Dessert Beers! :D

Who needs candy when you’ve got beer?

Beer

Last week I received a rather sweet gift in the form of a bottle of Tiny Rebel’s Stay Puft porter and a tinny of Darkstar’s Creme Brulee. I do love me a weird beer and these two didn’t disappoint.

creme Brulee.pngLet’s start with the creme Brulee. Self described as “ADessert in a Can” and it sure does what it says on the tin. The smell is gorgeous, dark and malty topped off with caramel, and vanilla. I didn’t find the taste as lovely as the smell but it was still pretty damn good. There was a slight sharpness to it that I wasn’t fond of, which I felt didn’t compliment the sweetness, almost made it a little sickly. But all in all it went down pretty smoothly and I’d certainly drink it again.

It’s apparently a stout, which I didn’t even realise as I was drinking it, for a dark beer the flavour was extremely light. At 5.9% it’s a little strong for me, but it’s not really the kind of thing you’d drink can after can of so that’s okay. Over all I’d give it a 7/10.

On to my favorite of the two, Tiny Rebel’s Stay Puft. Can I start by giving a nod to the bottle art, Tiny Rebel always smash it with their branding. If I hadn’t been drinking it on a park bench (I know, I’m classy) I’d have kept the bottle.tr_kegclip_staypuft-01

Now I’m not really a Porter kinda gal. I hate coffee and most of ’em taste like Coffee so it’s rare that I find one I’m able to finish. But this is not only my favorite Porter I’ve ever had but also up there in my top 5 beers I’ve ever had. This Marshmallow porter tastes…well, like marshmallows. I love Marshmallows and have been missing them since turning vegetarian last spring but this brew is suitable for vegans, giving me a new way to get my marshmallow fix! There’s also a strong presence of dark chocolate in the flavour with a hint of bitter so it avoids being as sickly as it could’ve been. I adored this so much I’m giving it a solid 10.

Finally! Beers I can drink with Dessert!

 

Brewdog’s Best: Elvis Juice.

I like Brewdog.

Who doesn’t? They’re one of the most well known craft breweries in the U.K. (Do they even count as craft given how big they are?) But I’ve never had anything from them that’s blown me away. Don’t get me wrong, everything I have tried has been more than decent, and I drink Punk IPA quite often (partly  because there’s not much choice in my local tesco) but I’d rarely choose a Brewdog brew when out in a pub. (well…unless that’s the only craft option, which happens quite often come to think of it.)

But I’ve stumbled upon an absolute Gem in theform of Brewdog’s Elvis Juice.elvisjuiceI spent last week away in the country side with the significant other, and we stocked up on beers for the occasion. There wasn’t an amazing amount of choice in the Glastonbury Morrison’s, but I grabbed whatever craftys I could, including a handful of Glastonbury home-brews which I’ll write about later, but the Elvis Juice certainly left a lasting impression.

Let me start by saying it’s suitable for vegans (I’m not vegan but that info seems important.) This Grapefruit infused IPA is stronger than what I’d usually go for at 6.5% and I was a little nervous about trying it, expecting the flavour to be too heavy for me. But I was oh-so pleasantly surprised. It has a sweet, malty body with an intense hit of American hops all undercut with a zesty grapefruit sour. The flavour is complex but not overly so. I loved that the citrus flavours from the grapefuit were just subtle enough to avoid this beer feeling like a sour style. It went down so smoothly I wish I’d bought more than one bottle. Will definitely be going straight for this should I ever see it on draught.

“An American IPA with a bitter edge that will push your citrus tolerance to the brink and back; Elvis Juice is loaded with tart pithy grapefruit peel. This IPA has a caramel malt base, supporting a full frontal citrus overload – grapefruit peel piled on top of intense us aroma hops. Waves of crashing pine, orange and grapefruit round out this citrus infused IPA.” – Brewdog

This or That: Orbit White Label #2 Vs Project Babylon Pale Ale.

