Friday, 17 February 2017

News of the Brews - February 2017

A new listing for us comes from Tillington Farms Acre #637 (4.5%). The name refers to an unmarked acre of heritage apples, with the number “637” being the number of apple-growing acres at Tillington. This acre consists of over 1000 rare heritage apple varieties which were rescued from the Brogdale Collection in 2008. Tillington Farms couldn’t bear to see these heritage trees be forgotten, so they have allowed them to live on through this delicious cider. Every tree in the acre grows a different variety of apple, with names such as Forty Shilling, Duck’s Bill and Great Expectations. It is a very special cider!

Sometimes you don’t have to look very far to find something new and exciting, and this is the case with Brew York, who are just up the road from us inside the mediaeval city walls of York. They dropped us some samples, we tried the beers, loved them, and immediately ordered a pallet. The range comprises Jarsa (3.7% session ale), Maris the Otter (3.9% English bitter), Tonkoko (4.3% tonka bean and coconut milk stout), Little Eagle (4.5% session IPA), Viking DNA (5.1% smoked porter), Brew York (5.1% American pale ale) and Big Eagle (6.5% IPA).

We’ve had a shipment arrive recently from To Øl, the highlights of which are the return of their milk stout By Udder Means (7%), as well as a superb new hazelnut imperial stout Nutcracker (12%). Also worth a look are their Kaffe Og Røg (9% smoked dark ale with coffee) and Black Ball (8% hoppy porter)

You may remember that when Vocation Brewery went into Tesco, we (and many others) decided not to list them anymore. They are now producing an interesting range of beers that aren’t going into the supermarkets, most notably a new collab with Chorlton Brewing Co, Sour & Death (6.5%), a kettle-soured version of their excellent Life & Death IPA. Alongside that we have Dirty Pilsner (6.5% unfiltered pilsner), Cloak & Dagger (5.8% oatmeal stout) and Oak & Dagger (7.5% oak-aged version of the oatmeal stout)

After their Christmas close-down, Buxton Brewery are once again back in action, and while we don’t have as much of their beer as we would like (stocks should recover over the next month), we do have stocks of their class-leading IPA Axe Edge (6.8%), as well as a little Anglo-Belgique (6.8% - it’s basically Axe Edge fermented with a Belgian yeast strain).

In the recent Ratebeer awards, Cloudwater Brewery cleaned up, being named Best English Brewery, and 5th best brewery in the world, which goes some way to explain why their beers are so hard to get hold of – they are in very high demand currently. We are working closely with them while they bed in their new canning machine, but stocks will be on allocation for a little while longer, I’m afraid.

Another brewery who did well at the Ratebeer awards was Fierce Beer, being named best new brewery in Scotland – do try their off-centre flavoured beers if you haven’t yet.

A delivery from Arbor Ales has brought their popular Yakima IPA (7% hop monster) back into stock, along with a re-brew of their collab with Italian brewery Mezzo Passo, Basta Rosse (5.5% hoppy red ale), Summit IPA (6.5% single-hop IPA) and SMAC My Brew Up (4.8% Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo and Columbus pale ale – geddit??!). And you’ll have to move quickly to catch the last of the Tea Thyme Saison (6%), a collab with Cornish Tea, made with lemon verbena tea and hint of fresh thyme.

We have a couple of specials in stock from Cromarty BrewingAnniversary V (12%) is an imperial stout aged in barrels first used for port, then whisky, so has an unusual depth and complexity of flavour. Alongside this, Spruced Up (6%) is a dark rye saison brewed with spruce tips.

