Evil Twin Brewing
"...If you like Piña Coladas..."
Someone at Evil Twin Brewing clearly does, because they have gone and made a Piña Colada inspired beer; IPA Kolata is a 8% ABV IPA brewed with lactose, pineapple and coconut. I spotted this beer on Instagram a while back & and been wanting to try it ever since, so kudos again to Hop Shop Aberdeen for getting it on the shelf.
Here's what Evil Twin have to say about it:
"Inspired by an iconic tropical cocktail with a twist of what a modern beer should taste like. An IPA shaken up with lactose and with coconut and pineapple added. It’s creamy, fruity, comforting, annoyingly good and basically the epitome of poolside drinking."
I love a Piña Colada & I love a good beer, so this should be interesting.
First up, the can looks so cool - I'm a huge fan of what Evil Twin do with their can designs, they are usually so simplistic, bold & eye catching. IPA Kolata pours a cloudy golden orange with a foamy white head that disperses quite quickly. Aromas are mostly pineapple & citrus hops along with a touch of coconut & sweetened milk - very interesting aromas.
Taste wise, this beer is pretty much as advertised - loads of pineapple, coconut & lactose alongside more tropical fruits & a touch of bitterness. This beer tastes great, and it is extremely drinkable! It is so smooth & creamy, with very little carbonation - it goes down so well.
Overall, this has been one awesome beer. The flavours work so well together, and the creaminess from the lactose makes it so drinkable. I'm hoping to feature more and more beers from Evil Twin Brewing on here as they are such an exciting brewery - the Danish born company are set to open their first every brewery/tap room later this year in Queens, NYC.
IPA Kolata gets 4.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
For my next beer review, we have Death By Coconut; a seasonal porter by Colorado brewing giants Oskar Blues.
Death By Coconut is a 6.5% ABV Irish Porter & a beer that has been on my radar for quite a while now & thanks to Hop Shop Aberdeen, I have finally got my hands on it. Here's what Oskar Blues have to say about this beer:
"Intense pure liquid cacao flavors swirl with popping coconut aromas, all supported by a semi-sweet porter made from loads of our dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. This limited release specialty comes around once a year to satisfy that sweet tooth, so get ’em while you can before they disappear. At 6.5% ABV and 25 IBUs, this choconut goodness will have you yellin’ “Pass. Dash. Hit.” all winter long."
After a winter that has seen me become a fully fledged porter convert, combined with the fact Oskar Blues rarely disappoint & that this beer has a 97 rating on RateBeer - I was more excited to see if it could live up to the hype.
First up, the can design is unmistakably Oskar Blues with their trademark style. Cracking the can & pouring into a glass, Death By Coconut gives off huge chocolate & coffee aromas with some vanilla - there wasn't much coconut present in the smell for me. It pours almost black in colour with a dark foamy beige head. Taste wise; the chocolate & coffee are at the forefront, with a touch of caramel & vanilla - these are then followed huge smooth coconut flavours to round it all off. This is an pretty low ABV beer & and the alcohol is well hidden, making it extremely easy to drink.
This is a great tasting beer. The smooth coconut flavours really add something different to it that help it stand out from other similar beers. If you are a fan of this style of beer, then i recommend giving it a go.
Death By Coconut is another win for Oskar Blues & gets 4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Blood, Sweat & Beer
It's been a while since I reviewed a beer movie. Crafting a Nation was great, and definitely worth watching. Next up is Blood, Sweat & Beer.
Blood, Sweat & Beer is a documentary movie, written and directed by Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin, that focuses on the growth of two new American craft breweries; Backshore Brewing (Shorebilly Brewing) & The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company. It also sheds light on the explosive growth of the craft beer industry as a whole across the US, and the many challenges faced by new start-up breweries.
Check out the trailer below, as well as my thoughts on the film:
At the beginning of the movie, Backshore, named Shorebilly Brewing at this point, are already a semi established brewery on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk. The Brew Gentleman however, are yet to open their doors in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Backshore, already being established are more focused on the day to day struggle of running the brewery & trying to expand in to the bigger market. There is also a very ugly lawsuit hanging over the brewery that has the potential to shut the business down, with another company having using trademarked the Shorebilly name for use on t-shirts.
