There were a few brews that caught my eye (and my tastebuds).Read More
An opportunity to look back at some of the highlights of the last twelve months, and to reflect on a whirlwind of a year.Read More
Wandering around the vibrant array of bars, brewpubs and restaurants in New York's hippest and most populated borough, it is hard to believe that for nearly two decades this area did not boast a single brewery. At the turn of the century, Brooklyn was home to 48 of the institutions, putting it at the very forefront of the American brewing. However, by 1976, amid rising labour costs and taxes, the last of its breweries had shut up shop, and it wasn't until 1996 when Brooklyn Brewery was founded in Williamsburg that the resurrection of the borough's beer scene began.
Today the number of breweries in Brooklyn stands at around 13, with the borough now seemingly leading the way in New York's craft beer revival. Alongside the wide variety of superb beers being produced in Brooklyn, a melting-pot of cultures and cuisines has resulted in some of the best restaurants in the city also being located in the borough. For the self-confessed food and drink lover, it is an destination that cannot be missed off any trip to The Big Apple.
To help sort the chaff from the grain, here is a list of six places in Brooklyn you really ought to visit.
Other Half Brewing (195 Centre St)
For many beer lovers, a trip to Other Half Brewing is something of a pilgrimage. This brewery, located a short walk from Smith 9th Street subway on a predictably barren industrial estate in Red Hook, is famous for its turbid New England IPAs and collaborations with other breweries across the world.
Visitors come from far and wide to sample Other Half's beers in their taproom and to nab their elusive cans, which aren't available anywhere else in the world, to takeaway. If you want to be certain of getting all of the brewery's weekly releases then be sure to get there early (a recent collaboration with Trillium saw punters camp out overnight to secure cans!)
The taproom itself is functional and minimalist, with all of the focus being on the twelve of the brewery beers on draught. If you're not into hazy beer, however, you may want to steer well clear.
Threes Brewing (333 Douglass Street)
A half hour walk or short bus ride from Other Half is another of Brooklyn's new wave of craft breweries. Threes Brewing was founded in 2014 by Justin Israelson, Josh Stylman and Andrew Unterberg, and the brewery-come-brew pub's name is derived from both its address and its mission statement to be a brewery, bar and events space all rolled into one.
The bar is more welcoming than Other Half, feeling more like a traditional drinking establishment or restaurant than a brewery. Threes brews are accompanied by other beers from micro and macro brands alike, whilst there is also a substantial wine and cocktail list. Food is provided by rotating pop-ups, meaning that the beers aren't the only thing that is ever changing on the menu.
Threes beers range is huge, from their simple yet elegant and citrusy table beer, right up to Wandering Bine; a Green apple skin, mixed berry foudre-fermented saison that has more layers than an onion and a distinct whiff of Burning Sky's Saison A La Provision about it.
Covenhoven (730 Classon Ave)
It would be very easy to mistake this quaint, modern bar for a coffee shop or an art gallery. Located on a quiet street in Prospect Heights, Covenhoven takes its name from a farm that pre-dates the neighbourhood and boasts 16 taps, as well as more than 150 beers in bottles and cans.
A small square porch out the back of the bar could easily be a residential garden, whilst the clientele ranges from hard-core beer nerds to families with young children and students.
Amongst the highlights on tap are a sticky, bud-like Imperial IPA from Hudson Valley brewery and a wild sour mango IPA from Baltimore's Stillwater Artisanal microbrewery. Cans from local favourites Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co and gypsy brewers Grimm Artisanal Ales come highly recommended by the bar's helpful staff.
Fette Sau (354 Metropolitan Ave)
Located in the slightly more bustling surroundings of Williamsburg is Fette Sau, an American smoked meat restaurant, which also serves craft beer 'by the gallon' and boasts an impressive selection of whisky from the US and abroad.
Queues at peak times often stretch around the corner at this popular foodie hangout, but the tender and juicy cuts of meat (priced by the pound) are well worth hanging around for.
The flexible nature of the pricing means there is little to no wastage, whilst the burnt beans and 'slaw are essential sides for an authentic American BBQ experience that is totally unpretentious and incredibly delicious.