AND FINALLY, new kid on the block in Leeds, Wilde Child Brewing have unleashed a mighty 8.1% DIPA, Pushing Boundaries. Here's what they say about it: "We all know that nobody ever got anywhere in life by playing it too safe. Our burning desire to constantly produce bigger and better beers has resulted in nearly 2 kilos of hops per barrel of beverage and one beast beats of a brew. Here's to the motivators, the risk takers and the achievers. Here's to "Pushing Boundaries""

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

News of the Brews - January 2017

Happy New Year! Cast your mind back to the end of 2014, and you’ll remember that we gave a listing to a (then) new brewery Vibrant Forest. We thought that the beers were good and showed potential for being great, but sadly sales didn’t reflect that. Two years make a lot of difference, and the beers are now top notch and, crucially, sitting in our warehouse: Kickstart (5.7% oatmeal & coffee breakfast stout), Black Forest (4.9% porter), Netherworld (8.3% imperial red IPA), Chinook Pale Ale (5%), Metropolis (6% black IPA), Black October (9% imperial stout), Summerlands (3.5% session IPA), and Bourbon Oktober (9% bourbon BA version of Black Oktober).

Also making a re-appearance mid-December due to popular demand, we have relisted Tempest Brewing and their hop-heavy brood: Armadillo (3.8% pale session ale), Brave New World (7.4% IPA), Drop Kick Me Jesus (5.2% dry-hopped sour), Marmalade On Rye (9% double IPA), and Bomber IPA (6.8%, in 66cl bottles, also known as “bombers”)

Sales of Alphabet Brewing Co beers have been very strong, and we have a few new beers from them. Making a return as limited edition guests, we have Crate Digger (bottled, 8.3% imperial stout) and This Means Nothing To Me (bottled, 5.8% Vienna cranberry rye IPA), and in cans we have Konami Code (canned, 3.9% session black IPA) and a collaboration with Spain’s La Quince (pronounced keen-thay, if that sort of thing bothers you) Lunes Verde (canned, 7.9% double NZ pale ale). These are joined by a restock of core beers Hoi Polloi (4.8% dry-hopped lager), Flat White (7.8% imperial white coffee stout) and A To The K (5.6% oatmeal pale ale)

Local boys (well, local to us) Roosters Brewing Co have done a very small canning run of their imperial stout Howl (6.8%). This has spent three months conditioning on oak from a Glen Garioch whisky barrel, figs, prunes and blackcurrants, and predictably is something a bit special.

A flurry of new releases from Ilkley Brewery has seen their Dinner Ale (3.3%) return in 33cl bottles, along with a new beer Notorious F.I.G (7.5% fig dubbel). Also arriving shortly in cans (by mid-January), we see the return of Lotus IPA (5.9%) and new rye session IPA, Alpha Beta (4.5%).

Endlessly creative Liverpudlian brew-boffins Mad Hatter have outdone themselves this time. As well as their new Miracle Refresher (4%), RedXRum (7.2% dry-hopped red IPA made with a new red malt variety) and Double Penny Lane (7.4% pale ale), we have Mad House, a 5.5% chocolate and banana milkshake.

We have more Elusive Brewing beers on the way, but just a couple of cases left of their first bottling run – Level Up: Level 3 is an American Red Ale, heavy with Ahtanum and Mosaic hops.

Thornbridge have fully transitioned into 33cl bottles now, some new highlights of the range are Huck (7.4% DIPA), Crackendale (5.2% hoppy golden ale), Lukas (4.2% helles lager) and Valravn (8.8% black double IPA)

A trio of new beers from Lost Industry: Black Liquorice Gose (3.9%), Fell On Black Days (6.6% dark ale) and Mojito Sour (5.3%).

