As summer draws to a close, we saw it off superbly with a whole host of great beers. This month, Hedges appeared to have a thing for collaborations (two breweries are better than one, right?) whilst Brand has been in pale ale paradise. Check it out below.
Siren Craft Brew
Sour – Ale
This might be the first imperial sour I’ve had so I was a little sceptical it would be too overpowering for me but boy was I wrong. Siren took a fairly simple sour recipe and dialled up the strength before ageing it in bourbon and red wine barrels for added complexity.
I have to say this may be one of my favourite sours so far. It’s almost closer to wine with the berry flavours and woody taste from the wine barrels and it definitely packs a puckering punch to your gob. It’s a brilliant smorgasbord of flavours and developed more as I drank it. Go buy one.
Beer Geek Flat White
Stout – Oatmeal
Mikkeller’s Beer Geek series has now been canned. I’m not a huge fan of keeping big stouts in cans for ages as I think the flavour can be affected by the metal more than from a glass bottle so I didn’t want to age this and cracked it in the middle of the summer as a nightcap.
If you’ve been lucky enough to try any of the Beer Geek beers, you know exactly what this one is all about – thick, chocolate, coffee, lactose, decadent, viscous black liquid gold.
Being a flat white version, this was obviously prominent on the coffee flavours and I’d happily have one of these for breakfast every day if it was socially acceptable and wouldn’t bankrupt me.
Old Fashioned Lemonade IPA
Evil Twin Brewing / Omnipollo
I managed to snag the last can of this from Ghost Whale and good lord was it worth the trip across London to pick it up (with some other treats because beer). I was intrigued if this would live up to its name but it really does.
A collaboration between Evil Twin and Omnipollo, two of Scandinavia’s best breweries, this IPA was destined to be great.
This is home-made lemonade for grown-ups. The sweet and then sour hit of the lemons are clearly the dominant force here and it definitely hides its ABV because of this. A beer tailor-made for the summer.
Anagram Blueberry Cheesecake Stout
Omnipollo / Dugges Bryggeri
Stout – Imperial / Double
This beer has been sitting in my fridge for months, waiting for the right time to try it. But what better place than here? What better time than now? ALL, HELL, CAN’T STOP US NOW
Ahem. Anyway, this is pretty much the ultimate dessert beer. All of the blueberry, all of the cheesecake, all of the stout. I would totally believe someone if they told me that Omnipollo and Dugges had liquidised a blueberry cheesecake and mixed it with an impy stout to make this.
It is very sweet but really, what do you expect from a blueberry cheesecake stout? It’s meant to be decadent, you’re probably not meant to drink more than one. Why are you still reading this and not drinking one immediately? Come back and thank me later.
Brouwerij De Molen / Omnipollo
IPA – Imperial / Double
“Hey, Hedges, we heard you like pineapple?”
“What about when it’s in beer?”
“What about in a Double IPA?”
“What about when it’s also a collaboration between two great European breweries?”
“Why are you still talking?”
I spied this in the fridges at The Beer Boutique in Putney and it wasn’t long until we became intimately acquainted. This was brewed using cornflakes and whilst I can’t claim my palette is so advanced that I could taste them at all, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen them listed as an ingredient in a beer. Well, I thought it was interesting…
Forget the cornflakes – this was all about the pineapple. A juice bomb that tasted super fresh and went down way, way too easy for 8.5%.
Beavertown / Trillium Brewing Company
IPA – American
I think I professed my relatively newfound love for Trillium last month so I had high hopes for this collaboration between them and Beavertown.
And what a beer it is. This is everything I wanted in a collaboration between these two: juice, fruit, freshness, juice, hops, juice and more juice. I found it to have a really lovely melon-esque aftertaste that kept me going back for more.
I’m glad I bought two because this is the definition of chinnable. Get it down ye!
Barrel Aged Bible Belt
Prairie Artisan Ales / Evil Twin Brewing
Stout – American Imperial / Double
As soon as I saw this was pouring during a visit to Cask, I knew it was only a matter of time before I introduced it into my life.
A mixture of two of the best imperial stouts in the world in Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus and Prairie’s Bomb! Before being aged in Heaven Hill whiskey barrels for 7-9 months.
Ho. Ly. Shit. Sipping this felt like someone punching me in the face with a booze-soaked boxing glove that had been dipped in cocoa and vanilla beans. Absolutely wonderful. On a night of excellent beer, this stood head and shoulders above everything else that came before it. YES!
