Last week’s deliveries were a few days ahead of schedule, but that just means y’all get the beer that much fresher. It was dominated by US stuff, some of which I’ve had in before, but all coming to us about as fresh as we can ever hope for.
51/50, the big west coast IPA from Ironfire Brewing is back which should make a lot of you happy. This beer hasn’t stuck around for long the last two times it’s been in and this trend looks to be continuing. It’s a great example of the style with loads of resiny pine and bitter grapefruit riding over a generous malty base that gives body without sweetness. If you like Stone Brewing‘s beer, you’ll love this. Also back in is a fresh round of Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Brewing. Besides being the perfect birthday present, it’s also a great beer. It’s green and grassy with enough hop oils in suspension to make you think you’re chewing on the hop cake from the label. It’s intense, but if you like hops, its not one to miss. There’s also Aftermath and Rye IPA from Black Market. The Rye IPA is one of the more balanced IPAs I’ve had in the shop and that is probably why it took home a gold medal in the Great American Beer Fest’s rye beer category back in 2010. Aftermath is a whole different beast. It’s got a big passionfruit, pineapple nose and fruitiness to set it apart from other west coast IPAs. Last time it was in, it was an unknown beer – this time it’s not likely to get passed over too much.
Belching Beaver’s Hop Highway is back and with it comes their Peanut Butter Milk Stout. Hop Highway is another great American IPA from California and the Peanut Butter Milk Stout is just that – a peanut buttery lactose infused stout. It’s rich and sweet, but lighter in body than you’d expect, which keeps it from becoming cloying. I’ve already sold 3/4 of the case in the first three days of it being here, so be quick if you want one. I can say from first hand experience that it pairs well with the Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter ice cream.
And rounding out the Cali contingent is Green Flash with Soul Style IPA, Tangerine Soul Style IPA and Passionfruit Kicker. Soul style is a crisp, citrusy IPA on it’s own and the tangerine version is just that much more so and tastes a lot like drinking the juice of a nice, ripe easy-peeler! Interestingly, unlike the normal Soul Style, they brew the tangerine version without Simcoe hops which often give tangerine notes to beer. But who needs the essence of the fruit when you can use the fruit itself! Passionfruit kicker is an American style wheat beer infused with….wait for it…passionfruit. The result is a refreshingly tart, thirst quenching beer that will make you wish you had a warm sunny day to go with it.
The guys at Northern Monk have been busy with their special one-off brews lately and I’ve been lucky enough to add three more to the shelves this week. Slotting in alongside the previous two versions is Patrons Project 1.03. This edition of the rich coffee porter adds orange to the mix, too. I’ve also got Black Forest Strannik, their Russian imperial stout modelled after the famous black forest gateau and Dark Arches, their black IPA. I’ve not tried these yet, but given their recent successes, I’m sure these will be great. I’ve also got a small number of their Midsummer IPA in bombers, too. Sure the seasons have changed, but who doesn’t like a peach and apricot IPA?
And rounding out the ‘let’s take a traditional style and throw something else in it’ arrivals is Stay Puft from Tiny Rebel. It’s a marshmallow porter. I’ll just leave it at that and add that it is selling like hot cakes.
latest seasonal is here in the form of Stingy Jack. It’s their annual pumpkin beer and one of the few beery homages to the orange gourd produced in the UK. If you haven’t had a pumpkin beer before, you should try it. It’s like the beer equivalent of the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte with lots of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
Also from London comes a new pale ale from Brew by Numbers. This one is 21|04 Motueka. It’s about as murky as you can get from all of the late hop additions and has a mild lime citrus character that helps it go down way too fast. Don’t let the appearance turn you off, this is a very nice beer. And Bermondsey neighbors The Kernel add Vic Secret Pale and London 1864 Export Stout to their line up. It feels like a waste of time to say any more about those because The Kernel is so consistent with their beer. Just buy them and you’ll enjoy them, it’s as simple as that.
And lastly, just in time for the seasonal shift comes Hibernate from To Øl. It’s an American style wheat, which in this case means hoppy. It seems like an odd time of year for a wheat beer, but when was the last time To Øl did something by the book?
Stay tuned later this week for the lowdown on Saturday’s one-year anniversary shindig!