Triple IPA – English: Beavertown, American: Boneyard Brewery Power Of The Voodoo

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%

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Sour – English: The Kernel London Sour

This week’s beer is from The Kernel Brewery in London, one of London’s up and coming breweries. I’ve been meaning to review a beer from The Kernel in a long time, as whenever I turn up with a bottle people always comment on how good the branding is. The Beer’s good too, so I thought I’d turn my attention onto whats in the bottle.

The Commercial Description is as follows:

The Kernel Brewery, London. London Sour. Keg and Bottle.

I don’t think there’s anything really to write about that, I like it though. It sort of says “Hi, We’re the Kernel, we’re from London and this Beers gonna be Sour” and that’s it. The rest is up to you. Maybe one day they’ll add a short description, maybe they won’t. It doesn’t really matter and people love Kernel beers it seems!

So, after that brief Analysis let’s get on to the recipe for this one! It’s been hard to figure out what’s in this one but I’ve given it a good go! I think the Malt base is a Sour mash of Wheat and Pilsner malt which is left the Sour for that Lactobaccillus and other Wild Yeasts and Bacteria to do it’s magic. After this, it’s added to a bill of Wheat, Pilsner and a touch of CaraHell malts. As for the Hops, judging by the flavour of this one I think Citra and Sorachi Ace have been used. It is fermented with a Clean Yeast after, although it is already infected with Lactobaccillus, a yeast notorious for stripping nearly all the Sugars out of Wort and creating a very Sour, Tart tasting brew.

When you pour this beer, it’s Yellow like a cheap Lager with a very fizzy white head which dissipates very quickly leaving no trace of a head being there. Bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass at a fast rate, almost causing a Champagne effect. On the nose there’s a hit of Wheat and Sour Notes followed by Lemon, Gooseberry and a touch of Passion Fruit too. It’s not as tart on the Palate as expected for a Sour, but there’s definitely some tart Gooseberry and Passionfruit with some nice Lemony Citrus and Wheat notes. There’s also a Bready yeast tone to this one, almost like Bakers Yeast. I feel as though it carries the Tart Fruit flavours well throughout the brew. It’s well carbonated with and Medium-Dry on the finish.

Unfortunately, London Sour seems to be Out of Stock online at the moment. Probably because of the Sun we’ve been having. You can pick it up at Sourced Market in St. Pancras station, or if you’re willing to wait you can grab it online at the following:

Eebria

BeerMerchants

BeerHawk

EST. CALORIES: 114   ABV: 3.8%

Porter – Anspach and Hobday Table Porter

This week I’m reviewing a great mash up of a Table Beer (like a Table wine – Low ABV) and a London Porter from Anspach and Hobday – a relatively new brewery in Bermondsey. I tried their beers at the Winter Brew Fest and thought they were amazing. It’s nice to see them better distributed in London now!

Let’s start with Anspach and Hobday‘s description of the brew:

Best described as like an Iced Coffee (no coffee beans used), this interesting beer is a nod to the Table Beers of old London when water was more dangerous than beer. A David of the beer world, The Table Porter (2.8%) packs lots of flavour for its ABV and it also pours over vanilla ice-cream to create a great flow.

I like the description of this one, it gives you a hint of what it’s going to be like and gives you a little history behind it. I’ve never tried it over Vanilla Ice-Cream, but that might be something I’ll have to try another time. A porter with Ben and Jerry’s?! Tempting seeing as this brew is only 84 Calories… so hey! It doesn’t matter about the Ben and Jerry’s, right?!

The key to the Low-ABV in this one is to reduce the amount of 2-Row and Pale Malt but keep the specialty Malts at the same level as a normal brew. I think the specialty Malts in this one are Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Black Patent and Caramel 120. As for the hops, I got a little Citrusy tone from this one when I opened the bottle, so I’d say a subtle addition of Amarillo or Cascade could do the trick nicely!

