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 🍻
Magic Rock x Other Half
Earlier this year when I was researching breweries for our trip to New York City, one brewery that caught my eye was Other Half Brewing; they seemed to be extremely highly rated & had plenty of cool looking cans on their Instagram page. Now, unfortunately I did not get to sample any of their beers when I was there...however it now seems that they have come to me.
Half Cut is a collaboration between Huddersfield based Magic Rock & Other Half Brewing out of Brooklyn, NYC. Sold in 500ml cans, Half Cut is a 8% ABV DIPA that currently has a 99% overall rating on RateBeer. Here's what Magic Rock have to say about it:
"A DIPA collaboration with our friends from Brooklyn, Other Half Brewing. Along with our pale malt Golden Promise, the beer uses a reasonably large percentage of oats in the mash for a creamy body and soft mouthfeel.
A low bitterness target (for a DIPA) of around 60IBU was aimed for and Citra, Mosaic & Denali hops added to the whirlpool for loads of tropical/citrus flavour. We went heavy on the dry hopping with lots more Citra and Mosaic as well as some Simcoe, Amarillo & HBC 438. The finished beer has a really punchy aroma as well as a super juicy fruit like flavour and soft mouthfeel."
My ever dependable bottleshop Westhill Service Station managed to get some of these in, and I was delighted to get my hands on one.
Well this one is a bit special.
Opening the wonderfully designed can instantly releases big hoppy aromas, fused with loads of tropical fruits; mango, pineapple, passion fruit & some citrus orange.
It fills the glass a wonderful hazy, murky golden orange with a big foamy beige head.
The taste is incredible. Quite bitter on the first sip, with big hoppy, piney flavours but that soon relaxes to make way for the fruit. Again, tropical fruits combined with citrus orange give this beer an excellent mouthfeel that balances the bitterness perfectly.
I've raved about Magic Rock in the past. They make excellent beer. Teaming up with these heavy hitters from NYC has resulted in an outstanding beer. I can't recommend this one enough.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
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 🍻
Lets Beer It For New York...
I recently spent a week in the greatest city on the planet; New York City. My wife booked it for my 30th birthday, and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. Everything about New York City was amazing - the sound of the streets, the atmosphere, the people, the food, and what we are here to talk about...THE BEER. I had so many awesome beers in New York; some that I’d tried before and some that were new to me. I didn't manage to keep track of them all, these are just a few:
My favourite of the bunch was Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin. This was my first beer by Ballast Point, a brewery I’d heard so much about - and they did not disappoint! Pineapple Sculpin is jam packed with sweet fruits and bitter hops, it is my exact kind of go to beer.
Without question, my favourite bar I visited was Beer Authority. This place was awesome. They have 90 beers on draught and over 100 bottles! This was where I tried most of the beers on the list above, including the awesome Pineapple Sculpin. Their beer menu was seriously impressive, as was the food menu...unfortunately we didn't get to try the food.
I can't wait to return to this incredible city one day. I've dreamed of visiting since I first watched Home Alone 2, and now that I've been - I can't get it out of my head...I felt at home there.
There's something magical about being on a rooftop bar, looking out onto Times Square at night with an ice cold beer 🍻