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%

Berliner Weisee – English: Siren I Need A Vacation

This week’s beer is I Need A Vacation, brewed by Reading based Siren Craft Brew. If I could, I’d be knocking back these in the sun whilst on Holiday as Berliner Weisse’s are perfect for warm weather and make a great Spring and Summer brew.

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

A beautifully tart Berliner Weisse infused with the taste of a summer vacation. The sweetness of papaya, mango & lime balance perfectly with the lip-puckering sharpness of our Berliner style beer.

Short but sweet description on this one. I’m not sure why the term Vacation is used instead of Holiday but I think Siren have some American staff, so it makes sense if this is one of their creations. Maybe they were hinting at something… Either way, we’re expecting a nice tart beer with hints of Tropical fruits.

First, the malt and mashing process. The malt is Pilsen 2-Row malt, with White Wheat as a fermentable. Once mashed in, this is cooled and stored for 4 days to sour the mash. The hops, like all Berliner Weiss Beers are hard to determine. I think Hallertau have been used. Fuggles or similar could just as easily be used in the brew, as this beer is not meant to be hop forward. It’s then fermented with a clean yeast and during secondary fermentation papaya, mango and lime juice are added for 10 days.

The beer pours a Yellow colour with no head. Medium carbonation. On the nose there’s sour pineapple and mango, some wheat and a little bit of that funky Lacto smell. When you drink this beer, the first thing on the palate is sour Tropical Fruit, although the sourness isn’t overwhelming and in my opinion very well done for the style. After this there’s some Wheat notes finishing with a nice Sour Citrus finish, although again it’s not extremely sour. It’s quite full bodied for this style with good medium carbonation, which fades over time. The beer finishes dry. This is probably one of the best Berliner Weisse beers I’ve had for a little while, and I really recommend it regardless of the weather!

Once it’s back in stock, you can buy I Need A Vacation at:

Ales By Mail

Beer Gonzo

Eebria

EST. CALORIES: 135   ABV: 4.5%

Berliner Weisse – English: Buxton Red Raspberry Rye

This Friday’s beer is another Sour, this time made in England by one of my favourite brewers – Buxton. Whilst Wednesday’s beer was a Lambic, this one’s a Berliner Weisse which is one of my favourite styles. It’s also brewed with Rye as one of the fermentables. I originally had this beer on my trip to Buxton, but I enjoyed it so much I purchased a few bottles the next day.

Let’s start with Buxton‘s Description of the beer:

Red Raspberry Rye is a tart Berliner weisse style beer brewed with whole raspberries. This sour fruit beer contains barley, wheat, rye, hops, yeast and raspberries. It contains 100g raspberries per liter. It is soured naturally in the copper for 4 days before boiling.

A very matter of fact description from Buxton, which they are known for. The first time I saw the description it made me really want to try the beer, but it didn’t tell me how it should taste and it didn’t try to “stick it to the man” in big beer. That’s why although clearly from Videos, the Buxton Staff are lively it’s clear when it comes to beer they always concentrate 100% on it.

Let’s start with the malt and mashing process first, the malt in this beer is Pilsen 2-Row malt, with Rye and White Wheat as fermentables. Once mashed in, this is cooled and stored for 4 days to sour the mash. The hops in this beer are hard to determine, but I think Hallertau have been used. Fuggles or similar could just as easily be used in this brew, as this beer is not meant to be hop forward. After this, it’s fermented with quite a clean yeast and during secondary fermentation raspberries are added for 10 days.

This beer pours a deep Red, almost Ruby colour with a quickly dissipating fizzy head leaving no lacing. Usually wheat is great for Head Retention, but in this beer, probably due to the Sugar from the Raspberries. On the nose there’s lots of Sour, almost Fruit Pastille like Raspberry, some Lacto and an underlying Rye Toastyness. This couldn’t smell any different to a Lambic with the same fruit! The taste lived up to the great nose, lots of Sour, Jam like Tart Raspberry, ending with some delicious toasty Rye notes lingering on the Palate. The beer is medium to high carbonated, quite full bodied and finishes medium sweet. I thought that was a beer that was incredibly balanced and I really do recommend it. Make these warmer Spring days that are bound to be few and far between good.