Interboro Spirits & Ales (942 Grand Street)
Around 30 minutes walk to the east of Fette Sau is Interboro Spirits & Ales, Brooklyn's only craft brewery and distillery. This quirky taproom only opened in 2016, but has fast become a mainstay of the New York beer scene.
Interboro takes its name from a prohibition brewing company, and is well connected with its founder Jesse Ferguson hailing from Fort Collins and having previously worked for Other Half. The beers are clearly inspired by their Brooklyn neighbours, heavy in tropical flavours, low on bitterness and even lower still in transparency. 'Another Dose' the brewery's collaboration with Other Half, is a smelly, almost cheesy double IPA that leaves you reeling, but intrigued enough to come back for a second slurp.
For those less inclined to drink beer that smells a bit like old feet, Interboro launched Brooklyn's first ever canned gin and tonic, produced at the brewery's on-site distillery, in May of this year.
Brooklyn Crab (24 Reed St)
Don't come to Brooklyn Crab if you're looking for a fast bite to eat. This three-floored restaurant in Red Hook, Brookyln's most southerly point, is famed for its long waits and leisurely approach to service.
However, if you've got an evening in New York to spare, there are hardly better places to waste it than this idyllic seafood shack looking over New York harbour. The beer selection leaves a little to be desired, although brews from nearby Sixpoint Brewery are more than passable. The focus is instead on the atmosphere and the delicious range of seafood on offer.
From Sewansecott oysters to succulent crab cakes, the entire menu is a fish-lover's paradise, but the pick of the lot is undoubtedly the 1.25oz Maine Lobster, served up with three different varieties of North American crab at the eye-watering price of $130. One for special occasions.
Now in it's fifth year, Craft Beer Rising could reasonably lay claim to being one of the first real 'craft' beer festivals. Hosted in the heart of Brick Lane at the iconic Old Truman Brewery, the festival boasts of having over 700 beers from around 170 breweries on offer across three days. I was lucky enough to attend the Thursday trade session of the festival, sampling some of the first beers poured over the weekend. Whilst it would be ill advised and neigh on impossible to attempt to drink even close to all of the beer available at the festival, a few breweries and beers in particular caught my eye.
1) Twisted Barrel Ale/Five Clouds Brew Co - Five By Five (5%)
2017 is proving to be the year of the murk bomb, with hazy tropical fruity numbers popping up left right and centre. If you don't brew a beer that looks like Tropicana, are you even really craft? Despite this style being incredibly in-vogue at the moment, occasionally a brewery makes an incarnation that makes you sit up and take notice. Brewed by Coventry based Twisted Barrel Ale and Macclesfield's very own Five Clouds, Five By Five is a strong fruit smoothie pale brewed with Mosaic, Cascade and Rakau hops and turbo charged with 40kg of mango and passionfruit puree. The end result is pure breakfast juice.
2) Harbour Brewing Co - Raspberry and Vanilla Berliner Weiss (3.5%)
I've long held a soft spot in my heart for Harbour. The brewers from Cornwall are in the midst of a huge expansion and shake up to their core range of beers and sometimes fly under the radar in comparison with a lot of breweries in the South-West. At 3.5%, the Raspberry and Vanilla Berliner Weiss is at the more sensible end of the range of beers at CBR, but it is a brilliant twist on the German style. Made using kettle-souring techniques, it is clean, tart and delicately sweet. The brewery describes it as Raspberry Ripple ice cream in beer form, and I'm scratching my head trying to think of a better description myself.
3) Founders Brewing Co - Kentucky Breakfast Stout (12.4%)
At the polar opposite of the spectrum from Harbour's Berliner Weiss is the almighty KBS from Founders, which weighs in at an enormous 12.4%. Having previously had a bottle the beer imported from the US and been slightly underwhelmed, I decided to take the opportunity to try it on draught, and boy am I glad I did. A great smack in the face of coffee, chocolate and coconut, with a boozy second wind from the year spent ageing in oak bourbon barrels, KBS really is one of those beers that just lives up to its exceptional reputation. Probably one of, if not the, best barrel aged beers I have ever tasted.
