I normally get excited when Brewdog release a new small batch beer. More often than not they tend to be something different, and come with can art that rivals Beavertown. Step forward Pump Action Poet, their second small batch release of the year which is a 7.5% ABV Stonefruit IPA.
Here's what Brewdog have to say about this one:
"Pump Action Poet is loaded with stonefruit and tropical flavour – aromas of juicy peach, apricot and nectarine, pineapple and mango - all piled on biscuity malt. Hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe and brewed with added wheat and oats, this super smooth IPA has a balanced bitterness and a full-bodied mellow malt base. The addition of peach and apricot enhances the flavours of stonefruit naturally present in some of our favourite US hops, and adds a subtle tart edge to offset the intense juicy fruit character.
The second small-batch can release of 2017 is a locked-and-loaded salvo of flavour for the summer."
Sounds like a perfect beer for this glorious summer weather we are having...
Now this is seriously some of the coolest can art that I have ever seen. Artist Tracie Ching has done an awesome job here. I'd love to see Brewdog release this one as a tee.
It pours a golden yellow, leaving a big foamy off-white head. The aroma is very sweet with big juicy citrus fruits, backed by some nice piney hops. The sweetness continues on taste, with little to no bitterness present. Extremely drinkable - you wouldn't think of this as being 7.5% ABV. This beer hugely reminded me of another Brewdog beer; Elvis Juice, however the bitterness of the grapefruit has been replaced with a lovely sweetness from the apricot & peach. It is extremely easy to drink and very refreshing on a hot day.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Craft beer...in a petrol station?! It might sound crazy to some people. But not if you live in Westhill, or more recently; Peterhead.
Gary Haigh, retailer at Peterhead Motors has recently started to build the craft beer scene in the recently re-branded Keystore More at the garage. Fitting out the shop with a new 1.3m fridge, he has started stocking some of the biggest names in UK craft beer such as:
Not bad if you ask me...You can pick up some pretty good beers from that selection of breweries! And if you're just getting into craft beer & looking to try something new, then you can't go wrong with the likes of Beavertown, Northern Monk & Magic Rock.
Gary has big plans for craft beer at the garage, and plans to keep expanding on his current stock. With the help of Brewdog, he is also mid way through the Cicerone Certification Program. This is fantastic as he will be able to offer advice and tasting notes on the beer - perfect if you are new to craft beer or looking for something new to try (you don't get that kind of service in the supermarket!). There are also future plans to launch a craft beer club at some point.
To mark the recent re-branding of the store - there will be an open day on Friday 2nd June. Brewdog will be on site holding a tasting session, of not just Brewdog beers but various other beers that you can find in the store. There will also be some beers from Brew Toon Brewery available to sample. Gary will be having giveaways and prize draws throughout the day. Everything is scheduled to kick off around 10am, and run until about 5pm, with Brewdog being there from 12.30pm.
The adjacent coffee shop also offers a range of hot food and drinks for breakfast and lunch; ranging from breakfast rolls, soups, burgers, chips, pizzas, curries, pies & pastas to name but a few. They change their specials every week and post these on their Facebook page. You can phone up to pre-order your food beforehand, or take away (along with your craft beer carry out of course). The coffee shop is open between 6.30am-2pm.
It's exciting to see places like this taking such an interest in the craft beer market - this will be great for the local beer lovers, and anyone who wants to get into craft beer. Westhill Service Station has played a huge part in my beer influences, and I really think that this will have the same effect for some in Peterhead.
So next time you fancy picking up some beers in Peterhead, don't go to Tesco - pop in by Keystore More at Peterhead Motors instead and check out their excellent selection; many of which you wont find in the supermarkets.
You can keep upto date with the latest from Peterhead Motoros on their Facebook page, so go ahead and give them a like & share.
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 🍻
I've had a pretty good experience so far when it come's to ice cream flavoured beers; original & lemon meringue by Buxton x Omnipollo being the prime examples. So when I seen that Northern Monk had released a class childhood ice cream flavoured beer; Neapolitan...I was rather excited.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Pale ale is a 6.2% ABV pale ale that has been made in collaboration with York Cocoa House. Here's what Norther Monk have to say about it:
"First, it began as a terrible idea. Then, it ended in a terrific result. We're talking about a pale ale brewed to mimic the shades of the classic Neopolitan ice cream with additions of lactose, strawberries, and chocolate sauce. Neopolitan Pale Ale became such a sleeper hit in 2016 that many of the Monks consider it one of the high points of the year as did many of our fans. Its soft creamy mouthfeel and nuanced sweetness are designed to trigger your sweet childhood memories... a reawakening of your inner child by means of a grown up bevy."
I've had some pretty good beers by Northern Monk, with Peanut Butter & Jelly Brown Ale a particular highlight...so I was looking forward to this one.
Now this is a beer that does exactly what it says on the can.
After cracking it open, vanilla pods and subtle chocolate aromas fill your nose. It pours into the glass a cloudy orange, leaving a thick foamy white head.
You get instant ice cream flavours on the first taste; soft creamy vanilla fills your mouth followed by some sweet strawberry and a backbone of chocolate that just for a minute, leaves you thinking that you could be drinking a porter. The flavours really shine through in this beer - they are excellent, there is little to no bitterness and there's almost no trace of the alcohol in there.
Northern Monk are onto a winner with this one. It really is like revisiting that childhood classic all over again...except this one is for the grown ups! You should definitely check it out if you get the chance.
4.5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Back in my review of DIPA v13, I mentioned that Cloudwater were planning on launching a new line of DIPAs to replace the "v" series. Well NW DIPA Citra is one of these beers.
I had seen various posts on Instagram regarding this one. I knew it was going to be good. And I was delighted when Westhill Service Station got some in as part of a glorious beer haul this week.
Cloudwater also launched this beer in the new shop section of their website.
NW DIPA Citra is a 9% ABV special edition DIPA. Here's what Cloudwater are saying about this beauty:
"Introducing our new DIPA style which showcases yeast from one of Manchester's oldest family brewers and fresh 2016 harvest hops. Citra takes the lead backed up by Simcoe, with JW Lees 4792nd generation yeast."
The aromas that come from cracking open this beautifully designed can are wonderful! Big citrus fruits; orange, and pulpy mango are backed up with just a hint of pine.
New England style IPAs are the best looking beers around when poured into a glass, and there is no exception here; a cloudy, murky deep orange liquid with a foamy white head that disperses quickly.
I'm running out of words to describe Cloudwater DIPAs. This beer is incredible. The flavour is absolutely out of this world. Those wonderful aromas carry straight through into the taste. BIG juicy fruit flavours lead the way; pineapple, orange & mango, followed by some slight grapefruit which rounds it all off nicely with some piney bitterness. Wow.
As seems to be the case with Cloudwater DIPAs of late, there is almost little to no hint of the 9% ABV in there. This beer is dangerously drinkable.
I am delighted I got the chance to drink NW Citra DIPA. It is another world class beer from Cloudwater, I'm just gutted I don't have more. Do yourself a favour and buy this beer if you get the chance! This is one of my top 3 beers of the year so far.
5 out of 5 hops 🍻