Time for a new beer post! It's been a while since I've done one of these...
As of late, I have been doing all my beer reviews over on Instagram - and I have been enjoying it. I definitely feel that it works better as a platform for nice, concise, informative reviews. That's not to say I'm gonna stop posting about beer on here - this blog is called gregwhodrinksbeer after all.
I was lucky enough to win a competition over on Instagram, that was ran by @hop.look.listen, where I won three Verdant beers, and a shiny new Verdant glass. For being one of the biggest and best breweries in the UK - Verdant hasn't featured on this blog too much, which is unfortunate! Now, that's not for any reason in particular, other than mainly a combination of my reluctance at buying beer online, and my local bottle shop (Hop Shop Aberdeen) not stocking too much of their beer. So I thought it would be good idea to talk about all three beers in one big review blog post.
So lets get into these beauties!
First up we have MaryLou, a 5.2% ABV Pale Ale brewed with Mandarina Bavaria, Citra, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops. First things first - that can art is absolutely beautiful! There's not much on the can in the way of an official description, other than a quote from the great American author Jack Kerouac, and his iconic novel, On the Road.
“So I went up there and there she was, the girl with the pure and innocent dear eyes that I always searched for and for so long. We agreed to love each other madly.” - Jack Kerouac, On the Road
MaryLou pours from the can a murky bright orange colour, leaving a big foamy white head. There's instantly a HUGE floral hoppy aroma, backed by big juicy tropical fruits. This beer smells wonderful! On your first sip, you are met by that lovely floral hops, followed by a touch of citrus, juicy melon and tropical, slightly bitter finish. This beer is very, very good! It has a nice medium body, not too much carbonation and it is incredibly easy drinking - it would be so easy to smash a few of these in one sitting. Overall, a very impressive start.
MaryLou gets 4.75 out of 5 from me 🍻
Even Sharks Need Water
Next up we have Even Sharks Need Water, which is a 6.5% ABV IPA, which again, has some pretty cool can art. Here's the official description:
"Murky, thick, juicy and chewy. It’s like a packet of sherbet sweets drenched in tangy fruit layers cuddled by a comforting bready hug. Soft to drink with a slight creamy texture and medium dry finish, it’s tough to stop drinking it."
Even Sharks Need Water pours from the can an absolutely outrageous looking murky, milkshake looking pale orange colour, with just over a fingers width of an off-white head. There's initial aromas of citrus, and white grape, followed by a hint of pine. It all smells pretty awesome! The first thing you notice about the taste, is that it's not as sweet as the aromas lead you to believe. There's an initial sweetness of hoppy citrus, but that is soon replaced by an overwhelming amount of savoury, pastry like flavours - now, that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable, it just took me by surprise. Once I got my taste buds around what was going on, this was then all followed by a nice bitter finish to round things off. This beer is silky smooth, medium bodied, and has soft carbonation - it's very easy drinking, and easy to forget it's coming in at 6.5%. Lovely stuff.
Even Sharks Need Water gets 4.25 out of 5 from me 🍻
There Was No Why
Now it's time for the main event...
Here we have There Was No Why, an 8% ABV DIPA that has been brewed in collaboration with Brooklyn giants, Other Half. I was particularly excited about this beer following my visit to Other Half in November. Here's the official description:
"A few weeks ago, Anthony from Other Half joined us in Falmouth to help brew up our latest collaboration with the Brooklyn juice slingers. We decided on a DIPA!
We packed in five hop varieties: Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, Idaho 7 & Sabro. Expect layer upon layer of juicy and fruity hop flavours thanks to a dry hop that consisted of 60% Citra and 10% each of the aforementioned varieties. There’s also creamy, tropical citrus and candy notes alongside a very subtle coconut creaminess thanks to the Sabro.
We wanted to ensure this spirit of collaboration was strong with this one, and worked closely with Sam and Anthony at Other Half. They suggested the hop ratios and doubling the percentage of oats we’d typically use in the grist from 8% to 16% to enhance that slick and smooth mouthfeel. We reckon the result is a DIPA carrying the mark of both breweries - and one we’re incredibly excited to see released into the wild!"