4) DEYA Brewing Company/Verdant Brewing Co - High Planes Drifter (8%)
I'm honestly struggling to find the words for how impressed I am with DEYA Brewing Company. The Cheltenham-based brewery appear to have come out of seemingly nowhere to start producing some of the most consistently excellent beers on the UK market right now, and this collaboration brew with Cornwall high-flyers Verdant is probably them at their very best. I actually had this after the festival was over out of a can kindly supplied by Theo, but I can imagine it was even better on keg. A filthy great dank juice-bomb of a Double IPA full of Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops, High Planes Drifter is as good as any of the DIPAs currently being produced by Cloudwater in my opinion.
5) Gun Brewery - Sorachi Ace DIPA (7.4%)
It takes something very special to get me to drink a beer with Sorachi Ace hops in. It takes a minor miracle for me to select a beer with Sorachi Ace hops in as one of my top beers of a festival, but thats exactly what Sussex-based Gun brewery have managed to do. I've been hugely impressed with the brewery's cask range in the past, but this beer more than proved their keg range can stand up to the very best in the business. An excellent antidote to all the juice-bombs on offer, this sweet, caramel and marmalade-esque Double IPA hit all the right spots for me.
*FULL DISCLAIMER*: I quite obviously was unable to try beers from a great number of excellent breweries during the five hour trade session, and hence my list is undoubtedly entirely subjective. Please don't take it to heart if I didn't mention a beer you thought was an absolute world-beater.
[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/jdbeeson16/the-2016-beeson-on-beer-golden-pints-podcast/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1] It's that time of year again... and no, I'm not talking about the awkward time between Christmas and New Year where nobody knows quite what to do with themselves. I'm talking about the season of The Golden Pints Awards, where bloggers, writers and communicators in the beer industry celebrate the very best of the last twelve months. For my awards this year, I decided to do something a little bit different and record a podcast.
Being fully aware that listening to me prattle on for an hour about beer is nobody's idea of a good time, I decided to rope my older brother Josh in to share his own awards. However, if you're desperately short on time, you can scroll down to the bottom of this page to read our winners in full.
Have a very Happy New Year and thanks for reading Beeson on Beer in 2016.
The 2016 Beeson on Beer Golden Pint Awards Winners
Best UK Brewery: Burning Sky (James), Cloudwater (Josh)
Best Overseas Brewery: De Molen (James), La Brasserie du Mont Salève (Josh)
Best New Brewery: Verdant Brewery (James & Josh)
Best Cask Beer: Tiny Rebel Stay Puft (James), Siren Broken Dream (Josh)
Best UK Keg Beer: Burning Sky Saison A La Provision (James), Crafty Devil You Love Us (Josh)
Best Overseas Keg Beer: ParrotDog Forget Me Not (James), Brew Your Mind Yellow Haze (Josh)
Best UK Canned/Bottled Beer: Fourpure Juicebox (James), Marble Howgate & Kemp (Josh)
Best Overseas Canned/Bottled Beer: De Molen Bommen & Granaten (James), Tupiniquim / Omnipollo Polimango (Josh)
Best Collaboration: Cloudwater/Magic Rock Three's Company (James & Josh)
Best Overall Beer: Cloudwater DIPA v3 (James), Cloudwater/Magic Rock Three's Company (Josh)
Best Pub/Bar: The Duke's Head (James), Small Bar Cardiff (Josh)
Best Bottleshop: Hops + Crafts/Caps & Taps (James), The Bottle Shop Cardiff (Josh)
Best Brewery Tap: Fivepoints Brewery (James), The Moor Brewery Tap (Josh)
Best Beery Event: West Kent CAMRA Spa Valley Beer Festival (James), Brewfest Cardiff (Josh)
Best Beer Communicator: Matthew Curtis (James), Beer O Clock show/Hopinions (Josh)
Well well well... 2015 is nearly over, and what a year it has been for the Craft Beer Industry. In the UK, Craft Beer has never been bigger, with new breweries, pubs and bottleshops springing up left, right and centre across the country. With this in mind, I decided that I ought to celebrate the success of Craft Beer in 2015 by doing my very own 'Golden Pints' awards to recognise the breweries, beers, and bartenders who have helped me in my ongoing quest to becoming a borderline alcoholic and very poor student this year. * Disclaimer: These awards are just a bit of fun and represent the views of me and myself alone *
Best UK Cask Beer - Winner: Adnams/Magic Rock Brewing Co. The Herbalist
Runners up: Wylam Double Jakehead, Weird Beard/Pig & Porter Weird Pig
A lot has been said about the dwindling influence of Cask Beer, with many new breweries choosing to avoid the more traditional method of serving entirely in favour of more reliable and less taxing Kegging methods. Nonetheless, there remains something undeniably special about Cask Beer and its undying importance historically. Not just that, but some of the best beer's I have tasted this year have been on cask, none more so than the stunning collaboration between Adnams and Magic Rock Brewing Co. The Herbalist was so good that I even ordered a second pint of it in the same pub, something anyone who knows me will know is practically unheard of. A delicious 4.8% Saison with an excellent balance of herbal and fruity lemon flavours. The perfect session beer.
