Mother Earth Boo Koo West Coast IPA

This is the final beer from the first Needle & Pin craft beer club selection box. The best things come to those who wait as they say. This is another one that has been stocked at the N&P since day one, and the blurb says that it is “bursting with flavour, a dry finish and hop-forward.” It is also described as “teeming with fruit and pine notes, and drinkable like a session ale.” Sounds exactly like my kind of thing. Let’s dive in…

Oh yes, there are those hops coming through on the nose, bubbling away with nice carbonation. Big west coast pine resin flavours from the hops in here, a very classic west coast IPA flavour profile. This is certainly another IPA that’s very easy to drink, and I would really like to try all of the different variations of this…

They have variants with Grapefruit, Tangerine, Simcoe & Grapefruit, Pineapple, Kumquats and Calamondin Oranges. There’s also one called Boo Kook, a collaboration with Pizza Port to produce a new beer designed to taste like a blend of Boo Koo IPA and Pizza Port’s Kook DIPA – yes please!

Pirate Life Throwback IPA

I love discovering new beers and new breweries. And it’s even better when they discover me first! Let me tell you a little bit about Pirate Life, and then we’ll look at the first of their beers that I’ve tried.

Pirate Life was set up in 2014 by Australians Red and Jack. They met whilst working at BrewDog (Australians involved in another part of the UK beer industry, whatever next?) They returned home, and after a couple of other jobs, they were able to set up their own brewery, selecting the lovely city of Adelaide (it is, we’ve been there) in which to get brewing.

In line with what Cloudwater have done for 2017, all of their beer is destined for can or keg. No bottles, no cask (not that you’d expect much cask action in the Antipodes). There are still anti-can breweries out there (there’s a vehement one just across the border from me in Derbyshire), but Pirate Life are not one of those.

Let’s move on to the first beer then.

Throwback IPA

Style: Session IPA

Alcohol: 3.5%

IBU: 35

Hops:  Crystal, NZ Cascade, Simcoe

Description: We love beer so much that we want to drink beer pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, the level of alcohol in most beer with any hint of flavour has quite a profound effect on us performing as functioning and productive humans. We needed a reduced alcohol solution. Enter our Throwback IPA.

Designed for intelligent and sexy humans who like to be able to throw back a few cans of a zealously hopped ale endowed with an ample malt chassis, and still get on with their day. Pairing suggestion: cooking, eating, camping, sailing, lawn mowing, home brewing, in-law visiting, hiking, riding and doing. But not driving. Don’t drink and drive folks, it’s not the 1970s any more.

The “throwback” or “throwie” is very much an Australian concept. We would definitely call this a session ale or session IPA. Let’s open up a can and have a taste:-

Yum, there come those hops on the nose, bubbling through a nice level of carbonation, and they are also present on the palate. Excellent hoppiness for a session beer, something you could drink a couple of, but that has plenty of flavour. Another good demonstration that there is no need to compromise flavour if you are looking for a lower ABV. Very easy drinking, this one is a little cracker.

With thanks to Pirate Life for sending the sample cans over. Look out for more reviews coming shortly. There are another three to explore…