August was a strong month for beer. Lots of good candidates in the line up, but all sampled at home this month, for the first time since November 2015.
We start with something from BrewDog, always one of my favourites. The black IPA (or Cascadian dark ale) is something that divides opinion. Many people suggest that such a thing should not exist, or is some kind of abomination. Arcade Nation is a 5.2% black IPA, which is a hybrid of an American IPA and a stout, with malt and hops clashing to produce roasty, chocolate and coffee notes with citrus, mango and pine coming from the hops (Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra).
Next, we travel to Somerset, for a Somerset Wild by The Wild Beer Co. When is a cider not a cider? When it’s a pale, sparkling sour beer fermented with a locally harvested culture of yeasts and bacteria from the apple orchards that Somerset is famous for. Zingy!
To something a little more familiar now, and a Tinderbox IPA by Fell Brewery, a very well rounded IPA. Hoppiness and piney flavours. Tastes more session than the ABV of 6.3% suggests. Everything I’ve had so far from Fell Brewery in Cumbria has been fantastic.
We move from one national park to another, with a trip to the Peak District. Well, almost. Bollington is just yards from the boundary of the Peak District national park, and Bollington Brewing Co produce Goldenthal, which was May’s winner. You can read all about it in that post!
Back to Somerset again, a Modus Operandi (Modus Vivendi) by The Wild Beer Co who have already featured this month. An old ale matured in oak Bourbon barrels with wild yeast. You were supposed to buy two, one to drink now, and one to lay down. I forgot that bit and just went for the drink now option. Sweet, sour, blueberry, blackberry, red wine, fizz. So much going on, so little time.
There’s time for two more great beers.
First up we have something from the 2015 Rainbow Project, a Key Lime Tau (2π) by Crooked Stave and Hawkshead Breweries. The Rainbow Project challenges brewers to come together and brew a beer inspired by a colour. In its third year, the 2015 project involved seven UK breweries, each paired with a different American brewery and randomly assigned a colour. Crooked Stave and Hawkshead got assigned green, and Key Lime Tau was born, a mixed culture fermentation ale aged in oak with lactose, fresh lime peel and fresh lemongrass
The brief review is simple. Lime lime lime. And then limezzzzzz! With some lime. Super sourness coming through. If you love lime like I love lime, you’ll love this.
This month’s beer of the month was so good, it produced enough words for its own blog post. The DIPA V3 by Cloudwater Brew Co.
Even after 4 months this is still stunning. It’s a 9% double IPA (DIPA). It doesn’t taste like a 9% DIPA. With many beers of high strength, you can taste the alcohol, and sometimes it can overpower the flavours of the beer (often called “alcohol burn”). Not so here, it’s wonderfully drinkable for a 9% beer.
Juicy Citra and Mosaic hops mingle with Chinook and Comet. Vermont ale yeast makes a big contribution to this beer, bringing a peach flavour to do battle with the tropical notes from the hops. It would appear that over time the hops might have fought back a bit more than when everyone tried it back in April when it was released.
The only disappointment is that I’ll never get to have another bottle of this, because I bloody loved it. I love huge and flavoursome IPAs. This was very much one of those. I just kept sniffing it and drinking it. I had a sneaky feeling that it would be beer of the month for August, and I was quite right.
A strong contender for beer of the year too!