Best UK Keg Beer - Winner: Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. In and Around the Mouth
Runners up: Beavertown Gamma Ray, Summer Wine Mauna Kea
I'm not usually a fan of beers with gimmicky names, but on this occasion had to make an exception. Tiny Rebel might just be one of my favourite breweries around at the moment, and In and Around the Mouth is almost certainly the best beer the Newport-based brewers have made to date. A small-batch exceedingly sweet 6% IPA chocked full of juicy American hops. Very tropical, with lots of pineapple, mango and grapefruit flavours. A worthy summer guzzler.
Best UK Bottled/Canned Beer - Winner: Magic Rock Brewing Co. Cannonball
Runners up: Cloudwater DIPA, Siren Craft Brew Life is a Peach
After what seemed like an eternal wait, the guys at Magic Rock finally announced in November that their long anticipated canning line was fully functional. Despite not being a new beer this year, I can't look further than Magic's 7.4% American IPA Cannonball for my best bottled/canned beer of 2015. Never have I tasted such freshness and full on flavour from a canned beer in my life, so much so that I almost prefer Cannonball out of a can to on tap. Deliciously fruity with an explosion of bitterness, this isn't a beer for the faint-hearted. A special mention to close runners-up Cloudwater for their sensational Double IPA.
Best Overseas Draught Beer - Winner: Camba Bavaria Imperial IPA
Runners up: Stone Vertical Epic Ale 2015, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Rouge
As is often the case when drinking foreign beers, a great deal of the experience is dependent on the location. There is no greater pleasure than heading to a foreign country and discovering a new bar with a whole host of new and exciting beers to try. This is what happened to me in Prague, when I sought out BeerGeek Bar in the Prague 3 district; almost squealing in pleasure upon walking in to discover 3o beers on tap awaiting me. The best on that day, and probably the best foreign beer I've had this year was the German Imperial IPA by Camba Bavaria - an 8.4% aggressive hop-bomb that left me both reeling and craving another.
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer - Winner: Cantillon Fou Foune
Runners up: Deus (Brut des Flandres) Cuvée Prestige, Evil Twin Hipster Ale
I actually don't tend to drink too many bottled or canned beers from overseas, usually being unable to bring any bottles back with me due to flight restrictions. However, working at a pub which specialises in Belgian beer does have some advantages, as does being able to get a third off the price to take away. I've developed quite an obsession with sour beers over the last twelve months, and Cantillon simply blew me away with the 2015 edition of their apricot Lambic Fou Foune. Lip-smackingly tart and intensely fruity, it really is a superbly made beer and will only improve with time and age. One to share with friends.
Best Collaboration Brew - Winner: Magic Rock Brewing Co./Cigar City Cigarro Roja Magica
Runners up: Siren/Surly Blue Sky Blue Sea, Tiny Rebel/Arbor Bonsai
Whilst my favourite Cask Beer of the year also happened to be a collaboration, I couldn't resist picking a Rainbow Project beer when it came to selecting my favourite collaboration brew. I'll admit to not being the best judge, having not actually tried all of the 2015 Project's offerings yet, but my favourite thus far would have to be Magic Rock and Cigar City's stunning Red Ale Cigarro Roja Magica. A gorgeous caramel-apple aroma is swiftly followed by a well-rounded fruity, hoppy bitterness and a malty backbone. A Red Ale as it was intended to be; same again next year please folks?