The beer says pour carefully on the side, and I swear I did! It pours Black with an impressive Tan coloured head! It takes a good while to go down, I’ve had this experience with Table Beer before and I think it’s because of the lower ABV not annihilating as many proteins and therefore getting an impressive head. On the nose some faint Citrus, Cocoa Chocolate and Coffee. Smells like a decent, heavy Porter! I think the taste of this one is the most impressive, bundles of Roasted Malts, Coffee, Caramel with that slightly fruity Citrus kick at the end blending into some Dark Fruits. It tastes exactly like a 7.4% Porter, but you can drink it all night! The body isn’t really affected too badly for a porter, either with Medium carbonation. It finishes slightly dry. I really recommend this brew, all year round! It’s a great change from a session IPA and it’s a very tasty brew indeed.

You can Buy The Table Porter Online in the UK at:

Craved

Beer Merchants

Eebria

EST. CALORIES: 84   ABV: 2.8%

Smoked Beer – English: Beavertown Smog Rocket

Beavertown Smog Rocket

This week’s beer is a Local one, I think I’m very lucky being quite local to the Beavertown Brewery. Over the last years they have been making a storm in the beer world and have quickly turned into a World Class Brewery in my opinion. Today’s offering is their Smog Rocket, a Smoked Porter.

Let’s start with Beavertown‘s Description of the Beer:

Inspired by London’s Industrial Revolution when Smog filled the air and the Porter was the Beer of the People. An original Home Brew Recipe using 9 different Malts including a good chunk of smoked Rauchmaltz from Bamberg, Germany. Big flavour hits of Molasses, Raisins and Caramel are cut with the Resinous US Hop Chinook. Smokey aromas fly, reminiscent of the smoke stacks of Industrial London.

I like how they’ve used their Hometown, London as an inspiration for this brew. Porter really is a beer than runs deep into London’s history and the smokeyness inspired by Industrial London is a nice touch. There’s a few notes on the flavours, but nothing in depth which is something I like. I think it’s always important for people to make their own decisions on a beer tastes.

As this is a dark beer, let’s start with the 9 malts used. In this brew we have Best, Smoke (Smoked Rauchmaltz), Caramalt, Crystal, Munich, Brown, Chocolate and Black… The last Malt is what I call a Fermantable – Oats, but I they usually produce a great mouthfeel. The hops in this Beer are Magnum and Chinook – an interesting mix for a London Inspired Porter! A simple, but effective recipe from Beavertown, and not one to be sniffed at!

When you pour this beer, it’s Black with a Tan head that dissipates quite quickly, leaving dotty lacing and a cap on top of the beer that sticks around for the duration. On the nose, there’s lots of Peat Smoked Malt, Roasty nuances, Coffee, a touch of Pine and a little Oat. This smells like one of the best Smoked Porters I’ve had! When you taste this beer, you get a big initial kick of Peat Smoke, then it moves on to Coffee with a touch of Chocolate and Molasses, finishing with some Caramel and Pine resonates through the entire flavour courtesy of the Chinook hop. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied, thanks to the Oats and the beer finishes Medium-Dry. A great beer, and definitely another that can warm you up during the winter but also one you can chill out in the summer weather with.

You can purchase Smog Rocket in the UK online at:

Honest Brew

Beer Merchants

Beer Ritz

Eebria

All retailers are in stock, and generally you can buy Smog Rocket from anywhere that stocks a selection of Craft Beer that isn’t a supermarket.

EST. CALORIES: 162   ABV: 5.4%

Special Post – Winter Brew Fest, London

Last weekend I went to Winter Brew Fest. Located at BL-NK, which is just around the corner from Old Street Station in London. Although a little more central compared to the London Craft Beer Festival earlier in the year, the event was still just a stone’s throw away from most of the great breweries in London.

First of all I booked the Sunday session, but as a friend wanted to join me I asked the owner Nicholas I could change the ticket to the Saturday Daytime session. Luckily, Nick agreed (thanks again!) I woke up on Saturday Morning and me and the friend coming were feeling worse for wear (not beer related!) so I was on my own. I arrived a little later than the ticket stated at 12:30 but there was no queue. Winter Brew Fest seemed a little more relaxed than LCBF, and I’ll mention that again later.

I walked into the Festival, past the outside area (mentioned later!) collected my tokens, glass and had a look around inside. It was a little smaller than London Craft Beer festival, and in a way I was glad that it was. It didn’t remind me of a CAMRA Beer Festival, and it didn’t remind me of LCB Festival either. Winter Brew Fest had it’s own unique feel and you could tell that it was a nice, chilled out day session for Beer Lovers with some quality Alternative Rock, Some old school classics and some great remixes – great mix DJ Bolter!