Evening Beer Bellies. Due to general craziness at work and in life I haven’t been able to give this blog half as much attention as I would like to. I promise I haven’t forgotten about it. 
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So a friend and I have a pretty aggressive competition going on Untapped, which brought to life this little unofficial ritual; after we finish our shifts, we run to the Craft Beer co High Holborn to grab two halves of something new just before they ding their last bell. Only the other night did I realise this is the perfect opportunity for a regular blog feature! Instead of oh-so-selfishly enjoying my beers and then heading off to Soho square with a few take-aways, I’ll briefly review my two halves, pit them against eachother and pick a winner. so, here’s to the first:

This or That?

Todays contenders:

Orbit: White Lable #2: Citra Kellerbier(4.9%) VS Gun Brewery: Project Babylon Pale Ale (4.9%)gunbreweryvsprbitI’ll be honest, I wasn’t raving about either of them. Both were pleasant enough but neither would I buy again.

Let’s start with the Orbit brew: It pours a hazy dark golden colour, with a citrusy, slightly herby aroma. The taste is similar to the smell, but I felt it smelled nicer than it tasted. There’s alot going on here, citrus fruits, wheat, bitters, bread and a light fizz. It’s quite dry on the palate which I do like but all in all I found it didn’t go down smoothly.

On to the Gun: pale golden/yellow colour, a lemony, slightly grainy aroma. Also quite dry on the tongue, the taste is crisp, with citric hops and hints of malt, also a light fizz. I found it to be quite refreshing but nothing worth blogging shouting about.

I think it’s pretty clear from my comments that the winner for me was the Project Babylon pale ale. Whilst I won’t be rushing out to buy it again, it was a tasty enjoyable brew, and went down much smoother than the Orbit.

Let me know if you agree!

 

 

Cursory introductory post.

Hello fellow beer bellies!

Again, apologies for the lack of pictures, I’ll update this post with snaps as soon as I have some. lack of phone camera is really slowing me down as I often forget to take my camera out with me.

Here is my typical but necessary let-me-introduce-myself post. I’ll tell you a little about myself, why I’m doing this blog, then a quick a rundown of a few of my favorite pubs and beers, some craft, some..”normal”.(Is there an opposite of craft?)

So… about me.

By day, I’m a pub chef at a nice little joint in Bloomsbury, Central London. When I’m not running around the kitchen swearing my head off and throwing ladles at colleagues, I am working on animations, illustrations and other digital media, in the hopes of one day making a creative career for myself. Sometimes the pressure of creative work takes it’s toll, and that’s partly why I’ve started this blog. Because what do I do when I’m not working?

I drink. 😉

I’m a self proclaimed beer belly. I love the stuff. Always have. I still remember my year 6 camping trip, when I snuck a six-pack of non-alcoholic Becks into my luggage, thinking I was the absolute shit. Since then I’ve left the Becks Blue behind in favour of more crafty options.

I have my preferences; fruity, american-style keg pale ales are probably my favourite and I prefer weaker ales, at around 3.8% – 4.5%, as I like to enjoy a good session. But I have a place in my heart for all styles of beer and lately have been trying to taste more things outside of my comfort zone.

A few of my favourites…

I will be writing more in-depth reviews for a few of these but here’s few favourite beers and a few favourite pubs of mine, in no particular order.

Beers

Camden Pale Ale: (4%) Camden Town Brewery (Camden) Nothing hugely spectacular about this one, but it’s a staple drink for me. Reasonabley priced(£4.50 – £4.90 in central London) and widely available in most places. Slightly citrusy, fruity hops with a sharp bitter after taste. (shout out to Camden Wit, which didn’t make this list but is a gorgeous wheat beer by the same brewers)

Neck Oil: (4%) This session IPA from Beaver Town Brewery (Tottenham) is a firm favourite of mine. delicious both canned and keg, a smooth, cirtrusy flavour with a hoppy finish. Price varies from around £4.40- £5.90 a pint. Cans are around £2.99 in most shops. And I’ve got to give credit to the awesome artwork on all Beavertown cans.

Wu Gang Chops the Tree: (3.8%) By Pressure Drop brewery (hackney), this is one of my favourite German style wheat beers. A herby aroma with a sweet but not sickly flavour. It’s light on the taste buds and goes down like water. They have it in a lot of weatherspoons which is great as I can get a craft option for cheap. (£4) In more central locations it’s around the £5 mark.