You can buy Red Raspberry Rye in the UK at:

All in stock at time of writing.

Beer Ritz

Mother Kelly’s

Beer Gonzo

EST. CALORIES: 147   ABV: 4.9%

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%

Stout – English/American: Buxton/Arizona Wilderness Brewing Dragon Tips

This slightly late Mid-Week beer is a collaboration of one of my favorite breweries, Buxton Brewery and one of the best New Breweries – Arizona Wilderness Brewing. A Stout brewed with Maple, Bacon and Chipotle Chilli Peppers. What a mix! When I visited Buxton last year, I knew I had to get a couple of bottles.

Let’s start with the description of the beer:

A stout brewed with maple syrup and chipotle. Dry-baconed during fermentation with actual bacon.

Collaboration between Buxton Brewery and Arizona Wilderness.

Such a no nonsense description – and not much to say about it! I really love the phrase “dry-baconed” (as opposed to Dry-Hopping) and I wish it was something I could use in regular conversation, but it wouldn’t make any sense. I like how Buxton‘s descriptions never go on and let the drinker decide how the beer tastes. Always a plus in my book!

I did a bit of research into this one, as Buxton‘s Recipes for their special releases are always difficult to find. The malts in this brew are Crisp Maris Otter, 2-Row, Chocolate, Malted Wheat, Aromatic Barley Malt, Black Barley. Maple Syrup is also then added as a fermentable during the mashing process. After this, the Hops are added: Willamette, Fuggles, Millennium and Hersbrucker. After this, the Chipotle Peppers and Bacon are added during fermantation and before bottling, a little maple syrup is added to the bottle for good measure.

When you pour this beer it pours black, almost like a Porter with a very large Tan Coloured head (my thinking for the Wheat in the beer!) The head sticks around for a long while after finally dissipating, leaving a thin head and some lacing rings on the sides of the glass. On the Aroma, there’s some Roasty notes to begin with followed by a touch of Coffee, rapidly moving on to Earthy notes from the Hops used and the Chilli Peppers. There’s a little bit of Bacon smoke in the background too, just to let you know it’s there! When you taste this beer, it starts like the aroma with a kick of Roasty Notes on the palate, quickly followed by toffee and a little bit of chocolate. After this, there’s some sharp flavour from the Chilli peppers with a little bit of heat that carries through the rest of the flavour, which finishes with smoke from the Bacon and Maple Syrup. The beer is unusually thin for a Stout, but it more than makes up for it being so easy to drink and smooth. Medium Carbonation. All in all an interesting idea and a great brew.

You can buy Buxton / Arizona Wilderness Dragon Tips in the UK at:

Bottle Bank

Eebria

Both places are in stock at the time of writing.

EST. CALORIES: 249   ABV: 8.3%

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%

New Years Post – Imperial Amber/Red Ale – Scottish: Brewdog Mashtag #2014

My first Blog post of 2015, but I’m starting off with a great beer from last year – Brewdog‘s Mashtag 2014. Mashtag is a Beer that Brewdog ask the public to nominate ingredients for. They did one in 2013, and 2014 so I’m hoping it happens again this year! I’ll let you know a little more about the recipe later on but I really do think this is a great idea. I’m surprised the combination in this one came out so well!

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

#Mashtag 2014 – a beer for the people, by the people.
The #Mashtag concept is simple. We invited the public to vote on each aspect of the brew, from hops to malt to the special twist and even the label design, and from the thousands of possibilities this presented, the result is an imperial red ale, brewed with copious speciality malts, a global blend of hops, and blood orange, lemon peel and orange peel.
On the nose, there’s a riot of citrus, in many forms, from orange pith to lemon zest, via lime juice and even lemongrass. Fresh, bright resinous notes blend with light toasty malt aromas.
The palate is intense with toffee, with tiny hints of tobacco smoke coming through in little bursts, but the star attraction is an all-out bitter orange avalanche. A slightly psychotic, orange-that-thinks-it’s-a-grapefruit character builds upon and intensifies the hop bitterness, squaring up against the rich sweet malt base. The result is a huge red ale with a drinkable quality you’d expect in a beer half this strength.

