I love discovering new breweries, and that's exactly what happened with this latest beer. Browsing the shelves at Hop Shop Aberdeen, I came across a rather funky looking beer, with an even funkier name - Fat White. Brewed by a brewery that is totally new to me - Sonnet 43 (S43) from Durham. Fat White is a rather lovely sounding 6% ABV Milkshake IPA, and here's what the brewery have to say about it:
"OUR MILKSHAKE ONE – What’s cool for cats, fruity, and pours creamy thick just like milk? This drink. Although milk-like, it’s not really for cats because it’s a proper New England-style IPA made for humans like you. Taking flavours and textures to the max, expect a mango tropical taste with a hint of pine that’s dry-hop heavy but makes bitterness take a backseat. If you lack toes and tolerance, we’re sorry. If not then get your paws on this. One sip and you’ll feel like the cat’s pyjamas. There’s also Carapils malt, oats, a barely named after an Otter (of all things) and aged vanilla beans to enhance the milkshake taste."
Milkshake IPA's have been one of my favourite styles of late, so it's safe to say that I was looking forward to cracking this one open!
Starting off with the can - because that's what attracted me to this beer in the first place. The colour scheme and the font make this one such a stand out, it is hard not to pick it up!
Fat White pours from the can a hazy, dark, golden yellow colour, and in my case, leaving behind a very lively off-white head. In the nose there's bags of passion fruit, orange, citrus, along with a whack of hop resin and you can also get whiff of the thick, creamy lactose. Flavour wise - those juicy fruits are at the forefront with more passion fruit, orange and citrus, along with some mango. These all combine with more bitter, hop resin whilst being laced with creamy, oats and lactose to give this beer a silky smooth mouthfeel and a great finish.
This is an absolutely lovely beer. Silky smooth, full of juicy fruit flavours and just the right amount of bitterness - everything you want in a great Milkshake IPA.
I really enjoyed this beer. It's fruity, smooth, creamy flavours made it incredibly drinkable, and I would have happily drank another straight after finishing. This beer has also put S43 on the map for me, and I very much look forward to checking out more beers from these guys and if they are anything like this one, then I'm in for a real treat!
Fat White gets 4.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Cloudwater X Other Half
It's great when someone gives you a beer...even better when it is a beer of epic proportions! That's exactly what happened when fellow beer, and running enthusiast, Mark Ramsey (aka the_king_of_aberdeenparkrun on Instagram) messaged me on Instagram to ask if I fancied a can of Tremendous Ideas, the DIPA collaboration between brewing giants Cloudwater & Other Half. Needless to say, I said yes.
I haven't had a Cloudwater beer on this blog for quite some time (no reason in particular), so I couldn't think of a better beer for them to make their return, in collaborating with Other Half. Tremendous Ideas is an 8% ABV DIPA, and here's the official description from Cloudwater:
"Tremendous Ideas was the first collaboration brewed in Manchester with our friends from Other Half back in 2017, and we've revived it just in time for the second edition of their Green City festival. Combining a huge, pillowy body with vibrant citrus and tropical fruit flavours from a selection of punchy, modern hop varietals, this is a smooth and decadent DIPA."
I was super excited to try this beer. I'd seen so much hype around it on Instagram, and kudos again to Mark for sorting me out...go and give him a follow if you don't already!
Tremendous Ideas pours from the can a slightly murky yellow/orange colour, leaving an almost non-existent head. There's loads of citrus in the aroma, with lemon, grapefruit and orange all combining with a hit of tropical mango pulp and a dose bitter pine. Lovely stuff so far. Those citrus aromas are there at the forefront of your first sip with a juicy tangy assault on your taste-buds before those dank, bitter pine flavours round everything off in stunning fashion. Wow. This beer is so easy to drink, it's sweet, juicy and just bitter enough - there's also little to no carbonation present too.
As far as DIPA's go, they don't come much better than this. There's no doubt about it, deciding to brew this beer was a helluva tremendous idea.
This was a phenomenal beer, and has easily made it's way in to my top three of the year so far. To be honest, I didn't expect anything else with the level of talent involved. There are two breweries at the top of their game here. I would encourage anyone to seek this out and get their hands on it - you will not be disappointed in the slightest.
