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Professor Rob
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Another great box from the Hop Burns and Black sub this month - including that forum-favourite beer from St Mars and the Thornbridge X Beak collaboration I was planning to pick up anyway!

 

20210316_102549.thumb.jpg.126e6ca4d709c5bb1ca7f8884aa0bb6a.jpg

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I think my concern with the more premium/higher cost boxes is that if you have one or two duffers (or just not to your tastes) you’ve already lost any value of buying the box and you may have well just put one together yourself.

 

I can see at least 2 of those that I would likely not be that keen.

 

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Via my local (currently takeaway-only) micro pub I’ve just tried two excellent, rather unusual beers. A slightly more normal sour:

 

D65F700F-4DDF-4361-8EEF-451ACC86BE0A.thumb.jpeg.ed34091170c0150c508cf821e31fcd79.jpeg

Really intensely sour first taste but it quickly melts away to something almost creamy. Very, very nice. Then there was this can of complete madness:

 

D12F5664-E7D3-4617-9A13-5477F2D44057.thumb.jpeg.df001fd4dc508a2a88051f32fc8329bf.jpeg

 

Basically part beer, part smoothie. The froth looked like tapioca pudding! Somehow despite that (and being in a can that apparently should have been recalled as the batch had a few that went pop at room temperature) it was bloody lovely.

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I’ve finally started a save box with a local bottle shop and I’ve got that Thornbridge/Beak collab as my first save. 
 

Looks like another 2 SMOD beers are due imminently too so they’ll get added as well. Have to say I wasn’t crazy about Mr Sisyphus but did still enjoy it. 

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17 hours ago, kiroquai said:

Via my local (currently takeaway-only) micro pub I’ve just tried two excellent, rather unusual beers. A slightly more normal sour:

 

D65F700F-4DDF-4361-8EEF-451ACC86BE0A.thumb.jpeg.ed34091170c0150c508cf821e31fcd79.jpeg

Really intensely sour first taste but it quickly melts away to something almost creamy. Very, very nice. Then there was this can of complete madness:

 

D12F5664-E7D3-4617-9A13-5477F2D44057.thumb.jpeg.df001fd4dc508a2a88051f32fc8329bf.jpeg

 

Basically part beer, part smoothie. The froth looked like tapioca pudding! Somehow despite that (and being in a can that apparently should have been recalled as the batch had a few that went pop at room temperature) it was bloody lovely.

I'd be very careful if you ever buy one of those Wrecker beers again. The brewery has essentially produced bombs and after being called out on it have very reluctantly recalled a batch after putting all of the blame onto customers for not handling the beer properly.

 

Beer should 100% be kept cold as much as possible, but it shouldn't blow up if you store it warm. "Don't package beer that's still fermenting" is brewing 101, and this brewery has essentially ignored that and hoped that customers would keep the beer cold to stop the fermentation.

 

Incredibly dangerous and reckless behaviour.

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On 16/03/2021 at 11:36, skadupuk said:

I think my concern with the more premium/higher cost boxes is that if you have one or two duffers (or just not to your tastes) you’ve already lost any value of buying the box and you may have well just put one together yourself.

 

I can see at least 2 of those that I would likely not be that keen.

 

On 16/03/2021 at 11:37, minstrels said:

I'm sure you'll enjoy all of the beers, but that box is a great example of what I hate most about 'modern' craft beer right now. A box of 10 beers and 7 are hazy IPAs. :(

 

Yeah, I have largely stopped doing sub boxes as I got fed up with there being beers in there of types that I really don't like.  I thought I had found a solution as my local bottle shop extended their sub box scheme at the start of lockdown and were allowing you to specify stuff you didnt like.  They then totally ignored it and sent two beers from my very short list of stuff to exclude, its not like I asked for a broad exclusion either I just said no coffee beers!

 

I'm actually getting a bit more grumpy on current beer trends so would probably extend my exclusions now; anything 'coffee', 'pastry' or 'milkshake' can fuck right off and I'm totally with @minstrels in that there is far too much focus on NE style pales and IPAs.  Am not overly keen on sours either though do quite like lambic fruit beers

 

:blah:

 

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2 hours ago, minstrels said:

I'd be very careful if you ever buy one of those Wrecker beers again. The brewery has essentially produced bombs and after being called out on it have very reluctantly recalled a batch after putting all of the blame onto customers for not handling the beer properly.

