Squawk Brewing Co. are another fantastic brewery from the North West brewing progressive, hop-forward beers with traditional roots that in our opinion only further cements Manchester's place at the heart of the UK craft beer scene. Cali could be considered something of a rarity these days, a non-hazy, crisp double IPA that delivers delightful tropical fruit notes in abundance from the Citra and Mosaic hops.
A dangerously easy drinking beer that pairs perfectly with the stripped back sound of Brighton based indie band The Magic Gang. The wandering bass line, disco like guitar riffs and understated vocals on Take Back The Track provide an upbeat, summery vibe, that acts as the perfect soundtrack to a lazy afternoon with friends and great beer in the garden.
If you've tried Cali share your thoughts on the beer with us in the comments section below.
Decent lie in today was followed by some quality lunch by the Mrs while watching more Prison Break. After that I had the first go on my new rowing machine. No more morbid obesity for me!
The usual fantastic 'Dessert in a Can' design with what looks like a delicious scene from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Sweet delights and cherries and raspberries oozing and dripping from all manner of places.
First smell is a thick chocolate one, just oozing out. The following sip gives you that rich and boozy chocolate taste with a delicious raspberry rush running right through, although would have liked more. The backing that's always there is a burnt caramel one which really adds volume and mouthfeel to the beer. Another Dessert in a Can cracker!
Gone for a bit of Max Rad here for my music choice. The smooth vocals on Play Dead just bounce off that beat perfectly to go along with that boozy chocolate backing. Then, the Raspberry 'pop' comes along in the form of layers of synth. Gets you into a good place quick, sharp....
After years of weekly bun fights with other stockists, waiting for the brewery to release a new beer then waiting impatiently for wholesalers to update their stock lists trying to secure as much Verdant as we can the increase in output from the brewery has been a welcome highlight in an otherwise odd and challenging year! We now have more Verdant beers than you could shake a stick at and the world is suddenly a beautiful place once again.
Diving in to this weeks new arrivals I instinctively reached for the latest Verdant DIPA - Further. Verdant are one of the most consistent breweries in the country, knocking it out of the park time and time again with their superb beers and this little treat is no different.
Further delivers tropical fruit in abundance with pineapple and mango shining thorough in this dank and sticky treat. It's pure sunshine in a glass and pairs perfectly with Tame Impala's Lost In Yesterday. The funky beat, catchy loop and silky vocals from band mastermind Kevin Parker providing a feel good vibe exactly like the beer!
It feels like an absolute age since I wrote one of these. Let's be honest, it has been! Big thanks to Alex for picking up the slack whilst I've been busy trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible during the lockdown.
What a summer hey?!?! Three months of lockdown saw an unprecedented demand for beer and hopefully we've done a reasonable job keeping you all well stocked. The end of the lockdown coincided with us finding out that we had been nominated for an award in the Lux Magazine 2020 Food & Drink Awards so we must have been doing something right.
Despite working our arses off we have still found time to enjoy some splendid summer beers and Unity Brewing Co's Grayson is up there as one of my personal beers of the summer. An easy drinking pale brewed with crumbed lemon peel and vanilla it delivers a refreshing, zesty mouthful followed by a smooth, creamy vanilla finish. I found it to be a perfect companion on those warm sunny days back in May/June (remember those?!?!).
The can art depicts baby dinosaurs chasing lemons in homage to the Unity taproom manager's first born - Grayson - of whom the beer is named.
The beer pairs perfectly with Dope Lemon's Marinade. The wistful guitar chords and video portraying fledgling young love takes me back to innocent days spent exploring during the summer school holiday!
Well, I just survived my first quarantine haircut from the Mrs and I have to say she did a cracking job! Although, I haven't seen the back to be fair, so there's a lot of trust as well. Mexican soup, film and chill was the call for the rest do the day, so a nice beer seemed like the obvious next step.
Cream can with splattered Apricot coloured brand text...not bad.
Following swig is straight off thick mouthfeel as you can experience that pastry gose effect. I'm not a huge fan of apricot on the whole, but the sticky juicyness you get from this beer is well worth a go. A touch of vanilla adds an additional creaminess to this 10% ABV beer. So, to wrap it up this is a high quality gose, not an elite one, but quality nonetheless.
Song I'm going for this time is 'Drive' by Dornik. First of all, sipping this drink while listening to this certified summer tune is just too natural. Secondly, that thick and rich vibe to go along with his smooth voice matches up perfectly with the mouthfeel of this Apricot beauty...