Around was all of the brewers, Anspach & Hobday, The Five Points Brewing Co, Fourpure, Gipsy Hill, Hammerton, Hawkes (a Ginger Beer and Cocktail producer), The London Beer Factory, One Mile End, Redchurch, Thistly (Cider Producer), Truman’s and Weird Beard. It was quite quiet at this point, but there was still a buzz in the air and more people turned up later on during the day.

I headed straight for Five Points to try some of their collaboration beer with the Brewdog Bar in Shoreditch – Smoke and Mirrors Imperial Porter. I thought this was a very well balanced Porter, with hints of Roasty Coffee and then a touch of Smoke which was nice. It finished surprisingly sweet for a Porter, but I suppose that was the Imperial (Double) amount of Malt going into the brew.

As I want to review the event and day, I will make the Beer Reviews shorter than usual. Taking notes at a Beer Festival is indeed important, but taking in the atmosphere and speaking to people is also important and I want to try to get this across. What I liked about looking around the room was the fact there was a great representation of the Breweries that have been around in London for less time than some of the bigger ones. This gave me an opportunity to try some harder to acquire things and that added to the charm of the event.

Next, I headed over to the One Mile End stall. One Mile End are a Microbrewery/Brewpub called The White Heart and it was great to see them there. I noticed that they had 2 beers on – Farmhouse Pilsner and Snakes Alive Double IPA. I was intrigued by the Farmhouse Pilsner and asked about it. I was told that it’s made like a normal Pilsner and then White Wine grapes are added during fermentation. Unfortunately the Keg was running low, but I was given a small taster which was great. It had a very clean White Wine style nose and it was a shame it was the end of the Keg. I was told that it was yeaster than usual, but I think it added to the Farmhouse style and the White Wine Grapes still cut through in the flavour. Something I definitely need to try again! I went for the Snakes Alive DIPA and it was a great example of the style – lots of Pine in the nose and Sweet Pine and Citrus notes on the palette. 2 Great beers and a very friendly brewer – it looks like I’ll have to give the White Heart a visit!

After this I went over to Weird Beard hoping for a taste of a few as they had a good selection of taps on – I asked for a taste of the Coffee IPA but unfortunately they were right by the speaker and I got a full 3rd. I handed over my token and was interested if this beer would be similar to Siren’s Coffee IPA Americano. As I took a smell there was no roasty notes but some light Citrus and Fruit. I tasted the beer and found the beer was quite Citrus forward (which Coffee can also be sometimes) with hints of other fruits and a light Roasty Note at the end. This was definitely a different take and something I enjoyed.

After two >7% IPA’s I thought it would be a good time to explore the outside area and get myself some food. I opted for Ayam Happy – Indonesian Street Food. I’ve always been one to go for Authentic food from this region of the world and went for the Chicken Satays with Peanut Sauce, Chilli Sauce (The lady asked me if it would be mild or spicy – I went for spicy as always) and Warm Rice. I’m glad I went for the spicy Chilli Sauce. Apart from the fact I am a complete Chilli Head (as long as it has flavour!) it cut through the Peanut Sauce really well and was a welcome addition. It was definitely something to eat during a Beer Fest and hit the spot extremely well. It also went down really well with Weird Beard’s Coffee IPA – but Spicy things always do with an IPA!

The atmosphere outside again was a lot more chilled out than the Summer Festival, but there was music from OMD’s Stool and there were plenty of places to sit. A small tent (Far right), some Benches (on the left) and a small seating area next to Ayam Happy. I felt like the set up was to encourage people to speak to fellow beer lovers about what they were drinking and was something that worked well during the Festival.

I went back inside and worked my way over to Redchurch Brewery for their Shoreditch Blonde. On the nose there’s lots of Lemongrass and Citrus. Very Citrusy and Fruity in flavour with some Lager Yeast. I thought this was a good beer and something I could definitely drink a few of!

