Brewdog x Cloudwater
New England IPA by Brewdog & Cloudwater is arguably in my top 5 beers of all time. It was so good. It was up there with the best that Cloudwater have to offer; v12, v13 & NW DIPA Citra. So it’s safe to say I was rather happy when I heard that V2 was on its way.
New England IPA v2 is 8.5% ABV New England Style IPA. Here's what Brewdog have to say about it:
"A second team up with Cloudwater sees us brewing an 8.5% ABV New England IPA, hopped with a blend of hops known for their citrus, tropical and berry characteristics. Spicy, zesty and piney aromas give way to an effervescent, tropical IPA, backed up with a hints of clove and pepper. Hopped in the whirlpool with Mosaic hops, and dry-hopped with Citra, Mandarina Bavaria and more Mosaic."
If this beer is half as good as the original it would still be a great beer. However, I suspect it may just be as good, or even better...
When you open this beer, you'll instantly notice the BIG juicy flavours that we're used to with this style of beer; pineapple, mango & orange are complimented with a huge amount of pine. It pours a hazy amber with a thin white head.
The flavours here are excellent. Those juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront of it all backed by loads of piney bitterness. You also get that slight hint of spice at the end, coming from the cloves. This is such a great beer to drink, and the 660ml bottle ensures it's an extremely boozy drink!
Now this is one HAZY beer and it has A LOT of sediment. I'm
not sure if it was just my bottle, or that is how it was meant to be, but there was a lot of it. It didn't bother me, but if you don't like sediment in your beer, then this one might not be for you.
This beer is AWESOME. You simply have to try it while you still can. It will be interesting to see if Brewdog & Cloudwater continue this collaboration in a similar vein to Cloudwater's DIPA series. Overall I loved this beer, but I think the original just scrapes it for me; that was almost the perfect beer.
4.75 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Evil Twin Brewing x Omnipollo
We all love a nice ice cold shandy on a refreshing day right? So when I seen that Evil Twin Brewing & Omnipollo had come together to brew an Old Fashioned Lemonade IPA, I was extremely interested in trying it out.
Old Fashioned Lemonade is a 7% ABV IPA that has been brewed for Evil Twin by Dorchester (home of Marky Mark!) Brewing Company in Boston, Massachusetts.
"A refreshing drink often associated with childhood nostalgia to others a pop-cultural symbol of emancipatiion. Whatever the association Evil Twin teamed up with Omnipollo to squeeze out a tasty, tempting and deceivingly well balanced IPA with sweet and sour notes of old-fashioned memories. Perhaps you can taste the dishonesty, it's all over your breath - it's Lemonade."
When brewing giants come together, it usually produces good results, lets see what happened here...
Cracking open this can and it is just lemons galore; the sweet citrus aromas fill your nose as you pour it into a glass. It pours a bright golden yellow with a foamy white head, with a surprising amount of murkiness to it.
This beer tastes exactly as you would expect it to - like lemonade. There is really no other way to describe it. From the first sip you get that instant sourness of the lemons coupled with a decent amount of sweetness. There's a slight hoppy/bitter backbone to it all that reminds you that you are in fact drinking a beer, and not a can of lemonade.
The overall result is that this is literally the perfect summers day beer. It's so light, smooth, refreshing and the ABV is almost non existent that you could easily smash your way through a few of these. However, it didn't stand out enough from me and was too similar to other fruit beers I've had in the past. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it - I did, it was just missing something that could have took it to the next level.
3.75 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Beavertown x Lervig
Gods of beer Beavertown & Norwegian brewery Lervig; the brains behind the wonderful Tasty Juice have come together to produce M.A.D, or Mutually Assured Destruction - a 9.5% ABV DIPA.
Here's the official rundown from Beavertown:
"In a world full of crazy, only one thing keeps us sane. The cold comfort blanket that is “Mutually Assured Destruction”.
Brewed in collaboration with insane Norwegian beer despots, Lervig, this hop bomb is the “gift” that keeps on giving. Pure mango juice in the glass it packs a hefty payload of tinned mangos and pineapple on the nose with just the faintest hint of pine-y menthol. On the palate it’s banging fresh, targeting your taste receptors with juicy peach, passionfruit and a lick of zesty lime, then, just when you thought the bombardment was over, a wave of punchy black pepper & liquorice bitterness reinforcements arrive that keep on going, and going, and going until your taste buds are so battle-weary you can’t remember a time before this flavour.
Beavertown can do no wrong in my eyes, and I absolutely loved Tasty Juice, so I can only assume we're onto a winner here...