2nd beer of the night in front of the Shutter Island on the box. Leo Di Caprio is my favourite actor by a fair way, so was ready for a good couple of hours in front of this thriller. Sun setting outside, so thought it was time for a quality stout...hopefully this would be a good'un.
Can is mostly dark blue with splodges of yellow and red that looks like slowly dripping paintwork...quirky!
Can opening gives you feint blueberries on a chocolate background. First mouth feeling is that this is one thick milk stout! There's lovely biscuit flavours delivering a rich core, before a bunch of blueberries tickle the tongue right at the end. I wouldn't have minded a bit more blueberry to be honest, but the sweet finish and full cookie hit is just delicious and easily compensates. This is a cracking pastry stout, simple as.
Right, the song I'm putting with this beer is Californian performer Finneas and 'Let's Fall In Love For The Night'. At base value it's a happy song that gives depth and feeling to it's words, then that little chorus bounce kicks in that mirrors that lovely blueberry of the 'Double or Muffin' drink!
Got a good walk in this morning for an hour or two down to the park to get some fresh air and take some more beer pics of course. Nice Mexican soup for lunch and we felt like a film, so we went for Uncut Gems. I'd recommend you give it a go, bit like a modern gritty gangsta flick, if that floats your boat?!
Can has a classic profile outline of a younger Barbara Streisand with lovely pink and other vibrant colours splashed on the can.
First smell is just a powerful rhubarb one right under the nose. Following swig is more of the same with pure rhubarb flavour on some of that creamy custard mouthfeel. Additional lactose richness I there with this 'Extra Custard Edition' but not sure it adds too much to it. I wouldn't mind a bit more sourness to it and there's an ever so slight synthetic touch to the taste, but a nice enough beer nonetheless.
Let's go for Abbie Ozard 'Endless Summer' for this one. It's got the bouncy high buzz to compare with that rhubarb hit, but also the lyrical indecision and hopefullness in the song, as the drink doesn't quite grasp the heights that it was reaching...
Busy day at work with an early start, but paid off by being a productive one. Also, managed a nice walk in the sun at lunch where I explored the wonders of West Bath and built up my English tan...
A can showing pictures of dinosaurs eating a birthday cake....what's not to like!
Very nice tropical smell straight out the can. First swig gives a really fresh oomph of that Papaya & Guava that is a pleasant surprise from the heavy pineapple that these tropical beers usually deal in. The sourness kicks in about halfway through and carries on with some solid power right to the end, although it is a thin beer overall. Really nice drink for something in the lower price bracket!
I'm going for Alex Templeton's 'Happiness In Liquid Form' as my tune to go with this tasty tipple. For some reason it reminds me of a bouncy birthday song, but quite frankly it just makes me happy, just like the drink did! Both put a smile on your face and both make you wonder why you like them so much, but just indulge yourself!
2nd beer of the day after a refreshing shower that was slightly negated by me sweating 10 mins later due to the lovely May sun. However the plan is to have a few ciders and games tonight with the Mrs, so a nice beer before tea is just the ticket.
We have a rose coloured can with a nice flower etching on the front...solid and simple design that does well for this brand.
First smell is giving me some Apricot and Cinnamon straight off the bat. There's definitely more of the same after that, but with a nice chocolatey injection for that imperial hit. Some notable 'Christmas' flavours really come through, giving you that need to crack one open in front of an roaring fire and kick back in a leather chair. Bit too much of a Chai spice for me, but a nice stout with some quality ingredients that can't be ignored.
I'm feeling chilled music with a smooth caramel voice for this one, so 'Let There Be Love' by Nat King Cole it is. The rich notes combine perfectly, and that touch of spice represents that special something in the great man's voice. Cosy up relax and let the class wash over you...
Don’t know if it’s the whole song per se, but certainly the riff and the opening few bars of Robert Plant’s caterwauling seem apposite. It’s 10:30pm, a time at which I would not normally be finishing, let alone opening a coffee stout, but after a busy day home-schooling/child-wrangling and working round the house, I’ve failed miserably to get all my work done, so the laptop’s out and coffee is very much the order of the day night.