There Was No Why pours from the can a thick, hazy lemon yellow colour, with a thin white head. Initial aromas are very dank with tonnes of ripe tropical mango and grapefruit, followed by a hint of grassy pine. Excellent start! Those dank, juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront when you take your first sip, with huge amounts of mango, orange, pineapple and a the slightest hint of coconut. Everything is then rounded off by a big whack of boozy bitterness. This beer is full bodied, thick, creamy and properly boozy - everything you are looking for an a huge DIPA! I loved this beer. A beer of absolutely epic proportions.
There Was No Why gets 5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Overall - I have been majorly impressed by these three beers, and I would go as far as to say, they have been three of the best beers I have had this year. They 100% live up to the hype. Thanks again to @hop.look.listen for putting on such an awesome competition, and for adding some more awesome glassware to my collection. I'm gonna make it a mission of mine in 2020 to get my hands on plenty more Verdant beer, and who knows... I might even get a hold of the elusive Putty.
Northern Monk x Deya x Verdant x YCH Hops
Northern Monk, Deya, Verdant...all in one beer?! Yeah, that's what I thought. Well they have come together along with YCH Hops to produce this years Hop City DIPA.
Brewed in honour of Northern Monk's annual celebration of the same name that takes place this weekend (29th-31st March), Hop City is a 8.4% ABV DIPA. Here's the official line on this one:
"A special Double IPA brewed in collaboration with Northern Monk, Verdant and Deya plus Hop City 2018 sponsor YCH Hops, a 100% grower-owned supplier of the finest hops from the US and beyond.
This DIPA combines Citra, Amarillo and Mosaic Cryo pellets in a 20g/hl dry hop. The grist features malted wheat and oats plus flaked wheat to bulk up the body further. The result is a chunky, round DIPA loaded with mandarin notes and tropical fruit character."
With these names behind it, my excitement for this beer was too much.
Let's talk about the 440ml can first of all. The design is awesome, and it has a label that you can peel back to reveal all sorts of info regarding the beer itself - a nice touch.
Hop City pours a nice thick golden orange colour leaving a thin white head & very little carbonation. The aromas from this beer are insane! Juicy pineapple, orange, lemon, peach & melon fill your nose as you pour from the can into the glass - there's some nice earthy pine in there too. Taste wise, this beer is out of this word - huge pineapple & melon flavours are back at the forefront, combining with a thick full bodied mouthfeel making this one absolute juice bomb of a beer. These fruit flavours are then rounded off with a nice piney bitterness that compliments them perfectly. Wow. It's a shame this beer is 8.4% ABV, because I could honestly drink it all day!
This beer is awesome. Without doubt one of the best DIPAs I've ever had. I'm not sure what else I expected to be honest with the level of talent involved. If you see this beer...buy it, drink it, enjoy it & be happy that it exists.
Hop City (2018) gets 5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Next up for review is Pulp - a 8% ABV DIPA by Verdant, who are undoubtedly one of the hottest names in UK craft beer right now. Whilst I wasn't too hot on two of their pale ale's Headband & Lightbulb, I had high expectations for this beer after seeing some of the buzz for it online. As always, Hop Shop Aberdeen delivered the goods & I secured my can as soon as it was available. Here's what Verdant have to say about this one:
"This double IPA is bigger in every way but still retains a dry finish that hides its strength. Massive fruit aromas and flavours combined with hazy golden looks and chewy body really do make this beer a stone fruit pulp fest!"
It sounds like an absolute winner, and I have a feeling I may just be right...
Pulp! pours a hazy tangerine colour from its bright purple can, leaving a foamy white head. The aromas are quite typical of this style of DIPA; big juicy tropical fruits of mango & pineapple along with some peach and a helping of piney hops. Wonderful stuff!
The flavours are just as exciting as the aromas themselves; huge juicy flavours up front - orange, pineapple, mango & peach are then balanced out with a crisp, bitter finish. This beer is quite similar to a NEIPA style, however not quite as thick & pulpy. It really is great to drink
This has been an awesome beer that has got me even more excited about Verdant. Between this & their excellent collaboration with Beavertown, I can't wait to see what comes next & hopefully sooner rather than later, I can get my hands on the elusive DIPA called Putty.
Overall Pulp! gets 4.25 out of 5 from me 🍻
Verdant Brewing Co.
