I love cherry cola. If I'm not drinking a beer, or a gin for that matter then my go to drink would be a cherry cola. Whether it's Cherry Coke, Pepsi Max Cherry or Fentimans...I love the stuff. So when I heard that Huddersfield heroes Magic Rock had brewed a cherry cola beer, I had to get my hands on some.
Cherry Cola Vice, also known as Engine Engine #9 is a 5.5% ABV Berliner Weisse that was brewed in collaboration with J Wakefield Brewing & Slim Pickens. Here's what Magic Rock have to say about it:
"Out of the deranged minds of our lead brewer Nick Zeigler abetted by Floridian flavour magicians J Wakefield and T.Odd Strauss from Slim Pickens comes our third and possibly strangest ‘Vice’ series beer yet. Engine, Engine No. 9 is a cherry cola inspired Berliner Weiss featuring no less than 20 different ingredients to create a unique beverage with that most recognisable of flavours. It erm… tastes like cherry cola, try it, don’t try it… The Choice is Yours."
It's safe to say I had everything crossed that this wouldn't disappoint...
First up, the can art looks awesome with the distinct style that is unmistakably Magic Rock.
You know as soon as you crack the can and start pouring that this beer is cherry cola. It looks like cherry cola, and it smells like cherry cola. It pours a deep brown with a slight red tinge, leaving a tiny beige head. There's no other way to explain the aromas other than cherry cola; that's EXACTLY what it smells like.
Cherry Cola Vice tastes like an alcoholic, slightly more sour version of Fentimans Cherry Cola. There's not really any other way to describe it. It's so easy to drink, and the contrasting sweet and sourness of the cherries works wonders.
If you like a cherry cola, then you will like this beer. Even if not, I encourage you to try it just to experience the pure wizardry that has gone into creating it. Cherry Cola Vice has been hugely enjoyable, and i'm surprised at how much I like it...thankfully, I have another can in the fridge.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
The Craft Capital Of Catalonia
Barcelona is one of the coolest cities in the world. It is also home to some incredibly cool beer spots. I recently spent a few days there with my wife, and along with seeing the sites we visited a few of these bars.
The first stop of the beer tour was La Rovira, a modest looking bar that you would be forgiven for thinking it is more of a wine bar from the outside. Inside, the decor is all old school, with a old jukebox, record players and artwork on the walls.
They had around 15 different beers on tap, ranging from local breweries to huge international big hitters; so there was quite a selection to choose from. There was also a fairly decent selection of well known cans and bottles in their fridge.
There was a great atmosphere inside La Rovira, and I think it's definitely worth a visit should you find yourself in the area.
If you are reading this blog post, then you will have most likely heard of Danish giants Mikkeller. Knowing they had a bar in Barcelona, paying it a visit was a no-brainer.
Inside, the decoration was very minimalist and stylish - what else would you expect of a Scandinavian bar? It was very quiet at this time of day, so we had our choice of seats. The bar offered around 25 different beers on tap, with a large selection of cans and bottles also available from the fridge. I opted for a DIPA collaboration between local brewery Edge, and American brewery Boneyard; the resulting beer was excellent!
If you are a lover of craft beer, then the chances are a visit to Mikkeller will be high on your list of things to do should you visit Barcelona, and I would highly recommend it.
Right next door to Mikkeller was a little spot called Chivuo's, which from the window promised craft beer and street food; two of my favourite things. As you can see by the photos, Chivuo's had an extremely distinct and funky style of decor.
They offered up 6 different craft beers that were all local, which made for a nice touch. The beers we ordered were great, and along with the top quality street food (BBQ pulled pork sandwich!), Chivuo's was definitely a worthwhile stop.
Following the disappointment of Brewdog not being open, the next bar was fortunately just a stone’s throw away.
BierCaB is a modern looking bar that I’d researched on Instagram beforehand. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the huge digital tap list which was a cool touch, it wasn’t too busy so we managed to get decent seats. They had a HUGE selection of beers with 30 (yes 30) different beers on tap! I tried a couple in there, but my absolute favourite, and quite possibly my favourite beer from my time in Barcelona, was Hazy Days; an American pale ale from Norwegian giants Lervig. The food menu also looked to have some great offerings and we were actually a little disappointed that we ate prior to getting here as it was more of a mixture of traditional food combined with bar food.
BierCaB for me is a must visit for any beer lover on a trip to Barcelona.
Most of the bars we visited were in the same area, except the first one we visited; La Rovia. So this made it fairly easy to make our was round them. Unfortunately when we made our way to Brewdog, it was closed and wasn't due to open for another couple of hours. It was a fair bit away from our hotel and with limited time available to us, we didn't bother venturing back later.
So while I highly recommend checking out Barcelona purely from a tourist point of view, there is also plenty to take in if you are a craft beer lover. And well, beer makes everything better doesn't it?! 🍻
For my latest review, I am going to review two of the latest beers by Wylam Brewery from Newcastle, England. The beers in question are Open To Persuasion; a 8% ABV DIPA collaboration with Track Brewing & Attracting Humans; a 5.5% ABV DDH Pale.
I'd seen & heard a lot about Wylam Brewery lately without ever having tried any of their beers. So when Westhill Service Station got these two in last week...I grabbed them both.
Here's what Wylam have to say about both beers;
"DIPA... Using the art of force and persuasion we provided ourselves with a valuable short cut through the complicated nature of modern existence to furnish you with a TDH DIPA displaying the manipulative power of Cascade, Loral, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic. 'Like always I persuade you... persuasion.'"
"DDH Pale... A beguiling double dry hopped pale designed to entice, lure, entrance, seduce and woo the sub tribe hominina into it's plethora of oats, wheat and dextrin. Seductive volumes of DDH Citra and Mosaic swallow up the hordes into fresh pink grapefruit, tropical juiced our foreverness."
Both of these beers sound awesome, can they live up to the hype?
First up is Open To Persuasion DIPA...
Open To Persuasion pours a murky golden colour with a creamy beige head. Aromas are similar of a NE IPA, huge amounts of ripe fruits; pineapple, mango & passion fruit, along with some more traditional citrus aromas and a slight piney backbone. Taste is absolutely fantastic - the big juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront; peach, pineapple & mango along with some grapefruit work wonderfully with the hoppy bitterness that rounds it all off. This beer is insanely drinkable, and the alcohol isn't hidden by the fruits either - this is one BOOZY juicebomb and I love it.
5 out of 5 hops from me.
Up next is Attracting Humans DDH...
Attracting Humans pours a golden yellow with a foamy white head. Aromas are sweet, malty & fruity with a floral backbone. Flavours are quite similar to the aromas; lots of sweetness up front with some citrus fruit, followed by malts and an earthiness. For me, these flavours didn't quite work out and something tasted slightly off. It was still an OK beer to drink, absolutely full of interesting flavours, however they just didn't come together as i'd hoped.
2.5 out of 5 hops from me.
So...if I had to choose a winner then Open To Persuasion would be crowned champion - it was an incredible beer that I highly recommend you try while you can. Attracting Humans was fine, however for me it just wasn't great. Overall, for my first venture into Wylam beers, I have been very impressed 🍻