What? Supermarket beer is evolving!
We're all used to being able to pick up good craft beer at our local supermarkets. The shelves at Tesco, Morrison's, Asda, Aldi and Lidl's are all packed with good beer - with beers from the likes of BrewDog, Northern Monk, Brooklyn Brewery, Camden Town, Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada all readily available on their shelves. However, if I am being honest, I can't remember the last time I bought a great beer in a supermarket - that is until recently.
Out of nowhere, social media was flooded with posts of these new beers from Vocation Brewery that were available in Tesco. Naturally, I had to see what all the fuss is about and I picked up their Breakfast Club collaboration with Yeastie Boys, and Love & Hate - the focus of this review. Love & Hate is a 7.2% ABV New England Pale Ale, and here's the official description from Vocation:
"Traditionalists love beer that’s crystal clear, with restrained hops, and a delicate flavour. They’re going to hate this… Love & Hate is our juicily crushable, unapologetically murky, New-England pale ale. An authentic Vermont yeast strain and a big dose of oats work together with our triple dry-hopping process to create beautiful aromas and a silky mouthful. Unconventional. Uncompromising. We love it."
There was so much hype around this beer, but could it live up to it?
Love & Hate pours from the rather cool looking can a hazy, murky, golden yellow colour, leaving less than a fingers width of a foamy off-white head behind. As you'd expect from this style of beer, there is loads of tropical/citrus fruit aromas as soon as you crack the can; juicy pineapple, mango and orange fill your nose from the off along with a hint of resin - so far so good! One sip of this beer and I know that it's a winner. Just as you get with the aromas, those sweet, juicy fruits are right there at the front of it all and then there's a bitterness, maybe a touch too much, to balance everything all out. This beer is silky smooth - those oats really do their job of binding everything together and making it feel great in the mouth. The alcohol is there, but not too overpowering, which could be quite dangerous considering this beer comes in at 7.2% ABV!
Overall I really enjoyed drinking this beer and I'll definitely be buying more of it, providing there's still some left on the shelves! This beer is great, really great. And the best part? It costs three quid.
You're going to see a lot more from Vocation Brewery on this blog - they are fast becoming a firm favourite of mine and their Life & Death IPA is one of the best core beers you can pick up in the supermarket. For £3, this beer is an absolute no brainier. £3 might seem like a lot to some people for one beer, but in my mind it is incredible value for what you are getting in terms of flavour - and a in 4400ml can no less.
Love & Hate gets 4.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Happy Birthday Byron Burger
Byron Burgers recently celebrated their 10th birthday and to mark this occasion, they brewed up a batch of special beers with some incredible local breweries. My wife was lucky enough to win a Instagram competition to win a box of all the beers...and well, married couples share right? So that means I get to try them out...
The box features beers from:
They vary in style and were brewed to be paired with a specific Byron birthday burger. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of trying them alongside the burgers...so it's beer only.
I'm not going to review every beer from the box, just my top 3 and a runner up.
Now this was a fantastic box of beer full of different styles and flavours. It was hard to pick a top 3, but I just about managed…
You probably guessed this was going to happen. But my favourite beer was absolutely Little Furry Animal by Beavertown. Little Furry Animal is a beer that I found to be absolutely excellent. It is without doubt classic Beavertown; refreshing, hoppy, murky & full of flavour. It’s a shame this was a limited release because I would 100% drink it again.
Close behind in second was Pith & Love by Vocation Brewery; a 4.5% ABV pale ale. This beers was great! It’s actually the first Vocation beer I’ve ever had (I know) – that is definitely going to change though! It was citrusy, light, refreshing & I can just imagine how great it would have been with a burger!
The next beer on the list was Hells USA by Camden Town Brewery, a 4.6% ABV unfiltered lager. Camden Hells is a great beer – anytime I’m out in somewhere like Revolution, it is my go to beer. So I was looking forward to trying the unfiltered version, because well, unfiltered beer is normally better! Safe to say I wasn’t disappointed; Hells USA was a belter of a lager – crisp with a real refreshing, citrusy, distinctive flavour. I would definitely drink this beer again.
And last but not least was Kuro by Camden Town again; a 5.1% ABV black lager. This beer was absolutely FULL of flavours! Distinctive lager flavours, with a hint of a porter about it - I can imagine that this beer would go very well with a spicy burger.
The other two beers; Zehn & Elation were decent, however they just didn't quite match up to the others. All in all, this was a great box of beers from Byron Burger - they definitely celebrated their birthday in style! Also, if you have never checked out their burgers, I highly recommend you do so. I am normally an advocate of trying to keep it local, however Byron's burgers are excellent!
Oh, and thanks again to my wife for winning the competition 🍻