Last night at Port Street Beer House it was the turn of Beavertown to entertain the expectant hordes. And Logan Plant and business partner cum-sales-director Byron Knight were on hand to guide us through its history and philosophy. And to help us sample a few of their beers, of course. Beavertown is named after the cockney slang for De Beauvoir Town, the part of London where they are based. It may sound faintly American, but that’s intentional as well.
Logan and Byron were introduced to each other by a mutual friend who realised they both had a common interest. Los Angeleno Byron was looking to open a barbecue restaurant in London and Logan had quit his career in the music business to focus on brewing after an epiphany in a New York brewpub. If it all sounds a little rock ‘n’ roll, then that kind of sums them up. After all, Logan is the son of the Robert Plant. Sorry, but it’s the law that any article about him mentions that.
They started up at Dukes Brew and Que restaurant early last year and I paid them a visit shortly afterwards. Needless to say, they’ve come on great guns since and their new brewery in Hackney Wick boasts 13 fermenters. Logan is a Black Country boy and we had a good chat about the likes of Bathams etc. It has to be said that his love of those beers isn’t really apparent in Beavertown’s current range, but that’s a sign of how quickly they are evolving style wise.
Gamma RayThis is a 5.4% American Pale Ale that I got to try recently in bottle. Little was I to know that I would soon be having it on draught. It’s got the increasingly popular Magnum hops to give it some background texture and then the (un)holy trinity of Amarillo, Bravo and Columbus. Yes, it’s a hop treat. A refreshing mix of grapefruit, orange and pine all add to its drinkability. My favourite of the evening.
Bloody ‘EllThis is a 7.4% blood orange IPA and was another zesty treat. The 24 kilos of blood oranges it was made with really gives this some kick. Pale malt gives it a lighter colour than you would expect and there is enough of a malt anchor to stop it going too far. You’re left with a pithy orange bitterness and rich tropical fruit tones. Very moreish: not surprising when you realise it was dry-hopped with Amarillo and Galaxy.
Barley ChampagneThis is an 8.7% attempt at a beer/champagne hybrid that, without using champagne yeast, was immediately recognisable as a Saison. And a good one at that. Those who think Saison is the work of the Devil were less impressed. It did feel quite heavy initially but the addition of Bramley apples saved it for me. That and using French Saison yeast meant that the spiciness was balanced by the crispness of the apple juice.
This 5.6% Stout was envisaged as an easy drinking variant of the style and it succeeds in that aim. There is an espresso twang to it but the chocolate and hops add to the overall balance and ensure a pleasing dry finish.
Imperial Lord Smog AlmightyGreat name, eh? This 10% smoked Porter was the finisher of the evening and certainly finished some people off. Again it divided opinion and some of it was left by unimpressed drinkers. Frankly I expected myself to be one of them-although I know one well-known blogger who would have mopped it up-but no. This turned out to be a complex, multi-layered beer that, as Logan wanted, didn’t overpower you with smoke. Instead you had treacle, coffee, cocoa and milk chocolate all fighting it out to produce the finish that 110 IBUs should deliver.
Logan and Byron were good value for money and I enjoyed all the beers. So well done everyone