Best Overall Beer - Winner: Magic Rock Brewing Co. Cannonball
Runners up: Tiny Rebel In and Around the Mouth, Cloudwater DIPA
A very difficult decision. There have been so many fantastic new beers brewed this year, and I'm fully aware of my obvious bias towards the lighter, hoppier end of the spectrum when it comes to my tipple of choice. Brewers across the country have consistently defied expectations and pushed new boundaries in terms of flavours, styles and strength. However, for me, the most consistently excellent and robust beer this year is (just) Magic Rock's Cannonball. Now available in cans, the beer is widely accessible as well as being incredibly tasty and is my go to beer whenever I see it on tap in any bar in the country. A worthy overall winner.
Best New Brewery - Winner: Cloudwater Brew Co.
Runners up: Chorlton Brewing Company, Alpha State
There was only ever going to be one winner in this category. Cloudwater Brew Co. have absolutely blown me away in the last twelve months, and are comfortably the most exciting and innovative new brewery in the country right now. Brewing a limited range of seasonal beers in Manchester, from IPA's to Red Ales and Porters, Cloudwater have nailed the ethos of Craft Beer and have consistently defied my expectations. Their beers will only improve with time and experience, and I have seriously high hopes for what they have in store for 2016. Oh, and I've met them and they're absolutely charming folks too.
Best UK Brewery - Winner: Magic Rock Brewing Co.
Runners up: Beavertown, Salopian
Dominating my awards, Magic Rock have had one hell of a year in 2015. As well as finally launching their much anticipated cans, the Huddersfield-based brewery also opened the doors to their very own Taproom for the first time in June, and hosted the launch of the 2015 Rainbow Project at said venue in September. I'm yet to visit, but have been reliably informed that it is absolutely awesome. Combine this success with brewing my favourite canned, cask and collaboration beers of the year, some standout marketing and branding and just generally being all round awesome guys and you're onto a winner. Beavertown and Salopian have also both had awesome 2015's for totally different reasons and are worthy runners up.
Best Overseas Brewery - Winner: Cantillon Brewery
Runners up: Firestone Walker, Mikkeller
A clear winner, Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon are the undisputed Kings of Lambic and purveyors of all things sour. Based in Brussels and founded way back in 1900, these Belgian beer Gods have continued to expand and innovate in 2015, with new brews such as the outstanding Fou Foune sitting comfortably alongside regulars such as their Kriek and Rosé de Gambrinus. The brewery also hopes to double its production size by 2016/17, news that will come as music to the ears of sour-loving beer geeks such as myself.
Pub/Bar of the year - Winner: Tiny Rebel Urban Tap House Cardiff
Runners up: Fuggles Beer Cafe, Small Bar Bristol
Not a difficult choice. Tiny Rebel's Cardiff bar is an absolutely stonking venue located just a stone's throw from the Millennium Stadium and close to the centre of the city. With eight cask lines, eleven keg lines and over 50 bottles in the fridge, there is plenty to chose from. Regular tap takeovers, delicious burgers and new beer launches keep the punters coming back for more, and best of all the pub is open till the ungodly 2am EVERY SINGLE DAY. Almost certainly to have been the cause of a hangover or three this year. Shoutouts also go to Fuggles Beer Cafe in Tunbridge Wells for its impressive charcuterie and cheese selection, and Small Bar in Bristol for its awesome token system and top notch beers.
Bottleshop of the year - Winner: Hops + Crafts (Exeter)
Runners up: Beer Central (Sheffield), The Gravity Station (Cardiff)
A bit of a curve-ball this one. Exeter is certainly not the kind of place one would associate with Craft Beer, having seemingly been stuck in the 1970s for the last 40-odd years in terms of receptiveness to change. The owner of The Beer Cellar, Exeter's only real Craft Beer bar, once told me he couldn't get canned beer into his pub because "the locals won't touch it." However, things started to change in September when Hops + Crafts opened their doors down in McCoys Arcade in Fore Street. Run by a friendly American beer nut Chris, Hops + Crafts has become my go-to destination for beer shopping, boasting over 120 beers from the UK and overseas, including all the latest brews from the likes of Harbour, Beavertown, Magic Rock, Tiny Rebel and much more all at extremely reasonable prices. Pretty much responsible for most of my alcohol expenditure at University this term. He's even got the locals buying cans!