After this I went over to Hammerton for a definite Winter Beer, their Pentonville Oyster Stout. On the nose, lots of Sweet Chocolate, light Liquorice, and a tiny hint of Sea Salt. The Palette was quite dry with Medium/Low Carbonation with some Roasty notes, Sea Salt and light Cocoa. It had a surprisingly light mouthfeel for an Oyster Stout and had a good drinkability I was impressed with. Something for those cold Winter nights when you fancy a few beers!

Anspach & Hobday – Table Porter

After this I walked down and had a chat with the UBrew guys about their Kickstarter Campaign and how successful it was. It was nice to see them promoting what they’re doing and I’ll definitely be doing a brew with them at some point next year! I’m looking forward to the amount of Gypsy Breweries cropping up from their success!

Next up with Anspach & Hobday, I was amazed when I saw they had a 2.8% Porter and asked for a glass. It was very Roasty on the nose, and Roasty and Chocolately on the palette but with a light mouthfeel. I had to figure out how they did it and went back to the stool. A&H lowered the paler Maris Otter malts but kept the Speciality Roasted and Dark malts up. I thought this was a great idea and it’s something I’ll be seeking out very soon indeed!

After this, time was running out and I started rating my beers, so I’m going to be a little more brief for the rest. Plus I don’t want to bore you with endless beer reviews! Ratings are out of 5…

London Beer Factory – Session – Had quite a boozy smell, but the ABV lower than it smelt. Very clean and sessionable, yeast and light hop – 3.7

Gipsy Hill – Pale Ale – Very Piney and very sweet with Candi Sugar Notes – 4.2

Fourpure – IPA – Citra hops?! Lots of Citrus and Tropical Fruit. This has improved massively since the first time I tried it! Very friendly on the stall too – 4

Truman’s – Stout – Very roasty and wintery indeed, Chocolate and other dark malt flavours – 4.3

Truman’s – Export Pale – Very fruity and almost Wine fruit notes, almost Sherbert Sweet – 4

Redchurch – Hoxton Stout – Very roasty but sweet, reminded me of a Milk Stout – 4/2

Pressure Drop – Stokey Brown (Bottle from Bottle Shop at festival) – Almost like a Porter but with some light nutty notes – 3.7

After this I chilled out and talked to Nicholas the Organiser for a while, he has a real passion for beer and it was great to see someone so passionate throwing such a successful event. A nice chilled out atmosphere with room to speak about what you’re drinking with fellow beer lovers, some well picked great food and amazing beer. Although didn’t try them, there were options for non-beer drinkers too – a Cider stool and a Ginger Beer/Cocktail stool which I thought was a very nice touch indeed. Roll on next year!

Special Post – Firestone Walker at Craft Beer Co. Covent Garden

Last Sunday I attended the Firestone Walker event at Craft Beer Co. Covent Garden.

When I visited San Luis Obispo, or as the Locals call it “SLO” in 2013 I tried my first Firestone Beer and I really enjoyed it. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to get my hands on their beers. I saw a bottle of Parabola in Bottledog when it opened and made sure a friend and I bought it to share. We loved every last drop. Unfortunately it was way before I started up this site, or it would’ve been the first review regardless if it was summer. Anyway, enough reminiscing. I’m going to be writing about the event itself and briefly review the beers I tried.

I arrived at Craft Beer Co. at around 3:15 due to the great British train system being “repaired” and me paying a flying visit to Bottledog.

The bar was surprisingly quiet to begin with, but I dived in and ordered myself a DBA (Double Barrel Ale) and a Union Jack as it was sure to get busy later on in the afternoon.

On the Left: DBA (Double Barrel Ale) On the Right: Union Jack IPA

I started with the Union Jack, an IPA at a good 7.5% as I’d heard a lot of good things. On the nose there was lots of Earthy Pine, Grapefruit, Citrus and a touch of sweet malt. As soon as I smelt this beer I knew it was a distinctly Californian IPA. The taste was a lot like the smell, some Pine Sap, Citrus, Grapefruit, Tropical Fruits with a great Malt Backbone that so many breweries forget about, Firestone Walker have this covered and this makes it toward the top of the list of Californian IPA’s that I have had the pleasure to sample. The beer is medium to full bodied and ends medium dry.

