Bunker Brew Co

By in Local Beer Events 0

The Rainbow Project 2016 at The Magic Rock Tap

One of the U.K beer highlights of the year is The International Rainbow Project 2016. This year the event was on Saturday 17th September 2016 and for me, at the Magic Rock Tap / Magic Rock Brewery in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. This year, it is all about New Zealand brews! The event also gives me a chance to catch up in person with the infinitely knowledgeable Simon Tomlinson, beer guru of the Interweb. This week he celebrates 100,000 followers to his Beer collection Google+ page.

The Rainbow Project 2016 Queue

Arriving early at around 12:30, H and I joined a fairly long queue for about 30 minutes into the courtyard where we collected our beer glasses and Magic Rock bottle cap tokens, together with the Rainbow menu. I remember saying “I hope it’s not a sour fest again like last year.” Again, unfortunately, sour beers made up a good proportion of the menu.

The Magic Rock Courtyard

Upon purchasing our tokens, commemorative glass and gubbins, we headed over to the Magic Rock Tap Bar in the main building to see what delights they had on the wall. I thought I would go for a light, patriotic, fairly safe option of Magic Rock & Fork Brewing: Upside Down (Yellow Ale) at 6.0% which was the Rainbow colour Yellow. Based around a Golden Promise base malt but also a large proportion of wheat, rye and oats. Then kettle soured to a PH of 3.6 using a pure lactic strain. Coriander and turmeric were added into the boil to add zest, spice and colour and Citra and Equinox hops. the beer was then dry hopped with more Citra and Equinox as well as Mosaic and Simcoe to deliver a deeply tropical hop aroma and flavour augmented by the addition of both passionfruit and mango juice.

Magic Rock Upside Down Ale

Magic Rock & Fork Brewing: Upside Down Ale at 6.0%

I thought it was a nice refreshing beer to get started with and good ammunition to see what to goto next. I joined the crowd of wide eyed, slack jawed bar gazers all transfixed on the blackboard of beers on the wall.

Magic Rock Rainbow Tap Board

It was all too much to take in at this point. Now it was time to have a look outside at the bar tent in the courtyard.

The outside NZ tap bar

Next on the list was : Burning Sky: Easy Answers IPA (6/10) at 6.0% (2 beer tokens), with H grabbing a : Partizan Rhubarb & Ginger Saison (7/10) at 3.7% (bordering on the edge of sour & 2 tokens). The Saison won it for me out of the two, giving a slight scent and aftertaste of ginger which was wonderfully refreshing.

Following this I chose a Wild Beer Witness IPA at 5.8% (6/10) Belgian Ale. A aroma hinting at being sour, followed by a refreshing lager style taste. Not too bitter either. I then tried the Magic Rock Dark Arts Stout (8/10)  Coconut Edition at 6.0%. An already amazing stout with a delicious hint of coconut on the aftertaste.

The ‘Rainbow Purple‘: Partizan: Royal Ale Barley Wine at 8.5% followed (6/10). Again slightly sour light coloured barley wine. Not sweet or overly bitter, refreshing yet not fully convinced this was a barley wine.

Then onto a Siren Calypso Dry hopped Berliner Weiss at 4.0% (5/10) which is a slightly sour and watery wheat beer. Again, fairly refreshing albeit a bit dull.

Next from New zealand came Parrot Dog: Bitter Bitch IPA at 5.8%. (7/10) Now were were talking!. Cool and bitter, a subtle aroma with a superb bitterness profile. Gorgeous!

Onto Hawkshead Parma Violet IPA at 7.0%. (9/10) This beer seemed to be well sought after, it appeared between 16:00 – 17:00 hrs and as soon as it did, chinese whispers started followed by a rush to the outside bar. Goodness me, what an ale! it certainly got chins wagging.

Hawkshead Brewery Parma Violet IPA - 7.0%

Hawkshead Brewery – Parma Violet IPA – 7.0%

A wonderful aroma of citrus and you guessed it: Parma Violets! the taste was full bodied with a lovely cold compact carbonation. The taste has a subtle malty backbone, suppressed enough to allow a flavour of parma violets to come through. The great thing is, that they didn’t over do it. It was ‘there’ but not ‘in your face’. What a great concept and deliver. Easily the best beer that I tried that afternoon. Well done Hawkshead!

