Ben’s Beer Recommendation
A new weekly blog from Ben showcasing some of the best beer on Thirsty’s shelves from light, floral pilsners to rich, luscious stouts.
Cloudwater, Motueka Pilsner, 5.6%
New Zealand style lagers are very much in vogue at the moment, one sip of this and you can see why. An NZ lager takes a classic lager recipe and adds a bucket load of NZ hops, in this case Motueka. The NZ hops, grown in the same region of NZ as Sauvignon Blanc grapes, impart a huge amount of juiciness and fruitiness to the beer. They are very popular in trendy hazy IPA’s, but are also now finding their way into lagers. Cloudwater’s Motueka Pilsner is a great example of the style, there’s a big hit of juice up front and then a clean, crisp pilsner finish. Perfect for summer.
Magic Rock, Inhaler, 4.5%
There has been a shift in IPA trends recently. For a long time the West Coast IPA was the flagship style of the craft beer movement with breweries such as Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada blowing people’s minds with their big, piny, citrusy and resinous pale ales. There was a trend in this style to make the beer as bitter as possible, leading to a bitterness arms race between breweries and ultimately unpalatable beers. Then all of a sudden, some notable New England breweries decided it was time to strip back the bitterness and thus the New England IPA came into existence. This style of IPA involves vast dry hopping of aromatic hops (mosaic, citra, motueka etc.) a few days into fermentation for maximum hop flavour and aroma with little bitterness.
This style has proved popular in the UK and Magic Rock’s Inhaler has to be my favourite session beer around. Magic Rock are from Huddersfield and for many years have been brewing some of the best American style beer in the country. Inhaler is described as a ‘Juicy Pale Ale’, there’s certainly a lot of fruit and juice up front (papaya, mango, tropical fruits) then a really stripped back bitterness in the finish. It’s beautifully drinkable and has a reasonable ABV of 4.5 %, suffice to say I always have one of these in my fridge!
Cloudwater, IPA Mosaic Exp 431, 6.5%
Inhaler is a good introduction to the New England IPA, this is the cutting-edge real thing. Cloudwater, based up in Manchester, brew seasonally thereby experimenting with different recipes and ingredients all the time. They introduced the UK to what some of the best breweries in New England were doing, brewing a much-hyped series of double IPA’s that were outstanding.
The latest in their IPA range is ‘Mosaic Exp 431’, each IPA is named for the hops used. It’s aggressively hopped, with swathes of mosaic leading a massively juicy charge – think passion fruit and peach. The aroma alone is incredible. Vermont Ale Yeast is used for fermentation complementing the hop charge with lots of fruity esters, giving a little tartness. As expected the finish is reasonably low in bitterness. All in all, a beautiful IPA that sets the bar high for UK breweries.
Beer is hugely diverse and in Thirsty we are lucky enough to have some of the best representations of each style brewed in the UK and further afield, this blog will look to fully encompass this range.