More people were turning up at this point I think it’s great at a place like this when everyone is discussing the beer and it’s always nice to hear what people think apart from yourself. The snippets of chat I heard were positive so far, but in all honesty the look on people’s faces after their first sip was saying it all.

Next up was the DBA (Double Barrel Ale), a British Style Pale Ale/Bitter at 5%. The aroma consisted of a lot of Toffee and Caramel Notes, a slight hint of Red Wine and some Bready malt in the background. The first thing I noticed about this after my first sip was how smooth this beer is, it is insanely smooth and clean. The taste was like a typical English Pale ale to begin with Biscuit and Light Caramel, I then detected a tiny bit of Red Wine/Summer Fruits (Possibly from the Oak Barrel method?) some Vanilla and some Floral Dryness on the finish. This is a great example of the style and it still has that slight Californian character to it. It finished medium with a medium body. This would be one of those beers that you just wouldn’t get bored of during a session!

Velvet Merkin

After this, I opted for a swift glass of water and got the next Firestone Beer – Velvet Merkin. An Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels at 8.5%. On the nose I got so many complex aromas, Vanilla, a touch of Merlot, Oak, Coffee, Chocolate and Bourbon. When I tasted this beer I can honestly say it was one of the best Oatmeal Stouts I have had. Loads of Coffee, Chocolate, Light Bourbon notes, nice rounded roasty flavours and lacto sugar. The mouthfeel of this one was almost creamy, like Chocolate Ice Cream/Milkshake. It ended with a light dryness and some dark fruit lingering.

Whilst drinking this one I met one of the Firestone Team – Tommy, who takes care of the Sales in the Southwest of America. He was kind enough to Introduce me to David Walker, the co-founder of the brewery and a lot of the team which was really nice of him. He then extended the offer to a beer, which was great of him and David told him to put it on his tab. I thought to myself – hang on a second, you guys are meant to be guests here! What a nice gesture.

I was bought an 8% Saison spiked with Brettanomyces called Seizoen Bretta from a brewery near where Tommy lives called Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales. On the nose there was a big Tropical, Pineapple brett aroma and I thought I was in for a super sour beer. I tasted it and although there was some sour notes in there, there was also a lot of Funky Yeast, Tropical Fruits, Pepper and Wheat. It had a long, fruity aftertaste and the Brett really did ride all the way though. What a great brew and something I definitely need to try again.

After this, I met a few more of the Firestone guys, as I said all really friendly guys and down to earth.

Stickee Monkee

After this, the Stickee Monkee was on tap and after hearing all the good things about it I had to try it. Stickee Monkee is brewed with the ingredients of a Belgian Quadrupel, Turbinado brown sugar from Mexico, Belgian candi sugar and then aged in various Spirits Barrels reaching its final ABV at 13.4%. This was most definitely my favourite beer of the entire Afternoon. On the nose loads of Vanilla, Chocolate, Toasted Coconut and Oak. If you could pick any Firestone beer to try, this would definitely be it! When I tasted this beer I really could appreciate the complex flavours the barrels had added to it, lots of toasted Coconut and Vanilla, Chocolate, Bourbon, Sweet dried fruits and Woody oak. This beer finished sweet, the alcohol was there but it was well rounded off with the Spirits Barrels.

Pale 31

Finally, after chatting for a while I tried the Pale 31 – a Pale Ale at 4.9%. I’m pretty sure this is the beer I tried when I visited San Luis Obispo. On the nose lots of Light Citrus, Orange Zest, Pineapple and a touch of other Tropical Fruit. When you taste this beer you get lots of Citrus, Orange, Caramel and some Grassy notes. This beer is also so clean tasting and well balanced. It ends bittersweet. Firestone Walker really do make some world class beers.

Me and the Firestone Walker guys

I had a truely enjoyable evening and lots of fun with the Firestone Walker crew. I didn’t meet one that didn’t want to chat, and I ended up having a great night with them. They all have a great relationship and are all so passionate about beer – and that’s what I like about this rising beer scene. My only regret was not buying them drinks in return for mine – seriously thanks again guys!