Tremendous Ideas gets 5 out of 5 from me 🍻
BrewDog x Bearded Iris
When it comes to collaborations, BrewDog have a habit of making rather excellent ones. The have produced some absolute bangers in recent years, with some of my favourites being Eight-Bit, along with some stunning efforts with Fierce Beer & Cloudwater. So when I learned of their collaboration with Bearded Iris - a brewery I have yet to experience, but I knew plenty of their reputation, I just had to get my hands on it.
The beer in question is Multitrack, a 8.5% ABV NEIPA - this beer is right up my street. Here's the official description from BrewDog:
"More than a duet, this IPA is set to storm the charts thanks to a high fidelity of hops and a bassline of wheat and oats. Juicy stone fruit, citrus and smooth bitterness broadcast in perfect pitch. Multitrack - Collaboration in the digital age."
I had a feeling this beer was gonna be great, and I'd read so much good things about it. I couldn't wait to get it open.
Before I get started - just a quick word on the can art. It is such a cool looking label! The simplicity of it, mixed with the colour scheme makes this one really stand out.
Multitrack pours from the can a hazy, bright, golden orange colour, leaving a thin off white head behind. Initial aromas are lovely and fruity with pineapple, grapefruit, orange and melon, with a slight grassy backbone and a big hit of hops. Great start so far. Taste is sweet and juicy at the forefront with plenty pineapple, stone fruits and melon that are all laced together with a hoppy bitterness and combine with a beautiful creamy texture from the oats. This beer is very easy to drink - the booze is there, but not too overpowering and the silky smooth creamy mouthfeel just makes it all work.
This was a great beer, and I really, really enjoyed it. It was full of amazing flavours, and the oats in there gave it an awesome creamy mouthfeel, making it extremely drinkable. This is another stellar example of BrewDog pulling off amazing collaborations - it is something they do so well. You should get your hands on this beer whilst you can.
Multitrack gets 4.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
North Brewing x Other Half
Hello! It's been a while since my last post, and I think it's been even longer since my last beer review. That doesn't mean I haven't been drinking them - I've just been lazy! Thankfully, I have chosen a rather special beer for my latest review - a collaboration between one of the UK's hottest breweries, North Brewing, and Brooklyn powerhouse, Other Half (a brewery I hope to visit later this year).
This beer doesn't have an actual name as such, and it just referred to as "DIPA", which comes in at a whopping 8.3% ABV. Here's the official description from North Brewing:
"We are in awe of this beer! Super chuffed, humbled and proud! This is what it’s about, people coming together to create something great. During the madness of Hop City Leeds, Antony from Other Half Brewing Company squeezed us in his busy schedule to weigh in on how we should brew this beer together. With plenty of Mosaic, El Dorado and Ekuanot in the early dry hop, this beer is a hefty Double IPA with heaps of tropical aroma and flavour, an absolute mouth full of smooooothness and a nice bit of 8.3% booze to carry it all and give you that giddy feeling."
As soon as I read about this beer, I had to have it. With the level of talent involved, I couldn't imagine this beer being anything other than spectacular. I couldn't wait to get it open.
DIPA pours from the can hazy, murky, golden yellow colour, leaving behind a fingers width of a foamy white head behind. Aromas are huge amount of tropical fruits - pineapple, mango, orange, along with a touch of lime combine with a nice hoppy backbone...wow, mouthwatering stuff! The first sip gives you loads more of those tropical fruits - thick gloopy pineapple, mango and orange are there are the forefront with a splash of pine at the end to give the right amount of bitterness, and reminding your brain that this is in fact a beer, and not straight out of a Tropicana carton! It is super fresh tasting, and the booze is well hidden too, making it extremely drinkable, for an 8.3% beer.
This was an extremely enjoyable beer to drink. I loved every second of it. This, in my mind, is exactly what a perfect DIPA should be - thick, juicy, fruity and just enough hoppy bitterness in there to round everything off. Bravo.
This was an utterly phenomenal beer, and without doubt one of the best I've had this year. North Brewing are a UK brewery at the top of their game, and Other Half come with a reputation that speaks for itself - I can't wait to visit their brewery and tap room later this year. Should you buy this beer? Absolutely, and I can't recommend it enough.
This DIPA collaboration gets 5 of of 5 from me 🍻
Brewing Up A Storm In The Hills Of Paphos
After my epic efforts in the Cyprus Marathon, there was only really one thing that I needed - a trip to a brewery! Thankfully, there happened to be one pretty close by to where we were staying. Currently making a name for themselves on an island dominated by the brewing giants Keo & Carlsberg, is Aphrodite's Rock Brewing Company - a family run business that has been bringing something fresh and new to the island of Cyprus since 2013.