As I’ve been a good boy though, I also deserve a beer, so the only sensible (not sensible) thing to do is to combine the two. Alongside the coffee and malt on the nose, there is a decent amount of vanilla and cocoa there up front, but they’re just sweetening you up ahead of a big slap of caffeine and a lingering, roasty, bitter finish; definitely more espresso than the latte you get with some regular coffee stouts.
It’s certainly not subtle, there are more complex imperials out there (including from Wild Beer themselves) and it’s not as thick a mouthfeel as you might expect from an 11%er, so I can see why some people might not like this. But I’m not some people. Certainly not at this time of night, and not with a shed-load (possibly a small warehouse) of data to analyse. Right now, this is just what I needed. So no, my life is not exactly ‘Valhalla, I am coming’, but I’m definitely ‘ah-ah-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh-ah’! And I’m definitely awake.
"You got a new horizon, it's ephemeral style. A melancholy town where we never smile."
Worst task of the week to mix with people whilst doing the big shop this morning, but got it sorted and the Mrs was happy with her new stocks of wine! The sun popped out again, so had a little wander before doing my exercises and sitting down for a nice afternoon beer that would hopefully round off the day nicely.
I may be a bit short and to the point, but just try and imagine a methed up Joker version of the Honey Monster....that's the look of the can!
First smell as you open the can is just quiet and gentle stout aroma. Following swig definitely reminds you of a nice bowl of sugary cornflakes though and gets you buzzing a bit! It's a really milky mouthfeel with a sugary hoppy hit at the end and a consistent background of thin chocolate, but to be honest there's just a lot going on that makes you want to come back and experience some more. It's a really interesting 10% ABV drink that I'd recommend you give a try as I think it touches a lot of bases with the raw quality clearly evident.
Let's pair this cracker with Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. A song that gives you that rich and thick bass beat with a 'sugar rush' buzz synth effect on top. They both offer a melting pot of ingredients giving you something different with every encounter...
Oh oh I saw her and she hit me like (Tadow)....why you so fine?
For Gimme Fruit, Gimme Fire Give Me That Which I Papaya Black Iris teamed up with Turning Point Brew Co. to produce a mighty fine specimen of a fruit IPA. The green grocers of Nottingham will have been dancing in the street when the order for 50kg of papaya and 50kg of passionfruit came in. To this tropical fruit medley they added a big drop of Australian hops and a shed load of lactose which gives the beer a wonderfully smooth, creamy body and takes the edge off the acidity of the fruit. I kid you not, this beer could quite easily be mistaken for pure fruit juice and at an easy drinking 5.4% one could easily enjoy a few of these in the garden on on a hot sunny day or maybe even a cheeky one with your morning apricot Danish.
As for musical pairings it would be remiss of me to pass up the opportunity to pair this with the laid back, soulful beats of French Kiwi Juice, or FKJ as he's otherwise known. On Tadow FKJ joins up with Masego for some nu-jazz goodness. In my eyes a perfect match, all that's missing is the sun!
You gotta know I'm feeling love.....
Ok I'm going to throw it out there, I've got the brewery equivalent of a man crush going on at the moment with Neon Raptor Brewing Co. It seems I'm not the only one either as their beers are flying off the shelves faster than Usain Bolt driving a Bugatti.
Their last two brews, Dune Hunter and Chaos & Earthquakes sold out within hours of them putting them on sale and fortunately we were on the ball and managed to grab a couple of cases before the masses descended like tinned potato shoppers in a post-Brexit world.
Dune Hunter is a New England IPA brewed with the most amount of oats ever used by Neon Raptor to give the beer a rich, murky appearance and an unbelievably smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Sweet fruit emanates at first from the beers fluffy head and then washes over the palate in waves of dank, tropical goodness.
Absolutely tremendous stuff from a brewery that it appears can do no wrong right now.
Oh my God, I'm a giant with an appetite........
Two of the UK's best, most consistent breweries, Magic Rock Brewing and Cloudwater Brew Co, have reunited for a repeat brew of Big Dipper and the results are as tremendous as you might expect.
Big Dipper is a wonderfully balanced, sweet and resinous double IPA packed with peach and mango with a jammy, marmalade finish and no bitterness. With a smooth, soft mouthfeel, and no hint of its 8.3% ABV, this beer goes down way too easily and you could easily be lured into drinking multiple cans and not realising it's strength until the cold air hits you on the way home!
I believe I wanna take you to the promised land.....