I managed to grab myself a bottle of Firestone Seventeen – an anniversary ale that I will be reviewing around Christmas time. It sold out in 5 minutes, and that shows how sought after and world renowned this brewery is. It was nice to have you in the UK Firestone Walker. Come back soon! Craft Beer Co. were also a fantastic host as usual, they’re doing great things for the UK Beer Scene.

Fruit IPA – English: Pressure Drop Nanban Kanpai

Although the weather is getting worse, I’m going to crack on with a few more warm (or humid and cloudy) weather beers that I think are great. This week a Wheat Beer/IPA/Fruit Beer mash up from a local brewery, Pressure Drop (Hackney, London). This is a wheat IPA brewed with Oranges and some other citrus fruits. This one is a serious refresher, and seems to be a limited edition or rotating brew as it isn’t even mentioned on the brewery’s website.

Let’s start with Pressure Drop’s description:

Wheat IPA brewed with Yuzu, Orange and Grapefruit

An extremely short description of the beer from Pressure Drop, but they are always a company that leave the tasting notes to you and the rubbish about evil corporate brewers behind. I always get the impression that they don’t bother themselves with anything apart from brewing some good beers.

After doing a little bit of research and talking to their representatives at London Craft Beer Festival I discovered a little bit about the recipe. First, we have the malts which I believe to be, 50% Pale Malt and 50% Wheat Malt. As for the hops, I think they have used Citra and Riwaka hops to go with the Yuzu, Orange and Grapefruit. The hops and fruit really compliment each other and it’s a great choice for this recipe. Whoever came up with this recipe know what they’re talking about!

When you pour this beer it seems quite flat and doesn’t leave much of a head, but it’s an impressive cloudy bright orange. The next thing you notice is a crazy citrus and tropical fruit smell coming from the glass which is unlike any other smell I’ve had from a beer before. You also get some gooseberry, a strange tropical juice and blood orange. This is truly a unique brew before you even taste it! After tasting, initial notes of grapefruit and orange rind, some lychee finishing with lots of tangerine and grapefruit reminiscent Yuzu fruit. As I said this beer isn’t really that carbonated, but it has just enough to make the flavours sparkle. It finishes very sweet but with sour undertones. I can imagine drinking this beer on a beach out of a pineapple! This really is a beer for beer lovers, and one to introduce cocktail lovers to what beer can really be like!

Overall, this is a truely unique brew and I recommend you try it!

You can purchase Nanban Kanpai in the UK at:

Bottledog, Kings Cross

Eebria

Alesela

As I said, it is a limited/rotating release so I’d recommend checking back occasionally if it’s out of stock.

For any bars/shops that would like to stock Pressure Drop beer, I’d recommend contacting the brewery directly. But please be aware, they don’t have barcodes on the bottles!

EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%

Special Edition – Festival: London Craft Beer Festival

Last weekend I went to the ever-growing London Craft Beer Festival. Located in the Oval Space at Cambridge Heath, it’s very close to a lot of the up and coming Craft Breweries in London.

I decided to go to the afternoon session on the Saturday, as some of the festival is outside and it’s been a little unpredictable on the weather front lately, especially at night! We arrived just before the event started at 11:40am, lucky we did as I quickly found out that the Afternoon session was sold out and the queue quickly formed behind us.

Once we got into the festival and received our free branded tasting glass, 5 tokens for our 1/3rds of a pint and our festival programme (more on that in a second!) we made our way up to the terrace before going into the space and was greeted by a great view of industrial East London.

Even from the first initial glimpses, you can tell that this is no ordinary CAMRA Real Ale fest. This a proper, balls to the wall, anything goes Craft Beer and food festival. Instead of paying on the door, paying for your glass and then paying for every beer you try at this festival everything is included in the ticket price.

We walked through the terrace ignoring the hunger coming in slowly as our breakfast wore off, as the main thing we were here for was the amazing beer!

Once we got into the hall, all the breweries were lined up and ready to go, the music had started and the beer was already flowing. I’m not sure who the DJ’s were at this particular session, but the blend of music and remixes was spot on and so were the people. Such a diverse crowd enjoying the amazing craft beers on offer.

We headed straight to the Thornbridge Brewing Stand to try some of their Parma Porter, a Porter brewed normally and then Parma Violets are crushed up and added during fermentation.

