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Tyson is an underpaid writer, beer anarchist and cheese addict living in the North West of England.
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Kona Longboard

We’re keeping with the lager theme this morning with an island lager from Kona brewing. With the climate of Hawaii, you can easily imagine local surfers quenching their thirsty with one of these on a sun struck beach. I suppose the clue is in the name, but how does it fare in a (slightly) less exotic environment?

It’s a 120z bottle and comes in at 4.6% on the strength scale. It poured clear golden with plenty of carbonation and a medium off-white head. The aroma was very subtle with hints of sweet malt and honey. Taste wise; it was very light, almost watery, on the palate with some biscuit malt and a slight honeyed bitter-sweet finish. Personally I would have preferred a crisper, dryer finish.


Tyson says: Probably better suited to a beach in Hawaii than a backyard in Bury.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Brewdog This Is Lager

There could only be one choice for today’s breakfast tasting. Yes we’re going all topical, well it had to happen one day, with a taste of the beer that’s on everyone’s lips. Or will be from October if you’re a Spoons punter. I had so many people asking me what Brewdog’s new lager was like; it seemed only fair to actually try it. So here we go.

It's a 330ml bottle and is 4.7% which I would say is in the right ballpark, strength wise. Interestingly it's given the Brewdog spin by describing it as a "21st Century Pilsner". It poured a nice looking golden colour with plenty of carbonation and a large white fluffy head. The aroma was pleasant enough: a little bready with some sweet malt. The first thing that strikes you with the flavour is how smooth it is. There’s nothing here to make the horses bolt; perhaps somewhat surprising given the ‘10x hops’ tag. There’s the obvious Pilsner malt backbone with a little honey and a slight grassy dryness that leads to a bitter-sweet finish.

So overall a perfectly pleasant, if not earth-shattering beer. Served chilled on draught, it might just have the crisp edge it lacked in the bottle. They’ve not reinvented the wheel or even the Pilsner style, but it’s none the worse for that.

Tyson says: Will this see off the like of Carling and Tuborg? No/Yes/Possibly. See Brewdog Fake Lager for clues. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Brewdog Draught Available In Spoons: Finally

So the Dog has landed. Craft has finally gone mainstream. They’ve jumped the shark. Or something like that. Yes, Brewdog have finally landed the big one: a tap on the Wetherspoons bar. It’s been the worst kept secret in the beer universe that the boys from Aberdeenshire-and their shareholders-have long had their eyes set on joining Tim Martin’s empire of the ales. First it was going to be Punk IPA and its seemingly inevitable arrival was (constantly) being hailed as proof that craft beer had broken out of its bubble. Except it didn’t arrive. Instead the Americans got in first and Brewdog had to settle for a place alongside the cans and bottles in the fridge. But now, at last, their time has seemingly come.
From the 1st October, Brewdog’s new lager ‘This Is Lager’ will be available on draught in 200 Spoons. By March of the following year, it will be available in all of their pubs. Quite a, if somewhat inevitable, feat. And clever, too; they’re not fighting for the affection of the rather snooty crafteratti but aiming for the jugular with a lager brand. Of course this has traditionally been seen as a waste of time, such is the stranglehold of the multinational brands. But now is the time of craft, allegedly, apparently, and Spoons would seem to be the ideal partner for anyone engaged in such a venture.

But what is this miracle brew? Well it was launched this week with the usual modest PR from Brewdog. Pack leader James Watt said: "Lager is often demonised or derided as the choice of drink of chavs and louts, which is the result of laddish marketing that diverts attention away from taste and enjoyment and undermines the potential of lager as a creative and artisanal beer. If we can redefine lager in the UK, we will redefine our relationship with alcohol. We can actually start to reverse binge drinking trends currently being tackled by toothless and misguided legislative proposals unlikely to ever see the light of day anyway."


So their mission is to redefine lager and our relationship with alcohol whilst making a few quid at the same time. Ambitious or just another day at Brewdog HQ? This Is Lager is said to contain ten times the amount of hops found in ordinary lager and then there is the pricing issue. But for now it looks like it’s Carling v Craft round one. 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

This morning we are trying of the fine brews from one of the big boys of American craft brewing: Sierra Nevada. The USP of this particular offering is that it is brewed in open fermenters thereby lending a certain unpredictability and uncertainty to the finished beer. This isn’t meant to be your usual run-of-the-mill American Hefeweizen but an authentic Bavarian one. But can the mighty SN pull it off?
It’s a 350ml bottle and is 4.8%. It poured hazy amber with a small white head. The aroma is fairly subtle, as to be expected with this style, but there’s unmistakable banana and clove. Yes, it’s definitely clovey. Taste wise, it’s smooth on the palate with traces of wheat, lemon and of course, more banana and clove. No bubblegum kick, though. It’s a little tart rather than sour and there’s a balanced, slightly sweetened finish.


Tyson says: Does what it says. An enjoyable palate cleanser. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Things Really Are BIgger In Texas

You know those days when that 6 pack of Stella just isn’t enough. Sure you could get a 12 pack but please, what are you, a wimp? Well luckily a brewery in America has come up with the mother ship of takeouts. They’re offering 99 cans for $99. And it’s craft beer, no less. Brewdog, eat your heart out. But before you jump on a plane to buy one of these 8 foot beauties, be warned that the brewery, Austin Beerworks, has made it clear that this will be a limited release. It’s almost like it’s a marketing gimmick…
video

Are You A Brewhead?

Well are you? Is this you?

One who truly enjoys, supports, and loves BEER (craft beer, and homebrew). This may include (but not limited to) hopheads, beer geeks, beer connoisseurs, beer snobs, brewers, homebrewers, etc..A brewhead takes pride in what they drink and/or brew. Quality plays a large part in the beers they purchase or brew.They have appreciation for the work that goes into the beer they are drinking. They know there is more to beer than just alcohol. There’s a story, a person (or team), a craft…an experience under every bottle cap. One who is involved in the craft beer industry and/or community.Collecting coasters, caps, bottles, and beers is a common hobby. Trying new beers, touring breweries, attending beer events, etc are also common."

If so, rejoice in being celebrated in song

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Fourpure Session IPA

Today we are back in our nation’s beloved capital; London and that most excellent of Bermondsey’s brewers: Fourpure. One only has to look at the popularity of Founders to see how lower strength IPAs are really catching on. This one is inspired by New York and comes in that most discerning of craft containers, the can. It’s 330ml and is 4.2%, so bang in the Best Bitter strength range but, at 40 IBUs, there’s far more bitterness. Hence the style, I guess.

It poured clear amber with lots of carbonation (well it is in a can) and a large off-white head. The aroma was intoxicating-that cliché of citrus: lemon, pineapple and grapefruit with peach and a hint of caramel. Very nice. Initially it seemed quite prickly on the tongue and, given the lack of alcohol, a little weak but then the flavour hits you in wave after wave. Unmistakable Cascade hop n nature with plenty of the other ‘C’ hops as well. There is a firm malt backbone underpinning it that balances it all out rather smartly, but you are left with a resinous bitter finish that demands another gulp.

Tyson says: Another winner from Fourpure that punches well above its weight.