From the spectacular De Molen Brewery in the Netherlands comes Amarillo Imp IPA-Ish at 9.3%. Decapping gives a big dirty resinous aroma of fruity dank hopness. Bittering hops are described as Sladek/Saaz with a massive dry hop of Amarillo. The pour is mightily impressive. Massive head retention, with a lingering 1/4″ thick white head. The beer has a deep golden appearance with a moderate sweetness and high particle presence, giving a nice cloudy appearance. Carbonation is moderate supporting a body that is thick and full, with a deep resinous hop aftertaste not too dissimilar to Sixpoint Resin. A moderate to high bitterness lingers throughout to give a wonderful hop kick bitterness /aroma combo. This takes some beating. Excellent IPA!
From The Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield comes ‘Salvation‘ a Coffee & Donut Stout, brewed in collaboration with local coffee company Roastology & bakers Forge Bakehouse. Complex Aromas of coffee and chocolate appear on decanning. The pour into the glass gives a good head generation that drops off to a thin off white skin. The pour is thick and black with average carbonation. The taste is intense coffee chocolate with burnt malt flavours and a mildly smoked bittersweet aftertaste. The donut element is completely lost on me, but the mouthfeel and body are great and this is a cracking indulgent stout that ticks all the boxes!
|Brewer:||The Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield.|
|Address:||Abbeydale Brewery Ltd
Unit 8, Aizlewood Road
S8 0YXTel: 0114 281 2712
Abbeydale Brewery – Salvation ‘Coffee & Donut’ Stout
Salvation No 5 : “Prepare to be granted salvation – the dark and brooding stouts and porters series from our small batch brewers emporium range. Salvation No. 5!
Rotating with each iteration, our salvations take inspiration from all manner of our favourite flavours. This version uses a specially created blend of coffee from Sheffield based Roastology. Vanilla pods, brown sugar and a hint of lemon – inspired by the doughnuts from our neighbours at Forge Bakehouse. Guaranteed to provide a delicious “treat in a glass” feeling! “
|Beer Style:||Coffee Stout|
|Alcohol By Volume:||5.8%|
|Units of Alcohol:||1.9 UK Units.|
|Ingredients:||Water, Barley, Yeast, Oats, Rye, Hops, Yeast, Coffee, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Coconut, Lemon zest|
From the guys at Heist Craft Brewing comes First Heist, which is a session IPA at 4.8% from an ambitious craft beer and bottle shop who singlehandedly reinvigorated the beer scene in the village of Clowne in Chesterfield. This is their first beer, which is a limited edition, Session IPA featuring Simcoe, Centennial & Motueka hops. This first brew was commissioned by the RAW Brewing Company in Derbyshire.
First of all, a clean hop aroma dominates on decanning, not overly complex, however some citrus fruit presence in the nose. A mild to moderate bittering presence is perceivable, (yet short lived) in the taste with a minor sweet malt presence. Carbonation is average to high for the style, but pleasantly lends to a good body presence to this type of beer. The appearance is healthy, presenting a orange/golden glow with a hint of haze. The head generation is also surprisingly good with a good thick lingering finger width remaining throughout the life of the beer. Interestingly, as the beer warms, an orange zest aftertaste also pokes through with the bitterness to give a pleasant beer experience.
Now as far as descriptions go, a session IPA may be the only thing wrong about the beer. An American Pale Ale would suit this beer much better. The ‘session’ aspect is a bug bearer due to the volume and price, but drop the price a little and they may be onto something really good. For a first commercial attempt, this is looking quite good. Nothing is bold or overstated, perhaps a little safe, but it gets my vote.
|Brewer:||Heist Craft by RAW Brewing Company|
|Address:||Heist Craft, Mill Street, Clowne, S43 4JN
|Beer Name/Description:||First Heist – 4.8% Session IPA
“Don’t let some pompous dick try and tell you what this tastes like. Buy it, try it and review it. Tell us what it tastes like”
|Beer Style:||Session India Pale Ale.|
|Alcohol By Volume:||4.8%|
|Units of Alcohol:||1.58 UK Units.|
|Ingredients:||Water, Barley, Hops & Yeast.|
|Hops:||Simcoe, Centennial & Motueka.|
From The Northern Monk Brew Co in Leeds, comes a Double India Pale Ale called A Newer World DDH. Decanning gives a big fruity aroma of resinous citrus, melon, peach and tropical fruit. The pour is mildly carbonated, generating a average white head. The beer is semi cloudy, suggesting an wheaty element or a non flocculent yeast presence. The wheat presence also adds a spot of underlying sweetness. The mouthfeel is not as expected or amazing for the ABV, being borderline watery which is slightly odd. The bitterness is relatively mild, however a pleasant chalkiness supports the base malt and understated allowing the hop presence to come through nicely. A nice double IPA from an excellent brewer.
