Meet the brewer – Black Iris, Needle & Pin, Loughborough, February 2018

Black Iris started out in Derby back in 2011 but crossed the border into Nottingham in 2014 where they have been building a name for themselves as one of the best in the city, which is quite a feat when there are many good breweries around, with new ones like Liquid Light exploding on to the scene with four tasty core beers late last year, and just today they announced bottling of their watermelon sour. Neon Raptor are another new name on the scene. We’ll meet them next month.

However, tonight is all about Black Iris, and another relaxed “meet the brewer” event at the N&P. The format is always very chilled. Get a pint from the bar, wander upstairs for a chat, and then some of the team from the brewery will make their way up and work their way around the tables, talking about beer, brewing, crossing the border (East Midlands cities have big rivalries) and being part of an exciting city centre beer scene that isn’t London or Manchester.

Let’s get on to those pints then. First up, Snake Eyes, a lovely session pint, fruity, floral and easy drinking, a lovely relaxed start to proceedings.

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We moved on to Bajan Breakfast, another nice cask pale, with slightly muted hops which also make for easy drinking. The oatmeal adds a little extra smoothness to it.

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As you might expect from something called Cosmic Cream, you get a rich, fruity and creamy NEIPA with lactose bringing the creaminess and Vic Secret, Citra, Simcoe and Rakau bringing fruity hoppiness.

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Let the Juice Loose was launched tonight, so we are some of the first people to be drinking this New England Style IPA brewed with Citra, Vic Secret and Ekuanot. These big hops make for a big and juicy murky beast of a beer, lovely stuff.

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We finished up with a wild Stab in the Dark (cue Blackadder joke, or repressed memory of the 1992 late night Channel 4 talking head show of the same name, which featured Michael Gove, Tracey MacLeod and David Baddiel presenting topical monologues). Whatever your reference, this was a tasty NZ stout, with a lovely sweetness and heavy roasted coffee notes.

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Another great meet the brewer event full of good chat and great beers. Let’s do it again soon.

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