Before cracking it open, take a minute to admire the outrageous can art on display here...seriously epic stuff!
The flavours that we have come to know and expect from a beer like this are all present here; gorgeous tropical fruit aromas fill your nose as you crack the can and pour into a glass, backed by a healthy amount of piney bitterness. The beer pours an extremely hazy amber with a thin beige head that disappears quickly.
On your first sip you are hit with a huge bitter hop bomb, however it doesn't last too long as the fruit soon comes into play; orange, pineapple and mango overcome the bitterness to round this beer off with a perfect sweet mouthfeel.
For a 9.5% ABV DIPA, the alcohol is hidden extremely well by the flavours...dangerous stuff!
I really enjoyed this beer - it's not quite Humuloid, but still very enjoyable nonetheless. Beavertown knock it out the park yet again.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Northern Monk x Verdant x Deya
Northern Monk's Patrons Project has produced some fantastic beers, one of them being the excellent Peanut Butter & Jelly Brown Ale.
Hazemaker is a collaboration between 3 of the UK's most exciting breweries; Northern Monk of course, Verdant & Deya. A blend of 3 different hops, Hazemaker is a 7.4% ABV IPA. It also features some incredible artwork by artist Jon Simmons. Here's the official lowdown:
"An extraordinary hazy collaboration between Northern Monk, Verdant & Deya. A jab of Amarillo, a right hook of Simcoe and an uppercut of Columbus hops equate to one knockout brew. Put your taste buds to the taste against the juicy tropical fruit flavours and punchy pine notes."
Sounds like a winner right?
Well this beer is a winner. It pours a hazy golden amber, leaving a thick foamy white head. Very hoppy on the nose, along with plenty citrus and tropical fruits.
Taste is similar to the aromas; plenty citrus and tropical fruits up front - orange, mango & pineapple. These are followed up with some nice piney, hoppy bitterness to give it a great finish.
Overall this is a really solid IPA that these fantastic breweries have conjured up - I would highly recommend it.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Magic Rock x Other Half
Earlier this year when I was researching breweries for our trip to New York City, one brewery that caught my eye was Other Half Brewing; they seemed to be extremely highly rated & had plenty of cool looking cans on their Instagram page. Now, unfortunately I did not get to sample any of their beers when I was there...however it now seems that they have come to me.
Half Cut is a collaboration between Huddersfield based Magic Rock & Other Half Brewing out of Brooklyn, NYC. Sold in 500ml cans, Half Cut is a 8% ABV DIPA that currently has a 99% overall rating on RateBeer. Here's what Magic Rock have to say about it:
"A DIPA collaboration with our friends from Brooklyn, Other Half Brewing. Along with our pale malt Golden Promise, the beer uses a reasonably large percentage of oats in the mash for a creamy body and soft mouthfeel.
A low bitterness target (for a DIPA) of around 60IBU was aimed for and Citra, Mosaic & Denali hops added to the whirlpool for loads of tropical/citrus flavour. We went heavy on the dry hopping with lots more Citra and Mosaic as well as some Simcoe, Amarillo & HBC 438. The finished beer has a really punchy aroma as well as a super juicy fruit like flavour and soft mouthfeel."
My ever dependable bottleshop Westhill Service Station managed to get some of these in, and I was delighted to get my hands on one.
Well this one is a bit special.
Opening the wonderfully designed can instantly releases big hoppy aromas, fused with loads of tropical fruits; mango, pineapple, passion fruit & some citrus orange.
It fills the glass a wonderful hazy, murky golden orange with a big foamy beige head.
The taste is incredible. Quite bitter on the first sip, with big hoppy, piney flavours but that soon relaxes to make way for the fruit. Again, tropical fruits combined with citrus orange give this beer an excellent mouthfeel that balances the bitterness perfectly.
I've raved about Magic Rock in the past. They make excellent beer. Teaming up with these heavy hitters from NYC has resulted in an outstanding beer. I can't recommend this one enough.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Cloudwater x Against The Grain
I have more Cloudwater for you! This time, they're tackling an iconic dessert in collaboration with Against The Grain from Louisville, Kentucky.
Make Apple Pie Great Again is a 6.3% ABV fruit beer. Bonkers. Here's what Cloudwater have to say about it:
"Sometimes your best beers are the ones you don't make. If this beer gets any stronger or tastier, it's literally going to cease to exist. An extremely credible source called our office and told us that this beer is a fraud. We love beer, and beer loves us! We have a great relationship! Make Apple Pie Great Again!