 

Beer should 100% be kept cold as much as possible, but it shouldn't blow up if you store it warm. "Don't package beer that's still fermenting" is brewing 101, and this brewery has essentially ignored that and hoped that customers would keep the beer cold to stop the fermentation.

 

Incredibly dangerous and reckless behaviour.

 

Duly noted - thanks! Yeah, must admit I wasn't entirely sure why the cans were still available given how volatile they were reputed to be. Mine basically acted as if it had been dropped down a few sets of stairs when I opened it (I think 50% of the can went into the tea towel I quickly covered it with).

 

In overall beer tasting news, I have also been using lockdown as an excellent opportunity to test all kinds of different things like a good few folks here. My top beer, having entered 116 into Untappd, is:

 

img_1602.jpg

 

Definitely on the sweet side, but tastes glorious. Wasn't a big stout person this time 12 months ago, but now a whole bunch of my favourite beers are stouts. Also really enjoy Brew York's Imperial Tonkoko and Tiny Rebel's Stay Puft.

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5 hours ago, Gaz said:

Slightly breaking with the mood in the thread, I'm keen to get some super hazy / super hoppy ipas.

Any recommendations? 

 

Not sure if it's quite what you are after, but this (on the hazy side) was a cracker in the Trillium/Cloudwater box (available online on it's on), very much fruity and a bit coconutty.

image.thumb.png.d8f39749726a5016fb1b0a7837a1a670.png

There's a 10% TIPA with the same hops from Cloudwater that was only supplied to independent bottle shops called Thanks Again For Your Support that is meant to be great.

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On 10/03/2021 at 23:30, Mike S said:

Have those that had them drunk their Trillium's yet?

 

The Fort Point is a straight up banger and, for me, much more drinkable than than the various dry hopped variants i've had over the years. Second best was the Vitamin Sea collab DIPA which had a very heady wet dog in a damp and mouldy graveyard nose but tasted pretty much perfect with exactly the righ balance of sweet hit and than a bitter finish that I am looking for. The big, fruity 'Berliner Weisse' was a massive and pretty ace fruit bomb and all the better for being anti beer style. 'Scaled' was average by Trillium standards but still really bloody drinkable and very, very 'fluffy'...

 

The CW stream was as entertaining and informative as ever and nice to finish with drunk Paul's confirmation that they WILL be bringing Russian River over some day...

 

I've finally started the Trillium.

 

Loved the collab, big hitter and definitely special.

 

The Berliner Weisse was very much my kind of thing, very heavy on the fruit (but not at the expense of not feeling like a "fancy" beer)   

 

Scaled was very good (but as you say paled a bit compeared the others)

 

Having the Fort Point later tonight.

 

For me so far it's clearly great beer from a great producer, there's probably a little bit too much hype but I can see why they are heralded.

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On 14/03/2021 at 20:17, Mike S said:

 

Woah!

 

Fort Point is an absolute classic of the style and one of the modern US beers that the UK scene has been trying to copy ever since it was released. It has a delicacy and freshness that I have found to be exceedingly rare in the UK - Wylam, Deya, and CW have certainly gotten it right a few times and Verdant released a spectacular Pale last summer (who's name I forget) but very few others stand out. I find Neon Raptor to be very much chasers rather than innovators, especially currently as the beer they are making just now is being dictated by an overstock of certain hop varietals.

 

I'd probably not compare Fort Point with the Neon Raptor though as the double dry hopping makes it quite a different style. 

 

Drinking the Fort Point now, it's a unique beer and i'm enjoying it.

 

It's hard to put a finger on quite why I like it though, it's both light and has a big punch in terms of flavour.

 

I can't say I've had better in the style, but I don't think (some) UK breweries are too far off.

 

 

 

 

 

  

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31 minutes ago, skadupuk said:

It's hard to put a finger on quite why I like it though, it's both light and has a big punch in terms of flavour.

 

The reason you like it is that it light and has a big punch in terms of flavour!