I quite like this description, it’s not like a lot of the Brewdog’s other (now banned) bottles. It makes me sad in a way, but on the other hand I think it’s an apt description for a beer voted for by people around the world. It has a little back story on how the Public voted for ingredients and then a little insight on the flavours which really do sound incredible!

The Malts used in this beer are Extra Pale, Cara, Crystal, Dark Crystal and Black Malt – A different mix for a Red Ale, but it contributes to the appearance and flavour a lot. Next up, the Hops! Amarillo, Motueka and Mittelfrüh. Definitely a Citrus bomb with the hops, given the other ingredients; a large helping of Blood Orange, Orange Peel and various other Citrus fruits. After this, it’s Fermented with Brewdog’s usual yeast, which is a Dry English Yeast strain.

When you pour this beer, it is a dark Ruby colour with a thin off-white head. It dissipates pretty quickly leaving dotty lacing on the glass, which is a nice touch. On the nose, absolutely loads of Blood Orange, some Honey, Pine and Citrus notes follow. After smelling this beer you want to drink the entire thing straight away, but this is definitely not to be taken lightly as it’s just shy of 10%. The first thing you get when you taste this brew, is yet more Blood Orange, it really dominates this brew but it’s not a bad thing! After this, some Citrus Notes with a little bit of Grapefruit until the Caramel, Honey with a touch of Smoke comes through from the malts. The flavour in this beer sounds completely extreme, but it’s so balanced and that’s not an easy feat! The carbonation isn’t as high as you’d expect in a beer like this, finishing Medium/Dry with some Bitter Orange Peel notes.

This is a beer I’d definitely recommend seeking out before it goes completely! There’s nothing wrong with drinking a beer from last year this year! Let’s look forward to this years Mashtag!

You can still buy Mashtag #2014 at:

Ales By Mail

Beer Gonzo

Beers of Europe

All three of these places are still In Stock at time of writing, and the beer has a pretty long date so don’t worry about that.

For any Bars/Shops looking to stock this beer you can Contact the Brewdog rep in your area for more info.

EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%

Special Post – Visiting Buxton

 

Last weekend, I decided to go and Visit Buxton with a “minor” diversion on the way there and back. I’ve always wanted to go to the Peak District, and with such a great Brewery operating out of Buxton I had no excuses.

On the way I stopped by the great Cotteridge Wines in Birmingham as the Owner was nice enough to reserve a few bottles for me. It’s a really great shop and I recommend it. Loads of selection and I ended up picking up some other bottles I didn’t come for (always the way!) I’ll definitely return when I’m around the area for a more in-depth look.

Beers from Cotteridge Wines

Picked up two of Siren’s current Berliner Weisse – I Need a Vacation, Mikeller Brunch Weasel and Texas Ranger aged in Eagle Rare Barrels and the bottle I had reserved – Siren/Magic Rock/Beavertown Rule of Thirds. I’m sure you’ll see some, if not all of them on here at some point!

Anyway, back to Buxton. We arrived a little later than we’d planned, pitched up in the hotel and visited the legendary Buxton Brewery Tap.

Buxton Brewery Tap

 

First impressions after walking through the door were great, it’s a lot bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside and the Decor isn’t like a typical Craft Beer bar which was a plus. There were pump pulls for Cask beer at the front of the bar, and Keg taps facing you as you entered. The music was definitely at a Background Music volume, but I could hear some great tunes being played and I was most definitely singing along in my head!

They had a lot of Buxton Beers on tap, which is always encouraging in a Brewery Tap:

 

Being in the mood for Sours and the night wearing young, I ordered one of my Favourites – Buxton Far Skyline. Far Skyline is a dry-hopped Berliner Weisse, and it was very fresh. Sometimes I find in Brewery taps the beer isn’t as fresh as it should be, as it sits for a while but not here. The place was packed with people of all ages drinking Buxton’s great beers.