We arranged the visit to the brewery in the weeks leading up to our visit, opting for their Beer Quest package. This package is priced at €50pp and includes transport to and from the brewery, a three course meal, a tasting flight of beer/cider, a brewery tour and all the beer, cider or wine you can handle in-between. It seemed like amazing value for money, so we booked it without hesitation
We were picked up on the day by Derrick on the mini-bus - which was impossible to miss with the awesome brewery branding all over it. We were then taken on a short bus journey back through Paphos to pick up the remaining guests, and then we all made our way to the brewery. It was an extremely pleasant bus journey, and Derrick was very chatty, and kept the conversation flowing non stop. The brewery is in an absolutely stunning location, in the hills above the village of Tsada, around 20mins from Paphos. Whilst it was a relatively sunny day, it wasn't particularly warm - but I can just picture this being an absolutely beautiful location in the summer sun.
After arriving at the brewery, we were swiftly shown to our table and asked if we would prefer the beer flight, or the cider flight. Obviously, being gregwhodrinksbeer, I opted for the beer flight. The beers swiftly arrived, along with some tasting notes explaining the beers. From left to right (image below), we had:
So all in all, it was a pretty well rounded selection of beer that was available for us to sample. I'd already tried the West Coast IPA (and loved it) previously, so I already knew what I was getting there. It's safe to say I enjoyed all of the beers, and while one or two of them, maybe weren't quite suited to my taste, such as the ESB, none of them were certainly at all horrible. Both of the lagers were really refreshing, and the porter was full of smokey, coffee flavours. Overall, my favourite was the West Coast IPA, and that didn't come as much of a surprise, with it being one of my favourite beer styles. It is a really tasty beer, with fresh citrus flavours, and a bitter hoppy backbone - everything you want in a good IPA.
It was soon time for the food, and our first course promptly arrived - which was a platter of vegetables, bread and hummus. This was then followed by an excellent platter, of cold meats, cheese, pickles and more. This was more than enough to satisfy our appetites as we enjoyed more beers in the sun as we chatted amongst ourselves, and the other guests whilst we waited for the brewery tour.
Bill Ginn, the owner of Aphrodite's Rock Brewery, then took us all through to the brew house for the brewery tour. After a brief introduction, he then proceeded to tell us everything we needed to know about the brewery, its history and its operations. He showed us all of the equipment, explaining the brewing process in a very detailed manner. I found it a really interesting hour, and Bill was an extremely knowledgeable guy (he's a chartered engineer with years of experience in the oil industry), and I'm sure he could have talked for hours given the chance. The passion he has for brewing great, quality beer was clear to see, and it's evident that he's doing his best to stand out amongst the crowd, on an island that is dominated by giant, macro brewed beer.
If you plan on visiting the brewery then I would highly recommend checking out one of the tours. I believe they are run every weekday at 2pm, and the best part is they are FREE (providing you are a paying customer on the day)!
When the tour was over, we returned to our seats, where it was time to enjoy more drinks, and our main course - which was a sharing meat platter, that was loaded with chicken, ribs, sausages, fries & onion rings. Whilst it may not have looked quite appealing to some - I found it very enjoyable, and a perfect end to a day filled with beer! We had one final course to go following the meat feast, and that was dessert, which was a slice of delicious chocolate cake that was served with cream, or ice cream.
After the food was finished, I also got the chance to have a quick chat with head brewer, Daniel Pitts. He was a really friendly guy, and much like Bill, extremely passionate about making the freshest, tastiest beer possible. We had a quick chat about our favourite UK based breweries, and I gave him my thoughts on a few of his beers. There was just enough time left to enjoy a last beer and enjoy the sun going down - and with that, it was time to get back on the bus for the journey back to the apartment. It's safe to say the bus was a little more lively on the way back!
If you are visiting Paphos, and are looking for something different to do, then I would 100% recommend checking out Aphrodite's Rock Brewery. Even if you don't like beer, it's worth checking it out for the food alone - their pizzas have a great reputation in Paphos, and if you do like beer - then you are in for a real treat. I would love to visit it again on a really warm summer's day as it is the perfect place to enjoy some great beer, whilst enjoying the sunshine. Even if you don't get the chance to visit the brewery, you can find their beers in various bars around Paphos - and it's always good to support the local businesses, right? 🍻
For more information about the brewery, check out their website, where you can also find all the relevant booking info.