Fourpure – Session IPA

Fourpure - Session IPASo today is Day 1 in the #12BeersOfXmas with the Beer O’Clock Show and I’ve decided to start off a bit light.

Fourpure – Session IPA (4.2%, 330ml bottle)

Fourpure are another new London based micro-brewery (believe me I’m in no way complaining – it’s a great time to be a beer fan), and all of their beers come with really distinctive and eye catching branding – I really like the look of the bottles. But anyway, on to the beer itself…

Upon opening the bottle I got a nice subtle hop aroma mixed in with hints of mango coming from the cascade hops used – really quite pleasant. The beer itself is very lightly carbonated and upon pouring it had a thin white head, but this was gone within a minute or so; colour wise it’s a light orange and is slightly hazy. In the taste and mouthfeel this is pretty spot on for me and my current tastes (light, easy drinking, session-able pale numbers), it has flavours of citrus, mango and other tropical fruits with a firm but pleasant bitterness at the end. It’s quite thin as you would expect for this style of beer, but this married really well with the not so over the top flavours and dry bitterness.

Overall I really like this beer and I could easily see myself sinking a few of these in an evening. Well chuffed with my first beer of the #12BeersOfXmas – let’s hope the other 11 are just as good if not better!

The Kernel – Pale Ale ABC

Kernel Pale Ale ABCI’ve been looking forward to this one for a little while… Not only is this from one of my favourite of the London microbreweries (The Kernel), it’s also a collaboration brew with some members of my homebrew club (London Amateur Brewers), made with all Eastern European hops – aurora, bobek and celeia.

Aroma – Pine, resin and a slight hint of sweet tropical fruit.

Appearance – Light golden in colour and with a creamy white head that persisted throughout.

Flavour – Interesting. Similar pine and resin notes to the aroma, but not overpowering – quite similar to some of the IPA’s you get from The Kernel, but slightly more subdued. Finishes clean and dry.

Mouthfeel – Medium/light bodied, slight carbonation, and leaves and nice fizz in the mouth.

Would I buy more? – I would love to, but I think they may all be gone already!

The Kernel – India Pale Ale Galaxy

Aroma – Intense. Strong grapefruit, citrus and floral notes.

Appearance – Dark apricot-like orange in colour and quite hazy with a very thin white head.

Flavour – Super hoppy, with a character that matches the aroma – fruity, citrus and floral. Quite bitter an dry, and the dryness lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, but not very well carbonated.

Overall – An awesome IPA!

Would I Buy More? – This is one of the best beers I’ve had in a while – most definitely yes!

Fuller’s – Golden Pride

I had this one at The Parcel Yard in King’s Cross Station – it’s a great pub to have just around the corner from work. 🙂

Aroma – Malty, fruity and large amounts of caramel/toffee/molasses.

Appearance – Dark red/brown. Crystal clear. Nice off-white head that sticks around.

Flavour – As with the aroma – seriously malty and sweet, with nice bitterness. Slight fruity flavours in there too,

Mouthfeel – Hmmm, chewy… Full bodied with a hint of warmth coming from the alcohol.

Overall – A very very nice old ale!  Very strong though – one to sip slowly.

Would I buy more? – Most definitely, but I could only drink the one per night.

London Fields – Love Not War

Aroma – Distinctly malty with a hint of caramel and fruity hops.

Appearance – Copper in colour, and very clear. Absolutely no carbonation or head to speak of.

Flavour – Really quite bitter with some floral notes – fairly pleasant but not amazing.

Mouthfeel – A bit of a let down; thin and with zero carbonation.

Overall – It’s an ok bitter, but I’ve tasted many better.

Would I buy more? – It’s ok, but I don’t think i’ll be going out of my way to buy more of these…

Camden Town – USA Hells Unfiltered Lager

Taste – Dry but with a very good malt and hop character. A slight yeasty-ness in there too, but nothing unpleasant.

Aroma – Spicy hoppines

Appearance – Pale golden with a haze to it (due to it being unfiltered) and a creamy white head.  Well carbonated too.

Would I buy more? – If I could get more (It was a limited run earlier in the year), yes!

Luton Pride

This time round I thought i’d have a go a cloning one of the beers that introduced me to real ale – Fullers London Pride, but as i’m from Luton, I thought i’d call it Luton Pride!