Verdant Brewing Co. are a brewery that are relatively new to me. The only beer I had previously tried by them was their out of this world collaboration with Beavertown. That's not to say I haven't heard of them, because I had seen PLENTY off buzz about them on social media. So when Hop Shop Aberdeen took delivery of two of their latest beers; Light Bulb & Headband - I did not hesitate in getting my hands on them.
I was extremely excited about trying these two beers and following the Beavertown collaboration, I was more than confident that they would not disappoint.
First up is Light Bulb, a 4.5% ABV extra pale ale that is described as a mash up between a session pale ale & a dank juicy IPA. Here's what Verdant have to say about it:
"As pale as a 100W light bulb but as juicy as an IPA. Sessionable, quenching and totally addictive. Biscuity malt base with a hint of sweetness all drenched in fruity/dank hops."
Light Bulb comes in a extremely cool designed 440ml can & it pours a hazy golden colour with a big foamy white head. Aromas are quite subtle; very hoppy, with wheat, citrus & a touch of tropical fruits. Taste wise - I found Light Bulb to be not as full of flavour as I was expecting; some slight citrus with a splash of hops & little to no tropical fruits. Tasty enough, however I found it to be slightly bland.
Overall Light Bulb is a solid, yet unremarkable pale ale that gets 2.75 out of 5 hops from me.
Next up is Headband, a 5.5% ABV pale ale. I had higher hopes for this beer than I did Light Bulb - I was hoping this beer would be more in the vein of a big dank, juicy IPA than the previous effort. Here's what Verdant have to say about it:
"Glowing orange colour. A beautifully balanced beer where the pale, crystal and Munich malts really help amplify the hops juicy qualities. Layers of flavour: tropical fruit, citrus fruit, stinky cheese, caramel - all working together. Bitter and sweet. Lush."
Headband features another cool can design from Verdant. It pours in to the glass a slightly hazy golden amber colour leaving a big foamy beige head. Aromas are grassy hops, malts, caramels & loads of citrus grapefruit. Taste is quite similar to the aromas; citrus grapefruit along with some peach up front, before being rounded off by some herbal grassy hops that leaves a lingering bitterness. This beer was a lot more bitter than I was expecting & tastes a lot more boozy than it actually is.
Overall Headband is a really solid & easy drinking pale ale that gets 3.5 out of 5 hops from me.
Overall, this has been a pretty good entry into Verdant Brewing for me. Whilst not particularly being blown away by these efforts; I am very excited about potentially getting my hands on Putty & Pulp - two beers I have heard nothing but amazing things about
Beavertown x Verdant
After the disappointment of my first beer review of the year from BrewDog, I finally got my hands on a beer that I was genuinely excited about. Shut Up and Play The Hits is a collaboration between brewing giants Beavertown & Verdant Brewing. Shut Up and Play The Hits is a 8.8% ABV DIPA & here's what Beavertown have to say about it:
"Fuelled by pure mango petrol this juicy double IPA is a banger. A sneaky but well meaning bitterness luring in the background, with a pleasant fruity sweetness being the main star on stage. Full, round and thick – You are welcome. DRINK FRESH."
This beer sounds like a dream. Beavertown have made so many of my absolute favourite beers & collaborating with another awesome brewery like Verdant is a guaranteed recipe for success. I know I am going to love this beer, the question is just how much?
Before I get in to the aroma & taste, let's take a minute to appreciate the incredible can art on display. It's the same level that we have come to expect from Beavertown time & time again. There really is no one better when it comes to designing cans.
Cracking open the awesome can & pouring into a glass...wow. I was met with a tropical fruit explosion. This beer smelled like pure JUICE; mango, pineapple & passion fruit with the slightest hint of pine left me eager to take my first sip. Shut Up and Play The Hits pours a hazy golden orange leaving a foamy white head - it is one good looking beer. You should 100% try this beer.
The first taste is every bit as good as I expected. Those juicy tropical fruits hit you right up front; loads of pineapple & mango with a hint of orange are then rounded off with a hint of resinous pine. For being a 8.8% ABV beer, it certainly doesn't taste like it & for one that tastes as good as this - it should definitely be enjoyed in moderation. This beer reminds me of Tropigamma which is a helluva comparison - it was the first world class beer I ever had.
This beer is an absolute BANGER! Beavertown & Verdant really have conjured up something special here (not that I expected anything else) & I'll be highly surprised if this isn't one of my top 10 beers of 2018.
Shut Up and Play The Hits gets 5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