Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog: Beavertown
Showing posts with label Beavertown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beavertown. Show all posts

Monday, 17 April 2017

Beavertown & To Øl: Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

The collaboration between Beavertown and To Øl was sure to produce something special. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde were born of the same base malt and mashing process, then both sent in their uniquely separate ways. The beers were both primary fermented with a fabled Scottish yeast strain that made it's way to Belgium and back to N17, where it was thrown into these worts. We managed to get our hands on these due to a fortuitously timed trip to Cotteridge Wines last April, and have been holding on to them for a special occasion. The end to a bank holiday which we worked the whole way through seemed suitable enough! On to the beers...


An 8.1% Muscat barrel aged bretted gooseberry Belgian pale. The beer itself sings with layers of elegant sourness, reminiscent of greengages initially then on to gooseberries, coupled with a hit of lactobacillus which builds beautiful acids across the palate. While the tartness is crisp, the tannic oak adds a delightfully savoury note, and the sweetness of the original wine softens with an apple scrumpy cider character, which goes hand in hand with the distinctive brett stone fruit funk. It leaves you with the same dancing feeling across the roof of your mouth like you've just eaten tangfastics (if thats a suitable tasting note without incurring potential lawsuits), with a zesty sherbet bite provided through the high carbonation and a lasting lip-puckering finish.


This is a different beast entirely, an imperial stout boosted with a hit of roasted malts, beechwood smoked malts and heaps of brown sugar to help amplify the ABV to an impressive 13.7%. The beer is left to mature in Speyside whisky barrels, before being seasoned with sea salt. A bold boozy kick flies out of the glass instantly, with a waft of warm smoke and a savoury salination (Laura thought it smelt a bit like a really nice gravy?!). The same characteristics ripple across the palate, along with a rich oaky character. While the carbonation is near non existent, the sticky sweetness of molasses bolstered wort is still surprisingly light and a little delicate. The finish is warm and boozy with a twang of characteristic Belgian yeast, but this doesn't linger for more than a few seconds, with quite a short mouthfeel considering the smoked malt character.

Overall - a very cleverly crafted duo with little to suggest that they were borne of the same base beer. The Jekyll just pipped it for us, being so inherently drinkable, but both were excellent and a great showcase of what two goliaths of the industry can produce.


Saturday, 2 January 2016

Our 2015 highlights

We've seen a lot of Golden Pints posts popping up recently, which got us thinking hard about what we wanted to do as a little overview of 2015. We've loosely followed the same format as the Golden Pints Awards as put forward by Andy at BeerReviews, but as we felt that some of the categories weren't as relevant as others for us (also we've missed the deadline!) we've cut some of them out and focused on what we've particularly loved this year.

Best UK Cask Beer

J - North Riding - Red Citra. In this brew North Riding have done much more with this popular hop than simply bunging a load in and expecting the hop to do all of the talking. It's rounded and well balanced with a well selected malt bill backing up the Citra to perfection.
L - Wylam - Remain In Light. A clean, hoppy pale ale that despite this fairly mundane description managed to be memorable enough to make it into this post. Just everything you could possibly want from a pale ale.

Best UK Keg Beer

J - Beavertown - BA Moose Fang, an imperial brown ale aged in Armagnac barrels. The description alone got my mouth watering, and it did not disappoint - rich and nutty with a massive, rounded malt backbone. Complex and absolutely delicious.
L - Hawkshead - Chocolate & Tonka Bean Imperial Porter, enjoyed at IndyManBeerCon in Manchester (a fantastic event!). Beautiful sweetly spiced rich aroma, that I can conjure up in my mind just from thinking about it, with a silky mouthfeel and an almost Mexican hot chocolate flavour, with cinnamon, vanilla and dark cocoa vying for attention. Sublime.

Best UK Bottle or Canned Beer

J - Buxton - Ace Edge. We love a bit of Sorachi Ace in this house and Ace Edge encompasses everything that's great about this hop. Buxton's Axe Edge is one of the best IPAs out there, and for me the addition of Sorachi just lifts it into that next dimension.
L - Weird Beard - Defacer. More Sorachi Ace in absolute spades (told you we liked it here!). Tropical, piney, oodles of that gherkin flavour that I always get from Sorachi hopped beers and which I simply love. We wrote more about this one here.

Best Overseas Draught

J - Omnipollo - Magic #90000, a blueberry/pecan/almond/vanilla smoothie IPA, enriched with lactose. Everything you'd expect from the name, a brilliantly crafted beer.
L - I've gone for Omnipollo too - Magic #3 Protein Shake IIPA. Never had a beer like this before, it just completely blew my mind... sort of like hopped up Ovaltine?! 
Both of these beers were part of the Omnipollo Buxton Tap House takeover - read more about it here.

Best Overseas Bottle or Canned Beer

J - Against the Grain - London Balling. Every sip of this wonderfully balanced and massively boozy English-style barley wine all the way from Kentucky was a delight. Barrel aged for 3 months in bourbon cask which gave a truly enormous flavour that took me two and half hours to drink. I enjoyed every second.
L - De Molen - Ball & Chain. Smoky yet sweet, sort of like a really good ham. What more could you possibly want from a beer?!

Best Collaboration Brew

J - Weird Beard/Brodies - Weird Brodmance. A big imperial stout enrichened with maple syrup and lactose. The balance between the dark malt, rich sugar and complex hop nature lifted this to being far more than just your "normal" impy stout.
L - Abbeydale/Hop Hideout - Marshmallow Meltdown Stout. My most "tapped" beer of the year! A really fun drink... boozy, chocolatey, gorgeous coffee notes in the backbone and sweet hints of marshmallow to finish. Excellent pump clip, too.

Best UK Brewery

J - Buxton - simply because I don't think I've ever had a bad beer from them. Their consistency and commitment to quality (including their arguments for ceasing making cask beer earlier this year) enables them to stay right at the pinnacle of British brewing and remain entirely relevant in a changing market.
L - Mad Hatter. I was drawn in to Mad Hatter's beers right from their start up simply because of the Alice in Wonderland-y link (it's my all time favourite book) and since then they've quickly become one of the most exciting breweries out there. Always imaginative and often outrageous, their concoctions never fail to deliver on flavour and to top it off they're bloody lovely chaps too. 

Best World Brewery

J - Crooked Stave. Some of the most interesting beers I've drunk this year - Nightmare on Brett springs immediately to mind. Progressive and exciting, it's great to see their stuff appearing on the shelves of bottle shops in the UK. We're lucky enough to be heading over to Colorado this year and a trip to their brewpub is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip.
L - Got to be Firestone Walker for me, quite simply because I've hugely enjoyed everything I've tried from them, with their Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA being a particular highlight of Matt Curtis's brilliant bottle club event at Hop Hideout earlier in the year. They seem to have a go-to beer for whatever mood I'm in, from their Easy Jack IPA perfect for a summer barbeque to the vintage series which demands thoughtful sipping.

Pub/bar of the year

Unanimous and instant decision on this one - Six° North Bar in Aberdeen played host to a phenomenally good afternoon for us, which ended in Laura singing along to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights at 7.30pm (at which point we decided heading back to our hotel was probably a wise idea...). An absolute plethora of beers available on tap, with hundreds more featuring on a bottle menu, excellent food and a laid back atmosphere with friendly, enthusiastic staff. Enough said.