Stone & Wood
Pale Ale – Australian
During a trip to Camden, I ended up sinking a couple of beers in the Black Heart. As with most of Camden’s rock bars, the Black Heart is pretty dark and dingy (read ‘alternative’) which makes it near impossible to read the pump clips (and take a decent beer snap hence the stock image). Fortunately, I picked a good one on tap with this pale ale out of Byron Bay, Australia. Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale is mega fruity, easy drinking and really enjoyable. Overall, a perfect summer beer to sup in complete darkness.
Curse of the Ryeclops
Weird Beard Brew Co.
This was another sampled during my trip to Camden. Curse of the Ryeclops is the sequel to the original Attack of the Ryeclops (both awesome names) by Weird Beard. A hoppy rye IPA which features tropical fruits with spicy pepper notes. Overall, a well-balanced beer, although to be honest, I was mostly sold on the Hammer Horror-esque name.
Beavertown collaboration with Trillium
IPA – American
I’ve started to get fed up with the trend of so-called ‘juice bombs’, maybe it’s just a phase, maybe it’s just an oversaturated craft beer market. Either way, it would be criminal not to feature this excellent collaboration from Beavertown and Trillium in my top beers of the month. Extra juicy, fruity, and packed full of flavourful hops, you can’t really get much better than this. Beavertown brew some great stuff and Triullium are also massively popular, combine the two and baby you’ve got a stew going… or, a rather good IPA.
Pale Ale – Australian
Whilst attending Victorious Festival in Portsmouth I was keen to check out the at the real ale tent. Unfortunately, the queues for the bars were pretty horrendous this year and I contemplated giving up. I held out however and managed to get my hands on some decent beer, often a rarity at music festivals that will typically serve overpriced lager-water. Oz Bomb was my choice of the festival, a refreshing, hoppy pale ale from Bristol brewers Arbour Ales, packed full of Australian Hops (hence the name). My first choice was actually Why Kick a Moo Cow (which I had to ask for repeatedly), also by Arbour Ales but it was off at the time. My other favourite of the festival was Arbour’s Shangri-la (4.2% session IPA), an all-around good offering from Arbour Ales.
Burning Sky Brewery
Pale Ale – Belgian
I was bought a fantastic bunch of beers by my work colleagues from the awesome little bottle shop, The Beer Musketeer. The haul included beers from Buxton, Tiny Rebel, and bad Bad Seed Brewing but this was my favourite of the bunch. Gaston, by Burning Sky Brewery, is a Belgian style pale ale. This means all the strength and full flavours that I would expect from a Belgian style beer with all the smooth, easy drinking of a pale ale. It features subtle coriander and orange flavours with a clean finish.
Prototype Tangerine Session IPA
IPA – Session / India Session Ale
After a long tiring day out in Southampton, with achy feet and legs giving way, I managed to carry myself a little further to the welcome sight of the nearest Brewdog establishment for a refuel with pizza and beer. This was my first visit to Brewdog Southampton, an unassuming little bar tucked away not far from the city centre. I was after something refreshing and spied the Prototype Tangerine Session IPA on the menu. Massive, massive tangerine flavours in this IPA. The flavour is almost so overpowering it tastes a bit artificial like someone has added a shot of orange cordial. It’s bordering on being wrong, but… it works though, and I could gladly session with this beer.
What’s this? A fruit beer? Get out of here with your pectin-based nonsense! This must be a first for Beer Voyage. Also sampled at Brewdog Southampton, this has to be one of the best fruit beers I’ve tried. This was ordered by my girlfriend and partner in crime for the day, who being a non-beer drinker (a what?), certainly enjoyed it. Framboise by Leeds based Kirkstall is bright raspberry-red, sweet and juicy in flavour with a little bit of sharpness to balance it out. Basically like an alcoholic fruit juice, highly recommended.
Sour – Berliner Weisse
Mr. Pink: Why can’t we pick our own colors?
Joe: No way, no way. Tried it once, it doesn’t work. You get four guys all fighting over who’s gonna be Mr. Black, but they don’t know each other, so nobody wants to back down. No way. I pick. You’re Mr. Pink. Be thankful you’re not Mr. Yellow.
An excellent film and an excellent sour, probably one of the best I’ve ever had.
Brasserie de la Senne
IPA – Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
I was after trying something different at local Belgian style bar Huis and settled on this guest beer by Brasserie de la Senne. I have to be honest, I was mostly won over by the awesome (and very Belge) artwork on the pump clip featuring a rocketeer. This black IPA is really indulgent and at 8% I found myself savouring it for a while. It has a strong malt flavour and combines this with rich chocolate notes. Overall, a very satisfying dark beer.