And finally, you may have missed them flashing through the warehouse mid-December, but we’ve also given a permanent listing to Verdant Brewery, hot stuff shipping out of Cornwall. There’s a massive buzz around them and their hazy, hop-forward beers. Arriving shortly (hopefully Tuesday 9th Jan) we have Roy I Want A Hilux (5.5% pale ale), Headband Pale Ale (5.5%), Bloom IPA (6.5%), Pulp DIPA (8%) and Lightbulb Pale Ale (4.5%)

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

News Of the Brews - Christmas 2016

We have already taken in stocks of lots of British Christmas beers, many of which have sold alarmingly well ahead of the festive season! Among them are: Wiper & True Plum Pudding Porter (12x50cl 5.9%), Weird Beard Black Christmas (cranberry stout, 24x33cl 4.5%), Ilkley Brewery Mary Christmas (8x50cl 4.7%), and Sam Smiths Winter Welcome (12x50cl 6%abv). Arriving shortly we will have Saltaire Brewery White Christmas (8x50cl, 5.8%)

From Danish mavericks To Øl we have Snowball (8%, hoppy bretted saison, 24x33cl), Frost Bite (6% pale ale with orange peel and pine needles, very low stocks),  Black Bauble (10% winter-spiced dark ale), Shameless Santa (10% strong Belgian-style Christmas ale), Fuck Art, Winter’s Coming! (8% winter-spiced triple. very low stocks), Jule Maelk (15% imperial milk stout, 12x37.5cl)
Needing very little introduction, we also have the famous Elf army: Bad Elf (12x50cl, 4.5%), Black Elf (12x50cl, 4.5%), Very Bad Elf (7.5% 12x50cl), Seriously Bad Elf (12x50cl 9%), Criminally Bad Elf (12x50cl 10.5%), Insanely Bad Elf (24x33cl 11.2%). And not being anything to do with Elves, other than I guess it's something that elves like to kick at this time of year, we also have Santa’s Butt (12x50cl 6%)
We also have stocks of seasonal Belgian beers - Leffe Christmas (6.6%, 24x33cl), De Struise Tsjeeses 2015 (10%, 24x33cl), Corsendonk Christmas (8.5%, 24x25cl), De Ranke Pere Noel (7%, 24x33cl), St Feullien Noel (10%, 24x33cl).

Friday, 8 July 2016

News of the Brews - July 2016

You can look out of the window and disagree if you want, but it’s summer, and summer is cider season! We’ve recently rejigged our offering from Sheppy’s to include three of flavoured ciders (Raspberry, Blackberry & Elderflower, and Elderflower, all at 4%) as well as their bicentenary cider Old Conky (5%). The range from Welsh producers Gwynt Y Ddraig continues to be popular, and Thistly Cross is certainly worth a look too, with sales of their Whisky Cask Cider picking up lately. We also have the last few cases of Norcott’s Cranberry (4%) on clearance currently (dated December 2016)

We’ve been watching Northern Monk Brewing Co since their inception a few years back, and this year when they won bronze with Eternal (4.1%) at the World Beer Cup this year in the Session IPA category, we thought the time was right to list their beers. It’s officially one of the three best session IPAs in the world! Alongside Eternal, we also have New World IPA (6.2%), Communion (5.1% American pale ale, arriving in stock Wednesday 13th), and a one-off special Heathen (7.2% single-hopped Citra IPA). These are all in 34x33cl cans.

Also riding high from success at the World Beer Cup, Thornbridge Brewery have pulled off an unprecedented double – gold and silver in the same category (Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer). Both beers are sour red ales aged in Burgundy barrels, Days Of Creation (7%, aged on raspberries) and Love Among The Ruins (7%, aged on cherries). The packaging is super-premium, and we are offering single bottle picks on these.

We’ve been impressed by the quality of the beers Wylam Brewery have released recently, and these are all packaged in natty craft-compliant 12x33cl cases. The range comprises the excellent Jakehead IPA (6.3%), Hickey The Rake (4.2% Mosaic-heavy “Limonata ultra-pale ale”), Le Saisonnier (5.4% lemon balm and rosemary saison), Nomi Sorachi (5.3% Sorachi Ace-hopped American pale ale), All Gone South (6% New Zealand hopped pale ale) and Haxan (6% spiced black witbier)
Just up the road from us in Malton, a foodie mecca of North Yorkshire, are Bad Seed Brewery. We’ve listed their current core beers, and will be adding specials as they become available. Currently, the range is: IPA (7%), Cascade (5.4% single-hopped pale ale), Saison (6%, brewed with honey, ginger & grains of paradise) and Espresso Stout (6.5%). Beers are packed in 18x33cl.

