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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

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…
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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.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Brixton Effra Ale

We’re staying with London breweries with this morning’s effort from Brixton Brewery. It’s named after the Effra River that flows under Brixton and is their take on an American Amber Ale. An ambitious brew that pairs five malts with Northdown, Pilgrim, Aurora, Ahtanum and Summit hops. The end result should be lime, pine and grassy hops.
It’s 4.5% and comes in a 330ml bottle. It poured, not unexpectedly, amber with reasonable carbonation and a medium tan head. The aroma was a little bready with some woody notes and a touch of sweet red fruits. Taste wise, it was quite soft on the palate with an earthy dryness that was balanced against a jam-like sweetness of red fruit and a little toasted caramel. The finish was semi-dry but rather spoilt by a twang of malt sweetness.


Tyson says: Too many types of malt? The wrong pairings? I don’t know but I’m not convinced that this works at all. Instead of a complex, balanced beer, they’ve ended up with a so-so one that really doesn’t know what it is. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Beavertown Quelle Saison

This morning’s breakfast pick-me-up comes courtesy of a dry-hopped saison from Beavertown. A canned dry-hopped saison, no less. I know what you’re thinking: “has the world stopped turning and nobody told us or has he been on the herbal cigarettes again?” But I kid you not; I told you canning was the future. And saisons are so retro; they’re still the future as well. The first thing to say is that I do like the Beavertown can designs. They’re very colourful and striking but, of course, I’m here for the beer.

It’s 4.1%. It poured a hazy, pale yellow with good carbonation and a large off-white head. The aroma was slightly subdued but a pleasant mix of pineapple, lemon, spiced wheat and a little pepper. The beer is light on the palate with the hops heavily dominating. Now the history of this is that it started out as a pale ale, had a French yeast infusion and then was dry-hopped with American hops. So perhaps that’s not surprising. It’s very dry with lots of tropical fruit tones and only a hint of sourness that alludes to its claim to be a saison. I found it very refreshing and moreish.

Tyson says: A saison? I think not. An excellent, slightly exotic pale ale: yes. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Stevens Point Belgian White

Ok it’s over the pond we go for this morning’s breakfast accompaniment. Stevens Point are in Wisconsin-rather them than me-and I’m quite a fan of their IPA, so was looking forward to this. It’s 5.4% and is a miserly 15 on the IBU scale; about what you’d expect from this style of beer. Ingredients wise, it has Hallertau and Saaz hops, a Belgian yeast strain and is flavoured with Curacao orange peel and coriander.

It poured hazy yellow with reasonable carbonation and a medium sized fluffy white head that didn’t hang around. The aroma was a little bready with some orange and herb in the background. Body wise it was light on the palate, hiding the alcohol well, with a gentle mix of bread, orange and a faint spiciness. Typical of the style, if understated. The finish was more of the same with a gentle fade out.


Tyson says: Acceptable but unremarkable.