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On 15/03/2021 at 06:56, Isaac said:

As I said, it's probably a personal preference thing. I really didn't rate the Fort Point that much at all, certainly didn't find it that remarkable when I had it. Whilst I can appreciate it had a big impact on the scene, perhaps times have moved on? Or I just had a dodgy batch. 


I'd imagine I'd like the DDH Fort Point a lot more.

 

Think it's a bit cheeky to call something that's 6.6% a pale ale too, but there's probably a reason for that I'm totally missing. It just tasted like an NEIPA to me.

 

But I'm also not convinced that something hasn't been lost in the journey across the Atlantic. I'm sure I'd like them a lot more if I tried them in MA.

 

Whilst a totally different style, I had the Parade by Beak yesterday evening and again, that's an incredible beer. Probably one of my favourite beers I've had this year. I can see they've just put out a double IPA I need to try too.

 

 

Yeah, it's all horses for courses!

 

I have had three of four DDH Fort Point variants over the last few years and definitely prefer the standard to those, which was a surprise as I am normally a very big fan of the more forward/fuller hop taste of a decent DDH IPA. That said, without doing a head to head it is very hard to compare. JC from Trillium acknowledged during the stream that calling it a Pale is indeed a bit cheeky but I think it's a US thing - their modern beers are typically of a higher strength across the boards and always have been. I think it's a challenge to sell a 5% or less Pale or IPA over there due to that history and maybe a worry from consumers that lower ABV beers will be lacking in the bigger flavours they prefer.

 

With you on Beak - I've been able to try most of their output this last year and everything has been superb. They are a really exciting new brewery.

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25 minutes ago, El Spatula said:

I had a Pliny the Elder not so long ago. It's... okay. I was surprisingly underwhelmed.

 

Yeah, same here when I had one. It is a style that they pretty much invented, and certainly pioneered, twenty odd years ago but that style and tastes have evolved over the years which has left it tasting quite different to modern West Coast IPA's. I would still say it is an essential reference point for anyone at all interested in modern beer.

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On 16/03/2021 at 10:30, Isaac said:

Another great box from the Hop Burns and Black sub this month - including that forum-favourite beer from St Mars and the Thornbridge X Beak collaboration I was planning to pick up anyway!

 

20210316_102549.thumb.jpg.126e6ca4d709c5bb1ca7f8884aa0bb6a.jpg

 

The SMOD was glorious - quite similar to the lower alcohol saison beers they had the month before but with the extra kick I thought they needed at the time. And I had the Abyss last night, which was a thickly hazy delight.

 

I could definitely live without two lagers in there though. I'm happy enough with a decent lager every now and then but there's a limit on what can be achieved in that style, IMO, and it's definitely not something I'm interested in paying premium prices for, not at the expense of the lovely stout they had last time around.

 

Think I'll pause HB&B for next month and try another of BBNO's sub boxes (having only just polished off the last, with a can of that lovely Sour Grapes that someone posted above).

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3 hours ago, hmm said:

 

The SMOD was glorious - quite similar to the lower alcohol saison beers they had the month before but with the extra kick I thought they needed at the time. And I had the Abyss last night, which was a thickly hazy delight.

 

I could definitely live without two lagers in there though. I'm happy enough with a decent lager every now and then but there's a limit on what can be achieved in that style, IMO, and it's definitely not something I'm interested in paying premium prices for, not at the expense of the lovely stout they had last time around.

 

Think I'll pause HB&B for next month and try another of BBNO's sub boxes (having only just polished off the last, with a can of that lovely Sour Grapes that someone posted above).

I'm the exact opposite of that. As a brewer, there's something about the subtleties and nuance of a lager that is so hard to get right so I have a real appreciation of that style. Calling it is a style is a bit wrong though, it's simply the yeast that is used to ferment the beer. In terms of actual lager styles, you've got tons: Munich helles, Czech pilsner, schwarzbier, Baltic porter, Bock, American light lager, to name a few. Not quite as diverse as ale styles, obviously, but still a wide variety of styles that are all great in their own way.

 

I definitely feel that way about New England and hazy IPAs though. They genuinely all taste the same to me with a few exceptions, and I like to think I have a pretty decent palate.