Previously the preserve of bland, flavourless and fizzy lagers, cans are fast becoming the dispensing method of choice for craft breweries - broadly speaking, breweries that are independently owned and brew using only high-quality ingredients - across the UK and overseas. Canned beer is more portable, quicker to cool and less likely to spoil due to light or oxygen exposure. It’s now a huge market both globally and in the UK. Containers are specifically designed using the latest technology to ensure that the beer does not taste metallic, as can be the case with mainstream lager brands.
We’ve selected some of our favourite ‘tinnies’, from breweries small and not-so-small. All are chosen for their conversation-starting qualities and we’ve given some background into the brewing process as well as the outfits carrying it out.
1. Camden Town Brewery India Hells Lager 6.2%: £2.89, cannedcraft.co.uk
Camden Town Brewery founder Jasper Cuppaidge set up shop in 2010 on a mission to prove that British breweries could produce good lager. India Hells Lager (IHL), its IPA-hybrid, proves this point very well. Packing a reasonable punch at 6.2%, IHL is an explosion of fruity flavours with a dry and bitter finish. Brewed using light Pilsner and Munich malts and stuffed full of juicy US and German hops, it goes brilliantly with the likes of spicy sausages or strong cheeses.
2. Wild Beer Co Bibble 4.2%: £2.10, wildbeer.myshopify.com
Somerset-based Wild Beer Co is famous for extravagant and complex beers that experiment with wild yeast strains and barrel ageing. Bibble, its signature pale ale, doesn’t hold back, despite its low ABV. Pouring a gorgeous deep amber, Mosaic and Amarillo hops give this session pale strong tropical flavours, balancing out an underlying yet not unpleasant bitterness. “Bibble" means to drink regularly in Somerset, something this makes it only too easy to do.
3. Weird Beard Brew Co Decadence Stout 5.5%: £2.69, beerhawk.co.uk
It’s not just pales, lagers and IPAs finding their way into cans nowadays. Weird Beard Brewery is among a host of makers experimenting with darker beers such as porters and stouts in cans. Decadence Stout is a dark black and incredibly rich stout, brewed with roasted malts that give it a strong espresso and dark chocolate flavour, along with undertones of liquorice and dried fruit.
4. Beavertown Gamma Ray 5.4%: £2.80, honestbrew.co.uk
Originally Hackney-based Beavertown upsized to Haringey and on its new site, totally embraced the canning revolution. It no longer bottles any of its beers, instead packaging everything from 10% triple IPAs to Yuzu sours in cans that are beautifully decorated by illustrator Nick Dwyer. Its stand-out beer is its American Pale Ale, Gamma Ray. Massive quantities of US hops give this a fruity citrus aroma, while pale and caramel malts combine for a bittersweet finish.
5. Brewdog Jackhammer 7.2%: £2.60, brewdog.com
Scottish craft beer behemoth Brewdog has dominated the industry since its launch in 2007 and has the largest canning line in Europe, capable of producing 34,000 beers an hour. It has used this new extra capacity to start putting its 7.2% IPA, Jackhammer into cans. The beer is an overwhelmingly bitter hop monster, which is not for the faint-hearted. Slight grapefruit and piney notes initially on the nose are followed by a bitter and resinous bite that blitzes the taste buds and dominates the palate.
6. The Waen Brewery Dangermousse 6%: £3.30, eebria.com
Dangermousse is this awarding-winning Welsh brewery’s first foray into the canned beer market. A supercharged version of its 4.2% golden pale ale Pamplemousse, it is chock-full of classic American Pale Ale flavours, with fruits such as orange, grapefruit and pineapple all featuring on the palate.
7. Brooklyn Brewery Lager 5.2%: £2.25, beermerchants.com
If you’re looking for lager, it’s hard to go wrong with the offering from New York’s Brooklyn Brewery. Reportedly brewed using a pre-prohibition recipe, its 5.2% flagship lager is a golden amber in colour and surprisingly malty. Floral and grassy on the tongue, the Viennese-style beer is refreshingly uncomplicated but interesting enough to warrant another sip. It’s great alongside spicy Mexican dishes such as fajitas.
8. Firestone Walker Brewing Company Easy Jack IPA 4.5%:£2.99, therealalecompany.co.uk
Easy Jack, Firestone Walker’s session IPA, was originally brewed using entirely new varieties of hops. Mandarina Bavaria, the primary hop, and Hull Melon, the secondary, were only put into production in 2013. As a result, when the beer was released, it sold out in eight weeks as all the hops had been used up. Now firmly on its roster and available in cans, it’s a full-bodied, orange-y offering with a malty backbone and a delicious, slightly earthy aroma.