As there were 24 breweries and I tried at least 1 of each breweries beer, I’m going to keep the reviews short but sweet and want to write a little more about the event. However, there was not a single bad beer tried! The Parma Porter had a big hit of Parma Violets on the nose along with some roasty notes on the nose and was black with a tan head. When you taste this beer, you get another big initial hit of sweet parma violets and malts, which then tapers off to some roasty notes with burnt sugar undertones. The beer surprisingly finishes quite dry, but it’s a smooth brew and something I’d definitely drink in the summer.

After this, I wanted to check out what one of my favourite brewers, Founders Brewing had to offer. We walked over and I recommended All Day IPA to the friend I was with. The only beer they had which I hadn’t tried was the Porter. There’s always a lot of hype about the porter, and as usual with Founders it lived up to it’s name. A very dark, black on appearance that has a tan coloured head which dissipates quite quickly. When you smell it, you can smell the nice roasty sweet malt notes and a touch of brown sugar. On the taste you get the initial roasty, burnt sugar notes but then it finishes so crisp and clean. For me, it’s often unheard of in a porter but this one was seriously a stand out for me even though it’s such a classic style.

Next up, I had to go over to Camden Town Brewery‘s stand to check out the Australian Stone & Wood beer that was on offer – Pacific Ale. I’ve tried some Australian Craft Beer before (Little Creatures Pale Ale) and this beer from S&W meets the standards I’ve come to expect. A pale orange colour with a thick head that fades slowly leaving rings around the glass. This really is a pretty looking brew. On the nose, some grapefruit and tropical fruits. Taste is very fruity indeed but unfortunately very carbonated. Something I would definitely try again to get a full opinion on. Finish is almost crisp like a lager.

After this beer, we were going to go over to Sierra Nevada to finally try some of their Hoptimum… before this (as it’s 10%) we decided it would be a good time to go across the road to the Flanders Festival (also included in the ticket price!) to grab some food there. Although there was some great food on offer at the main part of the festival, we wanted to pop across the road to see what it was about. It was a quaint little festival with a few Belgian beers on offer as well as cooking lessons and the Flemish Kitchen Rebels. I grabbed some Belgian Frites and a freshly made and cooked Chorizo scotch egg. This was much needed at this point and went down well. I also tried a few beers over this side whilst I was there, the Westmalle Tripel which is apparently the first Tripel ever brewed, I tried the coriander and cardomon Vedett by Duvel which was very interesting. I then tried “BIIR” which was meant to be “Barcelona Craft Beer.” It was a little confusing, as it’s brewed in Belgium and I didn’t see it anywhere in Barcelona when I was there. It wasn’t the best so I went onto one of the famous Belgian Fruit beers – Liefmans Fruitesse as I sipped on it the sun came out and it was one of the most refreshing brews of the Festival with tonnes of fruit flavours and some tartness. Great example of a Belgian Fruit Beer.

After the breif tasting of Belgian beers and applying to win a case of Craft Beer (Pick us!!) we went back into the Oval Space we went straight for the Sierra Nevada stand for some of their famous Hoptimum. The beer appeared golden with not much head, as it was served from a cask. On the nose, loads of sweet malts, tonnes of pine, citrus and some grass notes. Much the same on the taste, a thick brown sugar followed by huge hits of pine and citrus undertones. Truely a tasty brew and one of the best imperial IPA‘s I’ve had to date. It finishes sweet. We then walked over to Buxton and I had one of my old favorites – Far Skyline, whilst my friend sampled their Saison. Interestingly, they told me that they are currently fermenting a new batch of Far Skyline which is even more sour and has some Brett yeast added. I’m not sure how this will come out, as Far Skyline is one of my favourite craft beers, but I’m definitely going to give it a try! I sipped on a bit of their Saison whilst chatting away and it really was a great representation of the style with all the spices and funky yeast notes. It was almost like it was from Belgium!