 

EDIT: Sorry, I've just realised most of my contribution to this thread recently has been moaning about New England IPAs. I'll try and post an actual beer I've drank next time. :lol:

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45 minutes ago, minstrels said:

I'm the exact opposite of that. As a brewer, there's something about the subtleties and nuance of a lager that is so hard to get right so I have a real appreciation of that style. Calling it is a style is a bit wrong though, it's simply the yeast that is used to ferment the beer. In terms of actual lager styles, you've got tons: Munich helles, Czech pilsner, schwarzbier, Baltic porter, Bock, American light lager, to name a few. Not quite as diverse as ale styles, obviously, but still a wide variety of styles that are all great in their own way.

 

I definitely feel that way about New England and hazy IPAs though. They genuinely all taste the same to me with a few exceptions, and I like to think I have a pretty decent palate.

 

Even with different hop profiles?

 

Some of the single-hopped New England IPAs have really tasted dramatically different from eachother for me, despite all being the same style.

 

However I'm the opposite to you, I'm a basic bitch who cannot get enough of the juicy/hazy New England style, so I'm probably biased.

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5 hours ago, minstrels said:

I'm the exact opposite of that. As a brewer, there's something about the subtleties and nuance of a lager that is so hard to get right so I have a real appreciation of that style. Calling it is a style is a bit wrong though, it's simply the yeast that is used to ferment the beer. In terms of actual lager styles, you've got tons: Munich helles, Czech pilsner, schwarzbier, Baltic porter, Bock, American light lager, to name a few. Not quite as diverse as ale styles, obviously, but still a wide variety of styles that are all great in their own way.

 

I definitely feel that way about New England and hazy IPAs though. They genuinely all taste the same to me with a few exceptions, and I like to think I have a pretty decent palate.

 

EDIT: Sorry, I've just realised most of my contribution to this thread recently has been moaning about New England IPAs. I'll try and post an actual beer I've drank next time. :lol:

 

Yeah, I don't think it is any coincidence that so many brewers have more admiration for the good lager makers than for almost anything else and why so many, even those renowned in more modern styles, are so disappointed with their own efforts.  I don't know anything of Brick, bar having a few cans of so so IPA type beers a few years ago, so can't judge their lager but I'd not want to dismiss the Lost and Grounded Helles as L&G have as good a reputation for their lagering skills as anyone in the UK.

 

I think we in the UK might have a little bias against lager thanks to our experience of distinctly average mass lagers such as Carling, Heineken, etc, etc and the associated lager lout/lad culture which lead to those of us riding the 'craft' wave to be a bit dismissive. I certainly carried some of that misguided snobbery but am slowly starting to appreciate a good lager and have settled on a Helles as my current go to lager style but it is pretty hard to beat a light, crisp, balanced Pilsner on a sunny afternoon.

 

Coincidentally this week's CW live stream features renowned US lager specialists, Notch, who have a reputation for their nerdy devotion to lager and the process of brewing it. I believe the chat will be them schooling us lager heathens on what to look for in a lager as much as how they brew it. Either way, should be a fun one although I doubt very much that I'll get through all of the five different beers they sent over (a Helles, a Kolsch, a Rauchbier and a couple of Czech Dark Lagers).

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On 22/03/2021 at 14:12, Isaac said:

 

Even with different hop profiles?

 

Some of the single-hopped New England IPAs have really tasted dramatically different from eachother for me, despite all being the same style.

 

However I'm the opposite to you, I'm a basic bitch who cannot get enough of the juicy/hazy New England style, so I'm probably biased.

Nah, it doesn't matter what hops are in there, they always just taste like sweet, muddy messes. I find it really hard to discern any flavours from them whatsoever.

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1 hour ago, OneDvBmbr said:

Today’s haul for me. Thought I’d only got 1 of each of the SMOD beers put aside, but wasn’t going to refuse a 2nd of each.

 

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I picked up 3 each of the new SMOD,looking forward to trying them.

 

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the Beak collab (when you get a chance to try it)

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On 22/03/2021 at 19:19, Mike S said:

I'd not want to dismiss the Lost and Grounded Helles as L&G have as good a reputation for their lagering skills as anyone in the UK.

 

Too right - I had that lager the other day and it was delicious.

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