Liverpool’s Mad Hatter Brewery have built a reputation for themselves over the last couple of years, both for their hop-forward beers and their more unusual offerings. Supply on these is limited, but we’re pleased to be able to offer three of their beers: Tzatziki Sour (4.2%), Te Punga (6.5% Antipodean IPA) and Down The Rabbit Hole (8.4% Belgian red ale with lots of Columbus hops)
On the Transatlantic front, we have a new canned beer from Firestone Walker: Luponic Distortion (Revolution No. 001, 5.9%) is the first in an ever-changing series of experiments with different hop varieties. And from Stone Brewing, we now have 3 beers listed – IPA (6.9%), Go To IPA (4.5%), and Cali-Belgique IPA (6.9%).

Monday, 29 February 2016

News of the Brews - March 2016

 Before we get into March, let’s wave goodbye to February with a beer that’s being launched this weekend at Craft Beer Rising in London. Outlaw Brewing Co is the experimental arm of Roosters, mainly responsible for smaller volume one-offs and “quirky stuff” (as it’s technically known). So say hello to Roots Rock Reggae (6.4%, pineapple and grapefruit IPA). I’m not sure there’s much more to say, other than it’s a small-batch one-off, so likely to sell out quickly.

Now, let’s ring March in with a triumvirate of tasty of tasty treats from New Zealand. First up, 8 Wired Brewing. Hopwired IPA (7.3%) is made with all NZ ingredients, both malt and (perhaps more importantly) hops, delivering a tropical fruit salad of flavour. Tall Poppy (7%) is their red IPA – lots of hops but also a caramel malt backbone. And also iStout (10.5%), a big, brooding imperial stout.

Next up, two beers from Tuatara Brewing Co. Sauvinova (5.2%) is their single-hopped IPA, made solely from Nelson Sauvin hops. And APA (Aotearoa Pale Ale, 5.8% - we’ll be giving a prize to the first person who pronounces that correctly over the phone) is a straight-down-the-line American pale ale made with New Zealand hops.

Finally, Yeastie Boys are a duo of “beer activists” without a brewery, in the tried-and-tested gypsy style of Mikkeller, To Øl and a host of others. Their beers were originally brewed at Invercargill Brewery, New Zealand, but this batch has been brewed at Brewdog’s new plant up at Ellon – no worries about quality control there. Three beers from them: Digital IPA (5.7%), Gunnamatta (6.5% earl grey IPA), and Pot Kettle Black (6% porter).

While we’re talking BrewDog, we should probably mention that we have stocks of their freshly-canned grapefruit IPA, Elvis Juice (6.5%), alongside a new release, the start of a single-hopped series of session IPA, the first being Ace of Simcoe (4.5%).

A delivery from Siren Craft Brew has brought all manner of crazy limited edition bits and pieces. Perhaps most hotly anticipated is the Siren Evil Twin collab BA Hazelnut Jesus (11.4% liquorice imperial stout aged in hazelnut liqueur barrels – half cases on this only, sorry), but wait there’s more. There’s a Stillwater collab Funkier Feet (8%, 100% Brett barrel fermented wild aged blended with rosé wine and aged on shiraz grapes – two years in the making!). Plus two more installments of the barrel-ageing project, Odyssey005 (10.5% wee heavy aged in Banyuls and Armagnac barrels) and 006 (10.5% blended barrel-aged wild barley wine).

As part of an ongoing effort to promote what we think are great but overlooked breweries, please do have a look at the current offering from Mallinsons. They mainly brew what is broadly known as “pale ‘n’ hoppy”, majoring on single hop pale ales. Our current range from them includes: Chinook, Mount Hood, Ella, Simcoe, Summit, Bramling Cross, Sorachi Ace and Centennial, plus some multi hop beers Lockwood and Twin Peaks.