Far Skyline

 

 

 

On the nose of Far Skyline you get some Lactobacillus and an almost sweet Lemony Citrus, it pours a colour similar to Pineapple or Orange Juice with high carbonation. From the bottle you don’t get much head, but from the tap there was loads. Nice touch. When tasting this beer, you get citrusy notes to begin with followed by tropical fruit and sour pineapple. It ends with an almost sweet black current and Lacto Tartness. Truely a great beer.

 

 

Behind the bar in Buxton Tap are lots of Buxton Bottles, I spotted all the ones they had on tap plus a lot of their Special Edition bottles. As well as Buxton bottles I spotted some from Cantillon, Mikkeller and a few other US/UK Breweries. It looked like a great selection and the list of Guest Beer provided was extensive. The prices were reasonable, as you can see above from the Beer List and the Bottle Prices were around the same.

The Bar – Buxton Tap (and some of my shirt)

Red Raspberry Rye

 

I decided on the Red Raspberry Rye. Simply because I love Rye beers and I love Raspberries. Yet again another Berliner Weisse, this time by accident! I really thought that this particular brew was a world class one. It poured from the bottle a deep Red colour with a quickly dissipating fizzy head leaving no lacing. On the nose there was lots of Sour Raspberry, some Lacto and an underlying Rye Toastyness. The taste lived up to the great nose, lots of Sour Raspberry and lacto. As it warmed the Toasty Rye started to come through, I thought that was a beer that was incredibly balenced. It was more Tart than the Far Skyline on the finish, but the mouthfeel was surpisingly full-bodied for this style of beer.

 

 

 

The Old Courthouse

After a little while longer in the Brewery Tap, we decided to move on to nextdoor’s bar – The Old Courthouse. What attracted me was the fact they had Thornbridge umbrellas – the first ones I’d ever seen!

Inside the Old Courthouse

Inside was a lot more chilled out, with a live Pianist in the other room and a nice atmosphere inside the bar. I went for a pint of Jaipur – Thornbridges IPA and a Citrus Vodka and Coke. The prices here were extremely reasonable too, and it seemed like a great place to finish a chilled out night out tasting some great beers.

The Jaipur on tap was extremely fresh and it was the first time I’d had it on tap. It poured with a fluffy white head with great rentention leaving sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. I’ve always absolutely adored the nose of Jaipur, loads of Citrus, Pine and Herbal notes with a little bit of Maris Otter malt in the background. I’m glad I had this as my last beer of the night as it’s full flavoured and nice and relaxed to drink. When you taste it, the Malt takes more of the foreground leaving behind lots of Citrusy and Piney Resinous hops behind. What a well balenced, modern take on the classic English IPA!

All in all, Buxton is a really beautiful place with a lot of things to do and also a World Class Brewery and Brewery tap operating there! I’d definitely recommend a visit and it’s definitely somewhere I’d revisit. I picked up some Buxton beers during my journey, at a reasonable price from the Brewery Tap. 4 beers were around £3.50 each – pretty reasonable! A few are pictured below:

Beers from The Brewery Tap

I picked up Dragon Tips, a Maple, Bacon and Chipotle Stout brewed in Collaboration with Arizona Wilderness Brewing, another Red Raspberry Rye, Come Again – A Sour Pale ale brewed in Collaboration with Evil Twin,  Stolen Fruit, a sour wheat beer brewed with juice and zest of pink grapefruit and lime – a Collaboration with Omnipollo, Sky Mountain Sour – A Sour Beer brewed in Collaboration with To Øl, Pomperipossa – A Sour Cherry Stout brewed in Collaboration with Omnipollo and Grain and Grape – An Oatmeal Stout aged in Red Wine barrels brewed in Collaboration with Dutch brewers Rooie Dop and Oersoep. I also managed to score myself a Buxton Glass, which was great! I’m sure you’ll see some of these beers cropping up in the blog soon!

