugary Cherries in the background. When you taste this beer, it’s much the same, a big Sweet and Sour Cherry hit with Red Berries, some funky Wheat notes and an almost Champagne-like Tartness. The beer is quite full bodied with medium carbonation, starts sweet and finishes tart and dry. I think this is the closest thing to a UK Kriek! Although this is a year round beer in my books, it’s always nice to have something different during the winter to break up the dark beers and I seriously recommend trying this one. The beer is also 100% Vegan, which is a nice touch when there’s so many beers that aren’t.

You can buy Samuel Smith’s Organic Cherry Wheat Beer online in the UK at:

Beers Of Europe

Fraizer’s Wine

Amazon

Beer Ritz

Beer Gonzo

Everywhere above is In Stock at the time of writing. You can also buy a case of 24 here.

EST. CALORIES: 153   ABV: 5.1%

English Style IPA – American: Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey

This mid-week offering is an English IPA, brewed in America by Left Hand Brewing in Colorado. It goes by the name of 400 Pound Monkey. I think Left Hand wanted to try to bring it back to the basics with this IPA, as there’s a hell of a lot of American Style, super Hoppy offerings in their market.

Let’s start with Left Hand‘s description of the brew:

Why does the world need another IPA? Because this one ain’t like them others. We use hops of a different color, earthy and herbal, well-balanced by bready malt. The result? An English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch. Cartloads of bitter monkeys flinging wasteful amounts of bananas into the jungle … we’re so done with that.
This description has so much bravado it’s unreal! Whilst I do love American Style IPA’s, sometimes it’s nice to have a English Style one! I think both styles of IPA are great in their different ways though, and wish that Left Hand did an easily obtainable Year Round American Style IPA to compare side by side. Next time I see Warrior IPA, I’ll have to compare the two!
I usually start with Hops when doing a big, American IPA  but seeing as this is an English Style one let’s start with the Malt! Pale 2-row, Crystal, Munich and Malted Wheat. The 2-Row makes up a lot of this base. As for the Hops, surprisingly we’ve got no traditional Fuggles in here but the hop bill is impressive! Magnum, Boadicea and Sovereign Hops are used.
When you pour this beer, it’s dark Orange with a Medium White head. The head fades very quickly leaving some dotty lacing on the side of the glass and a thin white ring around the glass. On the nose there’s a lot of Orangy Citrus, Bready notes and biscuity aromas. When you first taste this beer, on the palate you get some Caramel, Biscuit and then an almost Rye like flavour followed by a Resinous Pine Finish. Left Hand have done really well with this style, and it seems like an American take on the base ingredients for a modern English IPA. The Balance in English IPA’s is always important, and it’s been done very well in this beer, Rich Malt flavours, Slightly Citrus and Piney hops with pronounced Yeast notes. The beer is very smooth and drinkable, and I’d say the Carbonation is high for this style. It finishes Medium-Dry. All in all a great Year Round offering and something I would definitely grab when I see it!
Unfortunately 400 Pound Monkey seems to be out of stock everywhere at the moment, but keep checking the below:
EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%