Next, we went across the room to check out Pressure Drop and had some of their Strictly Roots Porter. Strictly Roots is a Porter with Dandelion and Burdock added to it that has been harvested from the nearby Hackney Marshes. This one looks like a normal porter, medium body, black with a tan head. The Aroma of this beer is where it really takes it into it’s own and was one of my favourites from the day. A big bit of roasty smells and chocolate on the nose with the signature Dandelion and Burdock smell but without the sugary notes. When you try this beer, it’s a bit like dropping a shot of fruity espresso into a can of D&B and getting it to ferment somehow. Quite subtle, but you can tell it’s there and adds a really interesting taste to the beer.

After this, we popped over to Magic Rock Brewing and I had my favourite beer of the entire festival. Bearded Lady aged in Bourbon Barrels. An Imperial Stout that has been in Bourbon Barrels for 180 days. It has the consistency of motor oil and arrives thick black with a slight hint of a tan head. The smell of this one is complex. Burnt caramel, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans. When you taste this beer, the bourbon and oak flavours hit you straight away leaving behind some great roasty caramel and brown sugar notes. It’s such a smooth beer for 10.5% and goes down very well and it’s like drinking something that has the consitancy of cough syup. I really think this beer can rival Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout. Light carbonation and believe it or not, finishes sweet. A truely fantastic effort from Magic Rock and definitely my favourite of the day.

After a quick break and some socialising with some fellow beer lovers, we moved along to Beavertown Brewery. Beavertown now have a soft spot in my heart as they’ve recently moved to my hometown in Tottenham and are helping an area become regenerated that desperately needs it. I’ve moved away from the area but as with any hometown it has a place in my heart! Back to the beer: I picked up their Lemon Phantom, a Berlinner Weiss with Lemon Zest and juice added. This beer was great and a nice deflection from the darker beers I’d just had. It arrived almost see through, unfiltered but not overly fizzy. It still had great body for such a pale beer. It reminded me of cloudy lemonade on the nose, the taste was a big hit of lacto and sour lemon, ending on a slightly sweet and sour wheat note. A lot of the Berlinner Weissbiers are so concentrated on the lacto and sourness but you could tell that the complexity of this beer was not accidental. Definitely one I need to revisit and I’m hoping I can arrange a trip to the new Bevertown Brewery as soon as possible. Hopefully it’ll still be on the tap list and I’ll be able to enjoy a pint of it!

After this, time was running out and I started rating my beers, so I’m going to be a little more brief for the rest. Plus I don’t want to bore you with endless beer ratings! Ratings are out of 5…

Green Flash West Coast IPA – Imperial IPA – 4.35 – Pine, Citrus, Golden. Dry finish.

Sierra Nevada Equinox Harvest – Wet Hop IPA – 4.5 – Bubblebum, Subtle citrus, golden colour. Crisp.

Signature Brew Candela Gold – Passionfruit Golden Ale – 4 Loads of Passionfruit, Great Lacing, Citrus. Sweet.

Brewdog / Victory Brewing U-Boat – Imperial Stout – 3.75 Chocolate, Roasty flavours, Coffee. Very dark. Dry finish.

Burning Sky Plateau – Pale Ale – 3.25 – Not my favourite of the festival, Citrus and Grapefruit. Standard American Style Pale Ale.

The Kernel Table Beer (Simcoe, Mosaic) – Table Beer – 4.35 – Complex, Bubblegum well balenced with Citrus, finishes sweet.

Redchurch Brewery Broadway Black – Black IPA – 4 – Liquorice, Citrus, Pine. Black, dry finish.

Howling Hops Rye Gose – Gose – 3.5 – White Wine, Lacto, Very dry.

Weird Beard Sadako – Imperial Russian Stout – 4.5 – Coffee, Very roasty but very sweet finish. Fantastic.

Brew By Numbers 14 | 01 Tripel – Tripel – 4.25 – Belgian Tripel with London hoppy Edge, Bubblegum from the Mosaic hops and loads of sweet malt flavours woven in. Want to try again.

After this I chilled out with a few Sierra Nevada Pale Ales and had a chat to various brewers. The atmosphere at this festival really is second to none, Amazing food, amazing friendly diverse people and last but not least Amazing beer! I also managed to grab a small haul from The Bottle Shop.

I’ll be posting about these beers where I can fit them in! I’m particularly looking forward to Green Flash – Le Freak which is a Belgian IPA.

The festival really was a great day out and I’ll be attending in the future every year, roll on the next!