To finish off the afternoon, a nice and cool Saison a la Provision at 6.5% from Burning Sky. Compact and cold carbonation, great head and retention. A great belgian style aroma and a dry and almost sweet aftertaste. A great one to finish on. I declined to buy the box set, as I found that £5.00 per beer was a bit steep, when a good portion of them were sour types. Maybe next year will be a non sour year.

To top the day off, I did a quick brew swap with Simon. Six different styles of my best homebrew for:

Trappist Westvleteren 8 and a Trappist Westvleteren Blonde. Superb! something I would never had dreamt of. A great thanks to Simon and H for coming along. Another great Rainbow Project beer festival.

Magic Rock Rainbow Project 2016 event programme

Magic Rock Rainbow Project 2016 Event Programme



By in Beer Reviews 0

Sixpoint – Resin DIPA – 9.1%

From the Sixpoint Brewery in the U.S comes Resin at 9.1%. Popping the cap on the can gives a dancing aroma of intense citrus and sweets. So sweet! you can almost see the resinous hop particles trailing from the can. Amazing. On the pour the hop aroma literally gushes and rolls out to assault the senses with intense citrus and boiled orange sweet aromatics. The appearance is malty amber with an average carbonation profile, head generates from decent to nothing. The body is thick caramel and quite engulfing, the taste is really quite sweet like golden syrup and then slowly drops away to a strong building bitterness. An end of the night, end of the world beer. This ale completely obliterates your taste palate for hours. Absolutely and wonderfully amazing.


By in Beer Reviews 0

Redchurch Brewery – Hoxton Stout – 6.0%

From the Redchurch Brewery comes Hoxton Stout at 6.0%. Forgive me for jumping straight in, but the beer was terribly over carbonated. The pour was a complete bastard. Bags of head and crap sporadic wild retention. The aroma and presence of molasses is over dominant and bitter burnt malts linger like a bad smell. No elements of smoothness exist in this ale. Some odd sweetness comes through the high bitterness. As the brew mellows, off flavours appear and disappear. A really un-enjoyable stout beer. blergh. Hopefully I got a bad batch.

redchurch brewery hoxton stout

By in Beer Reviews 0

Howling Hops – Running Beer Brown Ale – 4.7%

From the Howling Hops Brewery comes Running Beer Brown Ale at 4.0%. De-capping the bottle gives an aroma not too dissimilar to a black IPA, but with more toffee notes. Good presence of citrus orange aroma and malty goodness. The head foams and quickly disperses before the eyes. Carbonation is slightly above average and the body of the beer is nothing spectacular for a brown ale. The beer finish ends up being slightly tart and lacks the sweetness to carry it through. Nice idea, but it doesn’t quite work for me.

howling hops running beer brown ale

By in Beer Reviews 0

Cloudwater – DIPA V7 SPECIAL EDITION – 9.0%

From the Cloudwater Brewery comes Cloudwater DIPA V7 Special Edition at 9.0%. Decapping gives a floral fragrance with a touch of smoke and a not too overpowering hop citrus aroma. Carbonation is about perfect. Head generation and retention is spot on! The pour is a slight hint of cloudiness and hazy blonde. The taste is tropical and sherbet, a real dance on the tastebuds. Moderate to high bitterness complements a fairly sweet malty presence and emphasises how spectacularly amazing this DIPA is. Clean, yet fruity and fragrant with sweet influences and bags of character and body. The alcohol permeates through slightly on the aftertaste, but this is absolutely wonderful stuff. A world apart from the DIPA 6, but still jaw dropping. Sourced from the Maisondubiere beer shop in Barnsley.

Cloudwater DIPA V7

Cloudwater DIPA V7

By in Beer Reviews 1

Cloudwater – DIPA V6 Special Edition – 9.0%

From the Cloudwater Brewery comes DIPA V6 Special Edition at 9.0%. Decapping gives a monstrous rush of aroma hops, little initial carbonation on the pour generates a superb stable frothy head. Dry hopping features a great deal. The pour is clear and amber. Aroma is resinous aroma hops, bursting with intense citrus fruity goodness. The taste is full bodied, with the alcohol well hidden beneath the bitter and semi malty backbone. To be honest the malt flavour is kind of hidden hidden too. The base allows you to concentrate on the hop aroma and flavour. Bittering turns out to be pretty mild and I was hoping for something a little less dull. It is a very good DIPA, clinical precision even, just lacking that flair of character like some naughty yeast flavour or something. Sourced from the Maisondubiere beer shop in Barnsley.

Cloudwater DIPA V6

Cloudwater DIPA V6