Brewed in Collaboration with our Louisville friends from Against The Grain, featuring apple puree, apple juice, cinnamon and nutmeg."
Sounds awesome right? Lets find out...
Now, this is one beer that does exactly what it says on the can. This is literally liquid apple pie.
Crack open the can, and boom...apple and cinnamon fill the air. Awesome start!
Pouring this one into a glass releases even more of the wonderful cinnamon apple aromas as the deep, dark, pulpy amber liquid fills the glass, leaving a thin, foamy beige head. Cloudwater aren't messing around here...this tastes exactly as it sounds; sweet apple puree, combined with spicy cinnamon & nutmeg result in an almost ice cold mulled cider taste...incredible! This beer is so drinkable, the apple & cinnamon mask almost all the bitterness of the hops & alcohol.
Another fantastic beer from Cloudwater here, with a little help from their friends. They can do no wrong in my eyes. If you can get your hands on this, then I highly recommend it.
4.5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Brewdog x Cloudwater
Before they conjured up Coffee & Cigarettes with Beavertown, Brewdog had released a collaboration with one of the UK's hottest breweries - Cloudwater.
Arguably the biggest name in UK craft beer teaming up with the brewery that seems to be the talk of the town right now is a hugely exciting prospect.
Released in 660ml bottles, New England IPA is a 6.8% ABV IPA. Acquired through Westhill Service Station, this was one beer that I was greatly looking forward to (especially after missing it first time round).
Here's what Brewdog have to say about it:
"North East Scotland meets North East USA in our BrewDog Vs Cloudwater showdown.
This New England IPA is low in bitterness but loaded with explosive fruit flavour. Redolent with tropical fruit notes, fresh squeezed orange juice, pineapple, fragrant cut grass, and hints of pine dust, the aroma is complex and alluring. On the palate, the bittersweet balance emphasises the sweet, juicy fruit character, while the addition of oats adds a silken mouthfeel, giving the beer a full and rounded finish. If it wasn’t for the subtle bitter edge and the slight hint of alcohol warmth, you’d swear you were drinking juice.
This beer is unfiltered and intentionally hazy. Very hazy."
This beer comes with a huge amount of expectations on its shoulders. To say I was looking forward to cracking this one open is an understatement...
Straight from popping the bottle you know that you're onto a winner. Sweet, juicy fruity aromas fill the air; pineapple, mango and a hint of grapefruit fill your nose, followed by that familiar piney/hoppy smell.
This is a HAZY beer! It pours a thick, pulpy hazy golden yellow, leaving a foamy white head on top.
The fruitiness comes back in play when you taste the beer; pineapple, mango & grapefruit all come flooding through before the piney hoppiness kicks in to finish it off wonderfully. These flavours, combined with the thick, pulpy texture off the beer all work together to pack a serious punch. This is a fantastic beer.
I certainly hope there's more collaborations between these two to come. This is up there with the best beers I've ever had - probably in my top 3, and if they can recreate anything like this...I for one will be happy. I urge you to try this beer if you are lucky enough to find it anywhere, it will not disappoint.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Brewdog x Beavertown
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Appearing out of nowhere in Westhill Service Station's latest newsletter, was a collaboration between Brewdog & Beavertown. Step forward Coffee & Cigarettes; a 12.1% ABV Imperial Stout, brewed by two of the biggest & best breweries in the UK today.
Here's the official lowdown from Brewdog:
"We invited Beavertown, who are at the very pinnacle of UK craft breweries, to a collaborative brewday. On a pre-dawn voyage of discovery with London's finest we stumbled into daybreak and uncovered renewed purpose with this imperial stout.
Riffing on the theme of how to kick-start those early mornings brewers find themselves battling against, this beer is a smoke and caffeine-themed heavyweight aged in three different whisky casks.
Each of those casks brings its own element into play – the peaty Islay, oaky vanilla Bourbon and spicy Rye all having an input. With molasses, caramel, raisin and mocha notes this beer is dry, peaty and roasty and will charge your glassware and soul both."
I know, right?
Well this beer is a whisky lovers dream.
Cracking open the bottle and you get a HUGE whiff of boozy coffee. Big smokey, peaty whisky aromas blend with coffee, vanilla & chocolate. The beer pours jet black with a foamy beige head.
On tasting, you are instantly met with the taste of smokey whisky. Let it roll around a little, and the coffee and vanilla flavours start to show themselves. The whisky is almost too overpowering to begin with, but it is nicely balanced out with the sweetness of the vanilla, and a little chocolate.