We’ve a couple of new beers from Arbor Ales (as we do every week, seemingly) Shangri-La (4.2% session ale with lots of US hops) and a welcome return to their Triple Hop (4% Chinook Citra Galaxy).

A delivery from Weird Beard has seen the return of Decadence Stout (5.5%), Sadako (9.2% imperial stout, in bombers only), Out of Office (7% coffee IPA).

Thursday, 1 October 2015

News of the Brews - October 2015

Without wishing to make every moan by using the C-word, we are starting to see the first of our Christmas beers arriving, with the full complement expected to be with us by mid-October. We’ll be offering a dozen British beers, along with half a dozen Belgians, plus any other seasonal ones that we get offered. We do try every year to source new beers, but many breweries’ schedules mean that their Christmas special aren’t available until late November available. However, we have commissioned a brew from Wiper & True, which will sit nicely alongside the mix of contemporary and classic beers from Ilkley, Ridgeway, Salopian, Saltaire, Great Heck, Rudgate, and no doubt a few others will appear over the next few weeks.

On a seasonal tip, Brewdog have released their autumnal pumpkin ale, Pumpkin King (5.4%), along with a more malt-driven altbier, Candy Kaiser (5%). Keeping the hoppy beers to the fore, we have the latest in the series Hello My Name Is….Holy Moose (5.5%, no, we’ve no idea either, but it’s a Scandinavian berry IPA with sea buckthorn). And finally, behind a beautifully illustrated label, we have an imperial stout with vanilla, cacao and lactose, Hinterland (9%).

Also coming out of the Brewdog beer lab we have the latest release from MikkellerPale Ale Swindle (5.6%), a punchy copper-gold pale ale with bags of citrus character.

In line with the autumnal turn in the weather, we have refreshed our range of Lindisfarne fruit wines and meads. On the wine front, we now have: Ginger, Mulled, Raspberry, Cherry, Strawberry, Elderflower, Blueberry, Black Beer & Honey, Blackberry, and Blackcurrant, along with a couple of new meads – Pink Mead, with a twist of orange, and Spiced Mead.

The Transatlantic Rainbow Project 2015 (you can click here for a Google of the relevant info)has yielded some interesting collaborations, and we currently have available the collab between Siren Craft Brew and Surly Brewing Co, Blue Sky Blue Sea (5%), a cloudberry and seaweed gose, as well as the Wild Beer Co and Firestone Walker collab Violet Underground (5%, wild ale). And we’re obviously delighted that our friends at Magic Rock Brewing have sent us a few cases of their collab with Cigar City Cigarro Roja Magica (6.5% red IPA with grapefruit).

Chorlton Brewing Co have been on a bit of a research tour of late, trying to find out more about Berliner weisse by going to Germany and drinking lots of it (I know, what a job, eh?). The current version of their Woodruff Berliner has been bottled with a strain of wild yeast isolated from a 30 year-old bottle of Willner Brauerei Weissebier Export – make of that what you will! Their current range also includes Farmhouse IPA (7.5%), Sandalwood Ale (6.7%), Ahtanum Sour (5.6%) and arriving shortly, Victoria Sour (5.6%, dry-hopped with Australian Victoria’s Secret Hops), Woodruff Berliner (3.8%), and Dark Matter (6.8% imperial black gose).

About a year ago, we got in touch with Bermondsey-based Brew By Numbers to see if they were interested in selling us some of their delicious beer. At that time, their production capacity meant that they were struggling to meet the demands of their existing customers, let alone taking on any new ones. Happily, they have recently increased capacity, so we’ve added them as what we hope will be a permanent listing. Current stocks are Saison Classic (5.5%), Brown Ale (6%), Session IPA Amarillo (4%), 5C IPA (6.4%).