The Brew Gentleman's story is more focused on them trying to the doors open and the struggle they face. Alongside that, we get the story of their background and how they got to where they are today.
Despite the contrast between the two breweries the one thing that is present between them both is their passion for the industry, and their passion for creating exciting, great tasting beer. The contrasting locations work wonders for the cinematography of the film; Ocean City being a picturesque seaside town & Braddock, more of a run down, working class steel mill town that is starting to get back on its feet.
The film makers also check in with more established breweries like Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn, Oskar Blues, Rogue & many more. These guys help give a picture of what the smaller breweries have in store for them on the road ahead, and how they fell about the future of the craft industry.
The other point the movie highlights is how threatened by the craft industry that giant brewing companies such as Ab InBev (Anheuser-Bush InBev) & The Miller Brewing Company are, and all the tricks they will try to squeeze the independent breweries out of the market. It is shocking to see.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Blood, Sweat & Beer. If you have any kind of interest in craft beer, whether it be a passing interest, or you are an enthusiast - I highly recommend that you check this one out.
You can find out more about Blood, Sweat & Beer by visiting the link below, where the movie is also available to stream.
4.5 out of 5 hops from this beer lover 🍻
Juice Springsteen & The Yeast Street Band
I love beer. I also love Bruce Springsteen, he's my hero. So when I was browsing Instagram the other day and came across a can of beer that looked like the Born In The USA album...my attention was grabbed.
On closer inspection it turned out to be a beer called Juice Springsteen & The Yeast Street Band. Awesome right?
Created by Amplified Ale Works, out of San Diego USA - this canned tribute to The Boss is a 7percent ABV Juicy Oat Pale Ale. Released in pint cans, the incredible artwork pays homage to one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
I have a great appreciation for can art. I constantly big up Beavertown and Brewdog for their consistently unique efforts. However, this tops the lot; it's without doubt the coolest can I've ever seen.
I don't know much about Amplified Ale Works, and hadn't heard of them before yesterday but I will certainly be keeping an eye on them now.
It's unlikely that I'll get my hands on this beer as I can't see it making its way to UK shores, however if it does I will be sure to shout about it, Springsteen style 🍻
Welcome To Brooklyn
During my epic week in New York, we spent an afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; home to Brooklyn Brewery.
It was a Saturday, it was my 30th birthday, and we had just been to Greenhook gin distillery which is also in Brooklyn.
After queuing in the sun for around 15 mins, we eventually got into the brewery where we are given our tickets for the free tour. The taproom works on a beer token system, so we got in line and bought ourselves some beer tokens.
Inside the brewery was such a great atmosphere; it was buzzing inside and the walls were covered in cool artwork. We had half an hour or so to kill before the tour, so we got decided to get ourselves a beer and something to eat. There was a varied selection of beers available on draught (around 15) and plenty of bottles & cans too – we were able to get something to suit everyone.
Over the course of the afternoon, I had the following beers:
The tour itself was conducted by a guy called Dan who worked there (I never caught his exact role), but he was very informative and insightful. Despite the sweltering heat in the brewing room, his did his best to give us a bit of history behind Brooklyn Brewery and explain the various stages of brewing. It's actually my first brewery tour, so I found it very interesting and loved getting to see all the various tanks and equipment used to make great beer.
Afterwards, Dan opened the tour up to questions and I got to briefly speak to him. Being from Aberdeen, and also wearing one of their t-shirts, I of course asked him if he had heard of Brewdog! He had indeed heard of Brewdog, and knew that they had great values and made exciting beer - he did not know that they were building a brewery in Columbus, Ohio.
Upon learning it was my birthday, he kindly wished me a happy birthday and gave me a free beer token. The next time I was queuing at the bar, he also let me try a sample of Brooklyn Brewery's latest release; Cloaking Device which is a Brett-fermented strong porter aged in French oak red wine barrels. It tasted great - extremely smooth to drink, and the wine flavour really came through.
We had an awesome afternoon at Brooklyn Brewery. If you are visiting New York anytime soon, and you like craft beer (I would hope you do if you are reading this) then I would highly recommend paying a visit to Brooklyn Brewery! It is a such cool location, filled with great beer and friendly people 🍻