Overall I enjoyed Coffee and Cigarettes. The time spent in three different whisky casks definitely gives this beer an edge over other imperial stouts. I wish the big dogs would come together more often - especially these two. That reminds me, I have a bottle of New England IPA by Brewdog & Cloudwater chilling in the fridge...but more on that later.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
The Kings In The North
Lately, I have been enjoying lots of awesome beer from Magic Rock Brewing. They make some seriously awesome beer. Beer that rival some of my favourites by Beavertown & Brewdog. I'm gonna give you a little rundown of some of the beers I have tried.
They first came to my attention by seeing some of their cans in Brewdog's bottleshop. Thinking they looked quite cool, I decided to pick a few of them up. Cannonball & Inhaler were the first two I tried, and as my taste expanded, I tried more and more. They definitely provide some of the more interesting beers on the market, with High Wire, and Salty Kiss being prime examples. Magic Rock have a core range of 9 different beers, as well as a HUGE back catalogue of limited releases and collaborations.
My local bottleshop, Westhill Service Station do a great job of stocking the core line of beers, and have also managed to get in some of the limited runs & collaborations. So far, I have tried the following beers by Magic Rock:
Without doubt my absolute favourite is High Wire Grapefruit, followed closely by Big Dipper. High Wire is awesome. Grapefruit works excellently in a Pale Ale, with another awesome example being Elvis Juice by Brewdog. High Wire, however, takes the crown for me.
If you have never tried a beer by Magic Rock, I would recommend at least trying High Wire Grapefruit, and Salty Kiss...they are both packed full of awesome flavours, and I can guarantee, that will not be the only can of High Wire Grapefruit that you ever have. I have never had a bad beer from them yet.
They have also today, announced their first collaboration of 2017 - with The Wild Beer Co. These guys have been doing awesome things lately, and I cannot wait to see what they can do together.
Magic Rock were formed in 2011 by two brothers; Richard and Jonny Burhouse and their head brewer Stuart Ross. Within six months, they had built up and excellent reputation and were named 2nd best new brewery in the world, 2012.
In 2015 the brewery moved to a new Brewery in Birkby, Huddersfield, which increased their capacity to 10,000hl PA. Since then, The Magic Rock Tap launched and they did their first run of cans. In early 2016, their capacity increased by a further 100% to a total fermentation capacity of 70,000 litres.
You can find out more about Magic Rock in the following places:
I can't wait to see what they do next 🍻
Magic Rock x Cloudwater
Happy New Year beer drinkers! For my first post of 2017, I’m going to be reviewing the collaboration between Magic Rock & Cloudwater – Big Dipper.
Big Dipper is a 8.3% ABV Double IPA, that is a new recipe that is loosely based on the ‘Three’s Company’ collaboration they brewed together for Manchester Beer Week last Summer. This is the third Magic Rock beer to be packed in labelled 500ml cans that feature Rich Norgate’s awesome artwork and one of the first beers to be put through their new centrifuge.
Described by Magic Rock as: “A collaborative Double IPA brew with our friends from over t’hills Cloudwater Brew Co. Golden Promise, Wheat, Oat and Crystal Malt were used for a smooth, golden, malty body. A combination of Magnum, Citra, Simcoe, Eureka and Mosaic T90 hops were used in the whirlpool and dry hopping, with additional Citra – ‘Cryo Hops™ Lupulin Powder’ added in the dry hop. Fermented with US ‘Double IPA’ yeast the result is a massively fruit-filled DIPA with loads of Mango and Peach aroma & flavour and gravity-defying drinkability. Strap yourself in!”
Again picked up from Westhill Service Station, I was certainly looking forward to trying this beer...
Cracking the awesomely designed can, you are greeted with a big whiff of mixed citrus fruit...good start. The beer pours a light hazy orange with a small foamy white head. On taste you get dry, citrus orange flavours backed up by huge bitter hops. I think that DIPA's excel with a good amount of bitterness from hops (Looking at you Bloody Notorious!) so this beer was definitely too my taste. One thing for sure, this beer is FAR too drinkable for a DIPA at 8.3% ABV. Dangerous stuff!
You can buy Big Dipper online at:
Overall, I loved this beer, and it carries on the excellent experience I've had with any Magic Rock beer I've tried - I will definitely be doing a blog post about them as a brewery in the future.
Big Dipper gets a solid 4.5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
An enthusiastic lover of all things craft beer from Aberdeen, Scotland.