Pubs

The Chequers: (145 High St, London E17 7BX) I don’t actually live in Walthamstow anymore but I still consider this to be my local. Dubbed by Pokemon Go(It’s a Pokestop!) as the “hipsters with kids pub,” it certainly is a live example of the gentrification of Walthamstow. But hipsters aside, it is a great pub, plenty of space,  3 rooms, an open fire and(most importantly to me, being a smoker) a large heated beer garden dotted with fairy lights and bric-a-brac furniture. they have a huge selection of real ales, just a few craft beer options on keg and a few more in the fridges, as well as your standard beers for the not-so-crafty beer lover. DJ sets some nights and good music always. Oh and the food is lovely for pub grub.

The Faltering Fullback: (19 Perth Rd, London N4 3HB) Another regular watering hole of mine, this traditional irish pub is a real life Tardis. From the outside, it looks like a small house with ivy climbing up the walls. you walk in to a large bar and what looks like not much space to sit…but wait… there’s a room around the right side of the bar…and another to the left…and what if we go straight through…Holy shit. Towards the back is a huge, dining hall style room packed with tables, a big telly and a pool table. But truly the best part of this pub is the beer garden. It’s the smokers utopia. wooden decking stretching up 4 levels, (maybe even 5??) with some sections well covered from the rain. Heaters everywhere, ivy and plants thickly scattered about. Here you can find a big open space table for large groups as well as intimate little corners for those date nights.  They only have one or 2 craft beer options on at a time and it’s never anything spectacular, but this pub is all about atmosphere.

The Perseverance: (63 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB) Ok I’ll confess. I work here. I’m shamelessly self advertising. I was a bar tender for just under a year and now a chef. This pub might not look like much on the surface, the tables are wobbly, the chairs are falling apart, half the lights don’t work, but it really offers something special. The staff are the friendliest and most welcoming I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Seriously. I get annoyed when I go into other pubs and the bar tenders aren’t as lovely as us. You’ll always get a warm welcome here. 4 cask ales which change regularly, 3 ciders and 12 keg taps with craft and regular beers. Oh and the food is great…I make it after all.

 

So there you have it.

That’s me in a nut shell. upcoming on my blog expect to see in-depth reviews for beers and pubs, tasting tests, brewery visits and other beery thoughts.

Clwb Tropicana @ The Craft Beer Co

tr_kegpclip_clubtropicana

I was planning to have a little introductory first post, so you can get to know me and my tastes, but last night I found a beer that had me weak at the knees and I just had to write about it.

During an unplanned visit to the Craft Beer Co, High Holborn, (A place I will write about later) I found my new favorite beer. I love me a fruity pale ale and Clwb Tropicana is as fruity as they get. The brew pours a gorgeous, cloudy, yellow colour, almost like orange juice, a look that I personally love. (Think Kernal pale ale or Beavertowns american pale)

The taste is smooth and hoppy with a huge burst of tropical fruit flavours like peach, pineapple and mango. This beer doesn’t feel strange like I find many peculiar/niche beers to be. It’s not like the chocolate larger you try for the novelty or the berry beer that’s nice but not drinkable by the pint. The flavours all work wonderfully together and whilst the taste is unusual, it’s not so far out of the box that you’d “only try a half.” I could drink this all evening, every evening.

Bottom line, it’s like a party in my mouth and everyone’s puking rainbows and hula dancing.

It was surprisingly difficult to find anywhere selling it online. A quick visit to the Tiny Rebel brewery website tells me it was released February 2016. Could be that it’s a seasonal thing and I was lucky to have a taste this late in the year. Please let me know if you know anywhere I can buy it!

  • Abv:5.5%
  • Style: Pale ale
  • appearance: Cloudy yellow, small white head.
  • Flavours: Peach, Passion fruit, Mango, slightly dry, hoppy finish.

Sidenote Sorry for the lack of pictures in this review. I didn’t take my camera out with me and my phone camera is broken. I’ll aim to have some snaps in future reviews.