|Brewer:||Northern Monk Brew Co|
|Address:||Northern Monk Brewing Co Ltd
The Old Flax Store
(0113 243 6430)
A Newer World – DDH Imperial India Pale Ale
“The first beer we ever brewed was New World IPA. In celebration of our 500th batch, we’ve brewed a doubled up version using some of our favourite hops. Dry hopped with a combination of Mosaic, Amarillo, Simcoe and Chinook and fermented with a blend of three yeast strains. ”
|Beer Style:||Imperial India Pale Ale.|
|Alcohol By Volume:||8.2%|
|Units of Alcohol:||3.61 UK Units.|
|Ingredients:||Water, Barley, Hops & Yeast.|
|Hops:||Mosaic, Amarillo, Simcoe & Chinook.|
|Yeast:||? (three yeast strains)|
If you are reading this post, it is likely that you have just about decided to make the bold step of moving from canned home beer brewing kits into the realm of all grain beer. First of all, Well done! The move will see you make substantially better quality beer for you and your friends to enjoy. You may also be aware that this is a slightly daunting endeavour, both in time, energy and equipment costs. If you have ever met an all grain home brewer, you will probably know that he or she spends a great amount of time moaning about cleaning brewing equipment, than actually brewing beer.
Investing in good cleaning materials is also fairly important. So, what will you need to get your new hobby (or upgraded hobby) off the ground? First of all, think big. Look to produce a minimum of around 5 gallons (23L) of wort per batch as a minimum. The following list is a growing one based around my personal setup, and each home brewer will use a variety of different tools.
- A Thermostatically controlled water boiler 30+ L (for your mash water and sparge water)
- A Stainless Steel Mash Tun 40-70L (bigger the better)
- A 30 – 70L Stainless Steel Boiling pan (bigger the better)
- A Stainless Steel Mash Paddle.
- A Copper Mash paddle (for emergency boil overs)
- A Propane Gas Burner.
- A Propane Conversion American to English conversion device.
- A set of Aluminium (or Steel) Wind Shields.
- A Propane Gas Tank.
- A Copper heat exchange cooling coil.
- Plastic Garden Hose Pipe and adaptors.
- A Stainless Steel Fermentation Device (Adapted oil dispenser).
- A plastic bucket for ingredients.
- A plastic bucket for washing up.
- A plastic weighing bucket.
- A set of digital scales.
- A digital probe thermometer or infrared thermometer gun.
- A Digital PH Meter.
- A Steel Jug and Sieve.
- A Hop Spider or similar x 2 (for hops).
- Steel Tea straining balls x 3 (for micro hops)
- A Hydrometer & Measuring Cylinder.
- Lots of 330ml & 500ml dark glass bottles
On the way down to Devon, we decided to stop off at the Brewhouse & Kitchen Pub/Restaurant at Gloucester Quays. This place looks pretty impressive, the bar and eating area is open plan, with beer bottle decor and pays homage to the Brewpub side of things pretty well.
This place is almost a craft beer heaven. The brewpub creations are available as hand pulled ales and the draught ales on the back wall include the likes of Beavertown, a couple of independent breweries and some macro beers offerings. There’s a good range of bottled Belgian ales and craft beer bottlings too. All the back wall draught beers come with custom shaped handles, something that i have not seen before in the U.K, however I’m guessing this will result in a reluctance to vary the offerings. All the glassware offerings are pretty good, sporting modern designs and minimal branding. You can also purchase said glassware for a reasonable price.
SSBanner American Pale Ale – 4.5%
The first beer I tried was SSBanner American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV. It came in at around £4.20 a pint and was a pretty decent pour (for Hand pull) giving a nice amber colour, generating a decent head and low/average retention. The beer also has low carbonation, which is to be expected. There was a slight whiff of citrus aroma on the pour, however, this quickly disappears to nothingness and is replaced by sweet malt. The taste is moderately bitter with a hint of bittersweet at the end with some fruitiness coming through. Body is really quite watery and unpleasant. Overall, this beer could use more aroma hops for a APA and hold back on the bittering hops somewhat. I don’t think this beer was representative of the style at all and I found this disappointing.
#WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer – 5.0%
The second brew was #WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer at 5.0% and around £4.50 a pint. The pour was a bit thin, with a micro head generation. The aroma is all banana and yeasty. The appearance is non carbonated, slightly hazy and golden, and the taste is really quite watery and lacks body (again!) but I think this is partly due to a lack of any carbonation and potentially some mashing temp issues. The taste is also initially sweet, followed by an odd aftertaste on the way to sour. This is not a good wheat beer at all and I’m again disappointed. Firstly because wheat beer should not be hand pulled, this should really be served on draught.
I love the concept of this place. A dream envisioned by beer entrepreneurs, hitting the chain circuit. The decor is splendid, the brew kit in the corner, all shiney and clad in copper. The food looks pretty darn good, and the place has all the adopted mantra of what Dogfish Head started all those years ago, albeit with a slight detour: The beer.
The general beer is quite watery, lacks sufficient hops for the style: in particular the American Pale Ale. Imagine expecting something like Beavertown Gamma Ray and getting something like Fullers ESB. Lovely. There was no house IPA on tap either. I must credit the place as having decent beers on tap including Weihenstephan on tap. Now that is something to marvel at. If this place got the beer right, with more hops, more body and possibly a bit more ABV (and style variation) I would have stayed all night. Instead, I experienced more chain pub than brewpub.