About Me

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Siren Limoncello IPA

Today’s breakfast perk-me-up is a little bit special. For one thing it’s a 3-way tag team effort between three very highly rated breweries: Siren, Mikkeller and Hill Farmstead. Secondly it’s an adventurous stab at creating a beery version of the Italian sipping liqueur Limoncello. Sounds interesting, eh? Now I could tell you more but a picture paints a thousand words, as they say, so I’ll let this photo fill in some more background detail.
Ok, so it’s a 330ml bottle and is 9.1% by abv. Holy moley; I wasn’t expecting that but hey, it’s not like it’s breakfast time. It poured hazy burnt-amber/orange with soft carbonation and a one finger white laced topping. There was a powerful aroma of lemon, tangerine, orange peel along with a slight bready yeast and peppered nose. The flavour was as bold as the aroma: spicy lemon dominates-there must be plenty of Sorachi in here-along with a creamy sweetness offset by a sour tart edge. The tartness really comes through in the long, dry finish.
Tyson says: This technically isn’t an IPA. It’s only called that because of the quantity of hops that have gone into it. They have achieved their goal of creating a beer equivalent of Limoncello but the massive hop content actually marks it out as an easy drinking specialist DIPA. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Brewdog Brixton Porter

Dark nights and dark days. Yes, it’s winter. So tradition tells us to curl up with a good book and a dark beer or two. Tyson’s first timesaving tip for 2015: skip the book (literacy is overrated anyway-just ask Michael Gove) and go straight for the beer. This one was named in honour of the opening of Brewdog Brixton. Yes the one that didn’t open. No I don’t know what happened, either. I could tell you about the problems when they tried to open in Manchester? No? Back to the beer, then.

It’s the standard 330ml bottle and weighs in at a not too surprising 5%. It poured very dark-always a good sign-with very little light seepage. Carbonation was judged fair to middling with a relatively large; two finger tan head. The aroma is what you’d expect from Brewdog: bold and punchy. There’s a strong ground coffee presence with roast barley and a slight underlying caramel note. The mouthfeel seems initially quite smooth until the flavour profile kicks in. Again it’s big and bold. It’s a good mixture with the aroma continued but the caramel is substituted for a hoppy bitterness that lingers on into the dry finish.

Tyson says: Good stuff. The duality of the roast and bramling cross flavours really mash together well in order to produce a very easy on the palate Porter. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Golden Pints (Live)

Yes it’s that time of year again. Brewers and commentators round the globe await with baited breath the results of my awards for 2014. But aren’t you a bit late, Tyson, old boy, I hear you cry? Not at all. To fairly sum up a year; one should really wait until New Year’s Eve has passed. For you never know: you may have the greatest beer of your life on that evening and made your awards redundant. Ok you’re more likely to get an elbow in the ribs from the amateur hogging the bar and puke on your shoes in the taxi queue, but one lives in hope.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the Golden Pints for 2014. I’ve tried to be slightly more scientific this year (yes, really) and used Untappd and the National Beer Scoring System in helping to come up with these results. Bite me.

Best UK Cask Beer: The usual suspects feature but the scoring doesn’t lie. Oakham Citra/Inferno, and Hawkshead Windermere Pale top the charts for the most drunk and enjoyed.

Best UK New Cask Beer: A late contender just edged it here. Brewsmith Pale has been consistency itself and is ultra-drinkable. For the hopheads, anyway.

Best One Off Brew: The Simcoe Kid from the Maxim Brewery was so good we abandoned all plans and stayed until the barrel ran out.

Best UK Keg: Hmmm. Some high profile names slipped up badly this year and there seems to be as much shite keg produced now as there is cask. Again I let the figures do the talking and Beavertown’s wonderful Gamma Ray walks away with this.
Worst Keg Beer: 18th Street Brewery Killewitte. Only drinkable after having your taste buds removed.

Best UK Bottle/Can: Gamma Ray was in with a shout here as was Neck Oil but this one goes to Fourpure Pale.

Best USA Draught: Founders All Day IPA is the perfect fallback. Even at £6 a pint.

Best USA Can/Bottle: Obviously Sixpoint and Lagunitas need a shout out here but Port Brewing Hop-15 is a beer guaranteed to put hairs on your chest.

Beer Festival of the Year: An easy one, this. It has to be The Independent Salford Beer Festival.

Best Blog or Whatever: I pay attention to only a small gene pool of gentlefolk who are all excellent wordsmiths. The rest of you need to pull your socks up.

Best Pub/Bar: The number crunching has a-grip of me so I have to give this to Pie & Ale for consistently delivering excellent beer in excellent condition. Simples. 

Right that’s your lot. It’s my round and the lads won’t wait any longer. Here’s wising you a happy new year and in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: May the Force be with you.