Siren Craft Brew teamed up with one of the world's leading meaderies, Arizona based Superstition, to produce Mind On My Honey. Badged as a Creamed Imperial Stout Braggot it really highlighted my ignorance about the world of mead and I immediately hit Google for enlightenment. A braggot is apparently a form of mead made with both honey and barley malt. Based on what I've just written it won't surprise you to learn that I have no benchmark to compare this with but what I can tell you is that if they all taste this good I have serious doubts as to what I've been doing up to this point in my life because this is immense!
The beer itself is as complex as its name. Upon opening your senses are overwhelmed with big, heavy honey aromas. The first taste blew my mind, there was so much going on. A rich, full mouthful of sticky, smokey goodness followed by a hot and spicy chilli tingle as you swallow that lingers on your tongue and throat before the sweet honey finish kicks in.
Bravo Siren, you've absolutely knocked it out of the park with this absolute banger!
You know it when you see it. You know it when it's there. Like Michael Jackson's Thiller. Like Farah Fawcett hair. It's good shit!
Nothern Monk have taken inspiration from their childhoods for the latest in the Patron's Project series and emulated a soft drink that those of a certain vintage loved as kids. Northern Tropics is as close to alcoholic Um Bongo as is humanly possible!
A New England IPA packed with tropical fruit goodness (guava, mandarin, mango and pineapple), infused with lactose and then triple hopped with Citra. The result is an outstandingly smooth, sweet, juicy bastard of a beer reminiscent of a tropical milkshake. Welcome to the jungle baby!
It's all about confidence baby.......
2018 was a massive year for Wander Beyond. After a re-brand they launched in 2017 and made craft beer lovers across the country sit up and take notice. With a passion for brewing big beers that burst at the seams with flavour they were justifiably in the discussion for brewery of the year.
Whilst their huge imperial stouts took the limelight Wander Beyond were equally adept when it came to the light side. A one off batch Milkshake IPA that was inspired by Tiki cocktails, Tiki's Turtles is a complex beer with a LOT going on! Tropical fruit and coconut on the nose entice you in where a sensory overload awaits. To taste you are treated to layers of flavour akin to a mojito cocktail. A big, tart pineapple and lime has you puckering up before a middle section of mint and a creamy coconut and lime finish that lingers on the palate.
Tiki's Turtles is a perfect example of what #tryanuary should be about - pushing the boundaries of flavour and the concept of what a beer should be. Available in limited quantities, so get in quick,
Do it like you do......
It's no secret that we're big fans of Unbarred brewery here at Left Field Beer. Consistent and innovative they seem to smash it out of the park time after time with their releases and SHSF #1 is no exception. The first beer in their single hop, single fruit series SHSF #1 showcases grapefruit and simcoe in the perfect summer pale ale.
On opening you're met with an incredibly sweet, zesty aroma and to taste it's more of the same. Crisp, sharp and zesty with a slight sour finish that will have you puckering your chops in pleasure.
Just like the enchanting, sun drenched indie pop that is Kawala's Do It Like You Do, SHSF #1 is punchy and has that feel good factor that will keep you coming back for more.
I can taste it, it's my sweet beginning.......
Look no further because THIS is your new summer beer! Take a bow Unity because Fresco is summer in a can. The perfect session beer for the balmy summer days we've been having recently.
A special summer release from Unity, this Belgian style IPA pours a golden colour with a large white head and sweet, enticing citurs aromas. Hopped with Amarillo and infused with local lemon balm and honeysuckle it delivers smooth floral, citrus and orange flavours with a hint of sweet honey and a hoppy, floral aftertaste.
This beer is extremely crushable. Enjoy in the sunshine with friends or pair with a spicy curry but be warning it is exremely moorish!
I will captivate you with everything I got........
Southampton based Unity Brewing Co. burst onto the British craft brewing scene in 2016 with a creative ethos and a passion for brewing Belgian inspired beers. Combining traditional and contemporary brewing techniques to put out consistently good flavourful, sophisticated and innovative beers.
Centenaire marks the centennial of Unity Brewing Co. - their 100th brew. A double-mashed beast of a Belgian quadrupel. It comes in at a solid 10.5% but you wouldn't know it......not until the cold air hits you and you attempt to walk home that is! It has a decent body without being too heavy and boasts wonderful flavours of Christmas spice, dried fruit and toffee and a hint of banana and a warming boozy finish. Perfect for drinking now or cellaring and letting the flavours evolve.