Collaboration Stout – English: Squawk Brewing Co/Bean Brothers Coffee Co. – Espresso Stout

Today I’m writing about a very interesting collaboration between Bean Brothers, an Artisnal Coffee company and Squawk Brewing – a Craft Beer Brewery. The beer is called Espresso Stout. After Reading Claire from Dap n Drink’s article about Cup North I knew I had to try this beer. It’s really interesting for me, as a Brewery and a Coffee Company have collaborated together to make a Coffee Stout instead of the brewer sourcing their own from anywhere they want. The fact that a Blend created by Bean Brothers created the blend of Coffee in this Stout makes it a true collaboration. The fact I get the impression Bean Brothers instigated this collaboration is even more interesting! I contacted Jeremy from the Coffee Company and he was happy to send me a bottle. Thanks again!

Lets start with Bean Brothers and Squawk Brewing’s description of the beer:

We are delighted to offer our espresso stout. It is brewed by the magnificent Squawk brewery using their award winning stout recipe. We showcased this stout at CupNorth this year and it is fair to say that it was loved by all! A clean tasting stout with the espresso beautifully present and finishing with a sweet aftertaste. If there was a desert stout , this would be it. Excellent accompaniment to cheese and chocolate based desserts.
Magnificent!

I like the description for this beer, it lets you know about the beer but it also shows that all involved are passionate and confident about their product. I prefer descriptions like this to over complex descriptions, or ones that leave too much to the imagination. They could have easily just had “Stout brewed with our Coffee Blend.”

Onto the Brewing process, I’ve discussed this with Jeremy from Bean Brothers who has been very helpful. As this beer is very Coffee forward, let’s start with the Coffee in this brew. The stout is brewed with BB’s “Derek” which is a seasonal Espresso Blend. It’s a blend of 3 Coffees, Brazil Sul de Minas, a chocolaty and roasty Coffee, Ethiopian Sidamo which has a fruity Blueberry flavour and a less known Coffee from Timor that has a herby and sweet taste. Oliver at Squawk then uses a blend of six different malts involving Chocolate Malt. As I was told about the Chocolate Malt, I’m going to try and guess the others. I think the other Malts are Dark Chocolate Malt, Black Malt, Caramel Malt, Blackprinz Malt and Crystal 150 Malt. I could be wrong, as this beer is so Coffee forward! As for the hops, a small amount of Cascade is used. I also detect a little bit of Kent Goldings in there too. After this the Coffee is added and left to Ferment. The Fermantation is ended early to improve the Mouthfeel of the Brew and to keep some of the sweetness. I also detected some Lactose Sugar notes in this brew, but this could well be the sweetness of the Timor Coffee.

I was very interested behind the story behind this beer, so I asked Jeremy at Bean Brothers –

Relationship-wise, we have known each other for at least 12 years, I have a speciality coffee shop in the heart of Huddersfield called coffeevolution and Oliver used to be a barista there before starting his business Squawk Brewing Co. I suppose the fact that that he has a good knowledge of coffee has bolstered his understanding when embarking upon the Bean brothers Squawk brewing quest!

What an encouraging story! It’s obvious why Squawk were chosen – it’s always good when a Brewer knows their Coffee when trying to make a Coffee Stout!

When you pour this beer, it pours very dark with a light Copper coloured film on the top of the beer. This dissipates quickly and looks a lot like Espresso afterwards! On the nose there’s loads of Milk Chocolate, Roasty Coffee aromas, lots of dark Roasty Malts, Dark Fruits which eventually fades to some Herbal Tones. It smells very inviting indeed, and I couldn’t wait to try this Brew! The Stout starts with a Fruity, Acidic Coffee Kick with hints of Nuts which fades to Dark Roasty Coffee, Milk Chocolate Raisins with some Lactose Sweetness. Again, I’m not sure if there is Lactose Sugar in this, and it could well be the sweetness from the blend of Coffee used. The beer has a Coffee-Like mouthfeel, with light Carbonation. It finishes Sticky and Sweet.

This is definitely a beer I’d recommend for Coffee lovers.

You can Purchase Espresso Stout at the Bean Brother’s website here.

For any bars/shops that would like to stock Espresso Stout, I’d recommend contacting Bean Brothers and/or Squawk Brewing.

EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%