9. Dark Star Brewing Co American Pale Ale 4.7%: £2.20, alesbymail.co.uk
Another new entrant to the canning scene, Dark Star brewery was labelled a pioneer when it launched this classic American Pale Ale in 2002. The East Sussex-based brewery is famous for its cask beers, but has now jumped on the can bandwagon. American Pale Ale is a dark-gold to amber in colour, and brewed using Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops. The result is a crisp, slightly dry and punchy pale, with a bitter, citrusy finish.
10. Flying Dog Brewery Snake Dog IPA 7.1%: £2.50, therealalecompany.co.uk
For our money, Snake Dog, a 7.1% IPA, is the best of maverick, US-based Flying Dog’s brews. The use of Columbus hops creates powerful grapefruit notes, while Warrior hops at the bittering stage ensure that the beer is dry and bitter in the finish. This is a well-rounded, strong IPA. The can looks great, too - like all the breweries tinnies, it’s decorated by Ralph Steadman, best known for illustrating Hunter S Thompson’s works.
Our first choice would have to be the moreish Beavertown Gamma Ray, but keep an eye out in the future for Magic Rock Brewery, whose fantastic beers are set to be released in cans sometime later in the year.
Originally posted on The Independent
Once upon a time, the beer scene in London was nothing short of diabolical. Back in the 1970's, the chances of finding a locally produced brew in the capital were few and far between. The industry was dominated by large monopolistic corporations such as Watneys and Whitbread and Bass, producing bland, boring watery bitters. Fast forward 40 years or so, however, and the beer industry in the city is thriving. Just last year over 30 new breweries opened in London alone, whilst the overall number of active breweries is around 80. Furthermore, the variety of beer on offer has soared, as the 'craft' movement has swept through the city. Pop into a pub in London today and you will likely find a range of styles, from classic IPA's and lagers, to intriguing belgian saisons and fruit beers.
Following the news last week that The Office of National Statistics have added craft beer to their basket of goods used to calculate the Consumer Price Index, here is a rundown of five of the best breweries on offer in the capital.
Brew By Numbers
Launched in December 2012 by two friends Tom and Dave, Brew By Numbersspecialize in creating exciting and flavoursome beers using the finest ingredients. Based on Enid Street in the heart of Bermondsey BBNo.’s brewhouse is open every Saturday from 10:00-17:00. The numbers on each BBNo bottle represent the style and the recipe used for that particular brew, in that order.
Camden Town Brewery
Smuggled away underneath the arches of Kentish Town West Overground station, Camden Town Brewery have been quietly building a craft beer empire since starting out in 2010. Brewing a core range of five beers, including their flagship Hells Lager, Camden Brewery run tours of the bar and brewery on Thursday's and Saturdays. Hurry though, they intend to move to a new larger brewery site in the near future.
The Kernel Brewery
Open every Saturday from 9:00-14:00, The Kernel Brewery is based right in the heart of Bermondsey's 'Beer Mile'. The brewery was founded in 2009 by Evin O’Riordain, a former cheesemonger. Brewing an exciting range of hoppy Indian Pale Ales, Stouts and Porters, Kernel are at the forefront of London's bustling beer scene.
Known primarily for their fantastic artwork, designed by artist Nick Dwyer, Beavertown Brewery also brew some of the best tasting beer this side of the Atlantic. Inspired by American craft beers and experimental ales, Beavertown brew a selection of core canned beers and one off collaborations with other breweries. The brewery was set up in December 2011 in the kitchen of Duke's Brew and Que in Hackney. Now based in Tottenham Hale, their brewery is open every Saturday and also sells T-Shirts, posters and more.
Weird Beard Brew Co.
Another brewery based in Bermondsey, Weird Beard Brewing Co. is a no-compromise hop-focused brewery that specialize in IPA's and pale ales. Set up by two former homebrewers, Gregg and Bryan, the brewery is open on the first Saturday of each month between 12:00-18:00 selling a selection of their latest brews.
Originally posted on HuffingtonPost.com