Recipe: Luton Pride
Style: Special/Best/Premium Bitter
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 25.78 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.71 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 17.49 l
Estimated OG: 1.040 SG
Estimated Color: 22.0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 30.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.2 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
2.74 kg               Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)         Grain         1        84.3 %        
0.51 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (157.6 EBC)   Grain         2        15.7 %        
11.08 g               Target [11.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min         Hop           3        15.9 IBUs     
6.04 g                Challenger [7.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min      Hop           4        5.9 IBUs      
6.04 g                Northdown [8.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min       Hop           5        6.7 IBUs      
3.00 g                Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        6        -             
7.05 g                Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 10.0 Hop           7        1.6 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               British Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1335) [124. Yeast         8        -             
4.00 g                Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Dry Hop 7 Hop           9        0.0 IBUs      

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 3.25 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 8.48 l of water at 73.8 C           65.6 C        75 min        

Sparge: Fly sparge with 21.50 l water at 75.6 C

Added 400g DME and 200g Corn Sugar into fermenter as post boil OG was a touch low (measured at 1.036, with sugar it came up to target - 1.040).

Brewed on 22nd April 2012

After the chaos of the last brewday, this one went pretty much as planned.  The only slight wrinkle was that the post-boil OG once again came in a touch low at 1.036, so I had to add 400g DME and 200g corn sugar to the fermenter to get the OG up to target (1.040) – I think i need to re-asses my brewhouse efficiency for the next brew…

Fermentation went quite quickly, as the yeast cake from the last brew was quite substantial – it was bubbling away within about 4 hours – once it had calmed down a bit I transferred it into the barrel after 4 days and added the dry hop additions.

However, before putting the wort into the barrel I managed to put a little bit of muslin around the outlet (inside the barrel) to try and stop the hops clogging up the pipes this time around!

After 10 days in the barrel, it was time to bottle.  The FG came in at 1.010, meaning an approximate ABV of 3.9% – not quite the 4.2% I was aiming for, but still a good sessional beer level. 🙂

Camden Town – Hells Lager

Taste – Biscuity malt flavours, very subtle peppery hop bitterness, a little sweetness, and a dry finish.

Aroma – Lightly hoppy, slight smell of straw to it.

Appearance – Very pale (clear golden) and well carbonated with clean white head.

Would I buy more? – Hells (you see what I did there?!?) yes. I really like this lager – would be most refreshing on a warm summers evening.

BrewDog Camden

BrewDog Camden is the newest addition to BrewDog’s collection of craft beer bars, situated just around the corner from Camden tube station, I’m a bit of a fan of BrewDog’s beers and attitude towards brewing so I’ve been looking forward to a visit…

A few friends and I went there last night for some birthday drinks and to check out the new IPA is Dead range.  All I can say is, I like this pub!  The beer (as expected) is great, and it’s not just BrewDog beers on offer – the fridges were stacked with craft beer from other breweries from all over the globe.  In fact there was such a variety on offer it’s a bit too much choice, but that’s a good thing!  The atmosphere was great too, even when it got quite busy later on in the evening it still felt like a good place to be in and it didn’t take more than a few minutes to get served at the bar.  The only possible negative I could think of is that if this place gets more popular (it’s going to), it could be a little too busy and crowed for a civilised and deep conversation, but you could say that of any busy pub in London of an evening.

On to the beers! For this visit I decided to stick with the BrewDog beers and sample a few (small measures of each of course!):

  • Punk IPA – tastes exactly the same from the pump as it does from the bottle (aka good!).
  • 77 Lager – nice clean, crisp lager, and very refreshing.
  • IPA is Dead Moteuka – great aroma and flavour, real fruity notes.
  • IPA is Dead Galaxy – similar to the Moteuka, great aroma and fruity flavour, but had a slightly more harsh bitter edge to it that I quite liked, this one was my favourite of the IPA is Dead family.
  • IPA is Dead Challenger – nice, but way too bitter.
  • IPA is Dead HBC – ok, but bland in comparison to the other three in the range.
  • Hardcore NZ (Hardcore IPA variant using New Zealand hops) – hoppy, sweet tropical fruit, malty and caramel flavours abound.

All in all the beer experience was as expected (great).  What I didn’t expect though was the food to be equally great!  They only serve a limited selection: three types of pizzas or burgers, and a cheese board.  All of the food coming by looked great, so I opted for the “Meaty One” pizza – I was not disappointed!  Some of the others had the burgers and the cheese board and they were equally happy with the food.

So BrewDog Camden lived up to the expectations, if you can get there I would most definitely recommend it.