Thornbridge Bear State – West Coast IPA

Another beer from the first Needle & Pin craft beer club selection box, there’s just one left for me to sample now.

Thornbridge Bear State is a “West Coast IPA”, brewed in the spirit of the West Coast of the USA. Described by Thornbridge as “a massively hoppy beer, balanced perfectly with a touch of malt sweetness and an intensely citrus hop character to finish.”

There’s certainly plenty of sweet citrus hoppiness, a bit chewy, a bit malty, some resinousness. It was a couple of weeks after its expiry date, so I can’t decide if I would have liked it even more if I’d drunk it sooner. It wasn’t bad, I just probably have unreasonably high expectations of Thornbridge beers after having so many good ones. Hoppy beasts are something that they do very well.

One of the final 500ml Thornbridge bottles too, as the vast majority of their output will now be in 330ml bottles (you’ll have spotted a couple of these in my Thornbridge night post earlier this month).

Christmas 2016 beer gifts – Salopian Brewery

We are reaching the end of my “things I’ve liked and would recommend you buy people for Christmas” series for 2016, because we are approaching the shipping deadlines for most of the suppliers. There are still a few to round up for you.

Salopian Brewery was founded as Snowdonia Brewery in 1994 by Brewer Martin Barry at his pub in North Wales.  In 1995 he relocated  to Shrewsbury and renamed it Salopian. A Salopian is a person from Salop (an abbreviation of Anglo-Norman Salopesberia, from Old English Scrobbesbyrig), the old name for Shropshire.

They have been growing ever since, a new 30 barrel brewery was installed in 2010 to cope with demand and when this was overwhelmed the brewery relocated in 2014 to a purpose built 50 barrel plant.

I’ve enjoyed several of their beers recently, including Automaton, which is like a smack in the mouth with a boxing glove full of Citra hops. This is only a good thing in my books!

Darwin’s Origin was first brewed to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury in 1809, and takes its name from On the Origin of Species. It’s a copper coloured beer with a spicy hop character and refined malt finish.

Polygraph is a stout with toast, liquorice, hints of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee and a lovely hop character.

Order by midnight 21st December for Christmas shipping.

(Images copyright Salopian Brewery)