Head brewer Jimmy Hatherley states that Unity's ambition is to develop the brewery and their beers whilst always putting quality before quantity, people before profit. All we can say is long may that philosophy continue as Centenaire is an absolute cracker and guaranteed to captivate you!
Somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep.......disorder!
In addition to producing consistently awesome pop culture, dinosaur inspired, can artwork Portsmouth brewers Staggeringly Good continue to impress with their big, bold beers.
Reptile Dysfunction is big fruit smoothie American IPA packed with Alphonso mango, passionfruit, lacose and Peach Habanero flesh. Pouring a lovely murky orange, mango dominates the taste of this juice bomb with subtle notes of passion fruit complementing the beer perfectly. The lactose give the beer a delightfully thick, creamy mouthfeel and you're left with a satisfying spicy tingle from the peach habanero chilli.
Reptile Dysfunction is a beast of a beer. Well balanced and a perfect companion in this end of days climate we're currently experiencing.
To me you're strange and you're beautiful......
Brighton brewers Unbarred have a reputation for creating innovative and delicious beers that you won't find in the rule book and Chai Latte is certainly a case in point. Officially classed as an American Pale Ale this beer is far from a classic pale ale but most definitely has the power to put a spell on you.
Pouring a rich amber colour on pouring you are immediately met with the rich, exotic aroma of honey and spices - cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves. Like a lot of Unbarred's beers Chai Latte has low carbonation which, combined with added oats, gives the beer an incredibly rich, smooth and creamy body. To taste it's more of the same with the spices combining with almond and nutmeg being complimented by sweet honey and vanilla notes.
Chai Latte might not be to every beer lover's taste but for those with a sense of adventure and a taste for the extraordinary it's definitely worth trying. The craftsmanship to pull an ambitious beer like this off is impressive.
The man from Del Monte - he said YES!
In Pineapple Oceans Amundsen have successfully managed to can a tropical summer day. The saying 'it does what it says on the tin' has never been more apt. Aromas of the pineapple chunk sweets I enjoyed as a child compliment the full on pineapple taste. While subtle notes of other tropical fruits like mango are apparent it's the big juicy pineapple taste that dominates the palate. This is a splendid beer that we really can't get enough of. Pairs best with a handlebar moustache and Hawaiian shirt.
If this beer had a voice it would almost certainly sound like the laid back, good time music of Hawaiian Donavon Frankenreiter. The former professional surfer turned musician's soulful, light and breezy 'It Don't Matter', like Pineapple Oceans, provides the perfect accompaniment for campfires on the beach and good times with friends.
So whatever it is that's stressing you out, put it to the back of your mind, because with this perfectly matched combination in your life........it really don't matter.
As cool as Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin' Criminals and as smooth as Barry White - Brew York have taken everything great about their milk stout Tonkoko and beefed it up into this absolute belter of a beer. Coming in at 7.5% it's at certainly at the lower end of the ABV scale for imperial stouts but it certainly isn't lacking when it comes to flavour and mouthfeel.
On pouring you are treated to enticingly sweet aromas of nuts, chocolate and vanilla. On first sip you are treated to a rich, silky smooth mouthfeel and the flavours come through in waves. A big initial hit of tonka bean and coconut gives a lingering nutty taste that is complimented by waves of chocolate and vanilla. This really is a pleasure to drink. This decadent brew is the closest we've come to finding a 'session' imperial stout!
You say you're ready, if I'm an animal. Let's get a room real soon. We'll call the supernatural.
Demon In Profile is a deliciously dark track from the Afghan Whigs with layered keys, guitar and brass that build into an epic sound. A mournful masterpiece that compliment's Wylam's Club Of Slaughters perfectly. A rich, incredibly complex monster of an imperial stout with waves of flavour that envelop the senses. On opening the bottle you are greeted with smokey, boozy aromas of port and peat that also come through strongly int he flavour, taking your taste buds on a dark journey. Fruity red berries, spices and strong boozy port dominate the palate before giving way to a lingering smokey, peat finish.
Demon to some. Angel to others. Club Of Slaughters won't be to everyone's taste but if you do dance with the devil tonight don't you dare look him in the eye.
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Combining two of his passions in life, beer and music. Left Field Beer founder, Mike, seeks to answer life's big question: What does my beer sound like?
Formally limited to cider and Southern Comfort, but now enjoying the Craft Beer path to enlightenment..