Manual Brewing Co.
It's always exciting when a new Scottish brewery pops up, especially in the rather mysterious way that Dundee based Manual Brewing Co. did. Cryptic posts from their social media accounts started popping up all over the place, showcasing their rather awesome sounding beers. It was all very exciting, and intriguing, and I was looking forward to getting my hands on some of their beers.
Hop Shop Aberdeen was on the ball as usual, and I managed to pick up Tickets, Please - which is an 8.5% ABV NE DIPA (my favourite style of beer), coming in a 440ml can, and here's the official description from Manual Brewing:
"Dry-hopped with Mosaic, Amarillo and Azacca, fermented with a blend of London Ale III and Burlington yeast strains = tropical, stone fruit, pine, wheat, haze. Suitable for vegans."
I was really looking forward to this beer. There was a lot of hype surrounding it, and naturally, I was hoping it lived up to it.
First up, starting with the pretty cool looking can art. I don't know why, but the rather minimalist style of their designs instantly remind me of Cloudwater for some reason...nothing wrong with that however - I like it.
Tickets, Please pours from the can a hazy, bright, golden orange colour, leaving a finger of a foamy white head. Aromas are huge, sweet, juicy fruits; peach, mango and pineapple combine with a slight creaminess and a hint of pine to leave your mouth watering! Flavour wise, this beer does not disappoint either - those juicy stone fruit and tropical fruit flavours are at the forefront with lashings of peach, pineapple, mango and orange before a touch of bitterness from the pine rounds it all off - lovely stuff! This is a full-on NE DIPA, if maybe only ever so slightly lacking in the bitterness for me. The beer has a slight creaminess to the texture, and the alcohol is well hidden amongst the fruit flavours, making it extremely drinkable and I certainly enjoyed every single second of it.
Overall, I really don't think I can fault this beer, and it's almost everything I look for in a NE DIPA. It's certainly a promising start for Manual Brewing, and I now look forward to working my way through their other beers, and of course what comes next for them. I highly recommend checking them out, and this beer, in particular, is absolutely worth your money.
Tickets, Please gets 4.75 out of 5 from me 🍻
Wander Beyond Brewing
As glorious as my two week break in Mexico was, there is only so much Sol and Dos Equis XX a man can drink! So, as a result I decided to make my first beer review on my return a special one - step forward Wander Beyond Brewing. This also happened to be my celebratory beer following Crathes Half Marahon. Having only discovered this Manchester based brewery recently, there was one beer that immediately caught my eye and as ever, Hop Shop Aberdeen had it in the fridges in no time at all (they even kept it back for me whilst I was away).
The beer in question is Sakura Twilight, a 11% ABV cherry chocolate imperial stout and here's the official description from Wander Beyond Brewing:
"This special release of our Imperial Stout was carefully infused with Morello cherries and cacao nibs to produce a highly drinkable cherry chocolate stout"
I've stated numerous times on this blog regarding my love for cherry flavoured things...so a cherry chocolate imperial stout certainly seemed right up my street.
Before we go any further, we have to applaud the can design. JUST LOOK AT IT! Seriously, how pretty (can pretty be used to describe beer cans?!) is it?
Sakura Twilight pours from the can a slightly opaque dark brown colour, leaving a thin tan head. Initial aromas are sweet, floral cherry, some forest fruits, along with dark chocolate malts and a slight hint of coffee. Flavour wise, I got loads of bitter dark chocolate, with a hint of roasted coffee and vanilla before a touch of sweet, tangy, juicy cherry comes in to play and rounds the flavours out perfectly. Very tasty! It's also worth noting that this stout wasn't heavy at all like some can be, it was silky smooth and incredibly drinkable for being an 11% ABV beer.
Overall, I was highly impressed with this beer and it was very enjoyable to drink - it was the perfect beer following my near three week exodus from the craft world! It's safe to say that Wander Beyond Brewing are firmly on my radar now. I already have my eye on a few of their other releases that Hop Shop Aberdeen currently have in stock, and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
Sakura Twilight gets 4.25 out of 5 from me 🍻