Wander Beyond Brewing
Sometimes a beer comes along and I need to question whether it is actually a beer or not. Sometimes a beer can be so jam packed full of fruit flavours and creaminess that it borders on being some form of alcoholic smoothie. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, I love it. And that's pretty much what we have here.
From the minds of Manchester's Wander Beyond Brewing comes Octopod, a 12% ABV Mango & Passionfruit Imperial Milkshake IPA. Yes, you read that right. Here's the official description from Wander Beyond:
"We have brewed a hyper-viscous Imperial Milkshake IPA and re-fermented it on nearly half a ton of mangoes and passionfruit. Post-fermentation we generously dry hopped it with Citra and Mosaic. Octopod is thick, fruity and at a deceptive 12%, it's not as innocent as you think."
I'm no stranger to Wander Beyond Brewing having reviewed their Sakura Twilight Cherry Chocolate Imperial Stout on this blog previously, and having enjoyed their Mini Milkshake Table Beer also. I'd heard nothing but great things about this beer, so it's safe to say that expectations were high...
Before getting in to the beer itself, lets take a minute to appreciate the can art. Seriously, how cool is it? These guys are starting to give Beavertown a run for their money. I haven't been able to figure out who their artist is, but they are doing a helluva job!
The first thing you notice when you open this beer is the smell - It absolutely smacks you in the face as soon as you crack the can...WOW! Huge amounts of vanilla, juicy mango and sweet passionfruit fill your nose - you'd be forgiven for thinking you just cracked open a smoothie. Octopod pours from the can a thick, murky orange, leaving behind little to no head. After the first sip you realise exactly what sort of crazy witchcraft that Wander Beyond Brewing have been up to...THIS IS NOT A BEER! This is some kind of delicious, refreshing, juicy tropical fruit smoothie. Loads of mango, pineapple, passionfruit and orange combine with the creamy oats and lactose to create a flavour explosion in your mouth. But just when you thought this beer had you fooled you get hit with the right amount of hop burn to remind you that this is indeed a beer that you are drinking - and a tasty one at that!
I couldn't really fault this beer. The fruit flavours were insane on, the mouthfeel was incredible and there was just the perfect amount of alcohol there to keep you grounded.
There's not really much else to say about this beer, you really just need to get out there and try it for yourself. That's three beers now by this brewery that I've been majorly impressed with and Wander Beyond Brewing are fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. I have no doubt that this beer will be one of my beers of the year.
Octopod gets 5 out of 5 from me 🍻