AND FINALLY we are delighted to announce the overdue arrival of Thornbridge Tart (6%), a “Bakewell Sour” brewed in collaboration with Wild Beer Co (they have been lately, haven't they?). Tart is a golden yellow colour, refreshingly tart and dry with a combination of citrusy hops and flavours of grapefruit and bitter lemon. The name Tart is inspired by the Bakewell delicacy where we are based and accurately describes the flavour of the beer in a single word.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

News of the Brews - August 2015

You won’t want to hear this, but we’ve recently done the majority of our ordering for Christmas. This is a funny time of year, as there always seems to be a slight lull in sales, but we still have a few new things to tell you about.

A new listing for Chorlton Brewing Co has brought a range of interesting and idiosyncratic brews. Majoring on sours, but with other forays into slightly more traditional brewing, we have Amarillo Sour (dry-hopped sour, 5.6%), Ahtanum Sour (dry-hopped sour, 5.8%), Woodruff Berliner (Berliner weisse with woodruff essence – the traditional Berliner accompaniment - 3.8%), Farmhouse IPA (7.5%) and Sandalwood Ale (amber ale aged over sandalwood, 6.7%).

Our shiny new friends at Vocation Brewery have released a couple of new beers. Divide & Conquer (black IPA, 6.5%) and Life & Death (IPA, cans only, 6.5%) join their compadres Pride & Joy (American pale ale, 5.5%) and Heart & Soul (session IPA, 4.4%). If you haven’t tried these yet, please do - they are very much on our “go to” list.

You may have already gleaned this from our weekly mailout (let us know if you’re not receiving these), but Wild Beer Co are the latest brewery to have heavily invested in a canning line, with excellent (and handsome) results. We are currently holding stocks of their Madness IPA (6.8%), Fresh Pale Ale (5.5%) and Bibble (session ale, 4.2%). We also have some of their new annual release The Blend (geuze-style multi-aged wild-fermented blend, 4.7%)
Arbor Ales have bolstered their current range with some specials. Red Henry (5.5%) is a red ale made with German and English malts, plus four different American hop varieties. Motueka IPA (6.7%) does what it says on the bottle, and Fuzzy Logic (7%) is a Nelson Sauvin-hoped saison, enhanced with the addition of several hundred kiwi fruit. Oh, and by popular demand, we have both their Yakima IPA and peerless, award-winning Breakfast Stout back in stock too!

Cloudwater Brewery have a few new releases too. US Hopfenweisse (5.2%), Cream Ale (5.2%), and Grisette (saison, 3.5%, dated 16.9.15) join summer core beers Summer IPA (6.8%) and Session IPA (4.5%).

Despite best efforts from the brewery, supplies of Beavertown beers continue to be a bit patchy. We currently have stocks of Gamma Ray (5.4%), Neck Oil (4.3%), Quelle Saison (summer special dry-hopped saison, 4.1%), Smog Rocket (5.4%), Holy Cowbell (5.6%), as well as a tiny allocation juice-spiked sours Lemon Phantom (3%) and Yuzilla Phantom (4.5%). These are available w/c 17th August, as half-case allocations – sorry we have to do this, but there is very little to go around.

A delivery from Siren Craft Brew has brought a new special – All Bretts Are Off (4.5%), a 100% brett-fermented English-style bitter, brewed in collaboration with Colorado’s Crooked Stave brewery. We also have a re-brew of their Hill Farmstead collab Love Of Work, to augment the total number of Siren beers to EIGHTEEN (count ‘em!)

Some one-liners to finish off:

The ever-excellent Thornbridge have released a strawberry-infused blond ale called I Love You Will You Marry Me (4.5%). 

Marble have just released La Petite Toulousaine (4.7%), a pale ale with grapefruit and lemongrass.

Tempest have added Farmhouse Ale (saison, 5.1%) to their excellent and extensive range of superb and reasonably-priced beers.