Kaleidoscope by Vibrant Forest

Friday, 28 July 2017
Kaleidoscope by Vibrant Forest
Friday, 28 July 2017

Beer Name: Kaleidoscope

Brewer: Vibrant Forest Brewery, Lymington, Hampshire, England

Date Sampled:  28th July 2017

ABV: 6.5%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Vibrant Forrest, the Lymington based microbrewery, are a producer that have impressed me hugely in the past. Kick Start is a wonderfully balanced and practically sessionable coffee stout, whilst Bourbon Oktober, their bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, is destined to feature in my list of top beers of 2017.

Vibrant Forest have recently started to can some of their core range so it seemed an ideal opportunity to try their flagship beer Kaleidoscope.

It has a lovely rich amber colour with a slight haze, with very little head to speak of. What is very evident, even with a careful pour, is a lot of sediment. This doesn't bother me but I could imagine it being slightly off putting to anyone not used to unfiltered beer.

Kaleidoscope has a lovely aroma, with grapefruit, orange and pine all fizzing away in your nostrils.

These all follow through into the first sip, with the fresh citrus up first, a gloop of sticky pine and then a lovely pithy bitter finish.

Kaleidoscope is a lovely IPA and I'm not surprised it's Vibrant Forest's flagship beer; it's jam packed with flavour, is one of the better core range IPAs around and I'd happily plough through a few cans of this!




King Slayer by Buxton

Thursday, 27 July 2017
King Slayer by Buxton
Thursday, 27 July 2017

Beer Name: King Slayer

Brewer: Buxton Brewery, Buxton, UK

Date Sampled:  25th July 2017

ABV: 8%

Serving Type: Bottle

Location Sampled: Home

I'm a huge fan of Buxton Brewery; I've drunk a lot of their beers that have impressed me hugely and my trip to their taproom earlier this year was one of my highlights.

Now this King Slayer DIPA is good, but for me it doesn't stand out in an ever crowded marketplace.

It has a slightly hazy, straw coloured appearance with a reasonable amount of head.

The nose is fragrant, if a little delicate, with citrus, sweet orange and apricot being the main standouts.

It does have a very soft mouth feel, with a nice amount of carbonation and a medium body.

When tasted, it's the overripe apricot that is most prominent, with very little bitterness and just a hint of alcohol on the finish.

There is no doubting that King Slayer is incredibly drinkable, scarily so when you consider the 8% ABV, which in itself is testament to the brewing skills of the Buxton brrewers. But with so many great beers around this doesn't quite do enough to make me rush back and have another... if I'm drinking a double IPA I want it to bring the flavour.



NW DIPA Ekuanot by Cloudwater

Wednesday, 26 July 2017
NW DIPA Ekuanot by Cloudwater
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Beer Name: NW DIPA Ekuanot

Brewer: Cloudwater Brew Co., Manchester, England

Date Sampled: 26th July 2017

ABV: 9%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

So it probably seems like this blog is turning into "another day, another Cloudwater" but when they are consistenly turning out beers this good it's hard not to want to drink every one of them!

I actually didn't intend to pick up this release; I have a fridge full of hoppy beers that need drinking fresh, including three difference Cloudwater cans, so was prepared to let this one pass me by. Then I started seeing the reviews and began getting serious FOMO, so you can imagine how relieved I was when the Beer Musketeer got some in stock.

It has the classic Cloudwater DIPA appearance when poured, with a golden yellow, almost Sunny D like appearance. It has a small white head that laces nicely all of the way down.

Taking a sniff is a little like plunging your nose into a tropical fruit smoothie, with mango, passion fruit and sweet fresh orange juice all dancing up your nostrils.

That mango and passion fruit hits strongly up front on the tasting, with the bitter citrus coming through to allay any fears of this being some sort of overly sweet soft drink. That citrus becomes quite pithy on the finish, with a drying bitterness that leaves your taste buds screaming for more. This amazing flavour partnered with a lovely smooth and creamy mouth feel makes this one of the most satisfying and crushable beers that I've tried this year.

To think I very nearly missed this one....










Apex Twin by Time and Tide

Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Apex Twin by Time and Tide
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Beer Name: Apex Twin

Brewer: Time and Tide Brewing, Deal, Kent, London, UK

Date Sampled: 22nd July 2017

ABV: 9%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Who doesn't love a cheeky sneak peak? Time and Tide have very kindly sent me through a special pre release bottle of one of their upcoming beers and I'm happy to report it's an absolute belter.

Back in February of this year I reviewed their Double Stout, a beer that impressed me hugely with its big but balanced flavours. Well they've only gone and aged some of it in British Oak Barrels!

It's a beautiful beer when poured; glossy jet black with a creamy coloured head that laces wonderfully.

The aroma has a huge depth to it, with rich dark chocolate, black treacle, sticky dates and a hint of tobacco leaves giving it a decadent feel.

It has a medium to heavy body, with just enough carbonation to leave it with a smooth luxurious mouth feel.

And when it's time to taste, Apex Twin does not do things by half. That black treacle follows through from the nose, but now with a slightly more liquorice angle to it, with dark winter fruits rounding it out. Then on the finish there is a slight peaty smokiness and a hint of warming alcohol.

As much as I love hop heavy IPAs and DIPAs, especially in the summer, there are few things I find as satisfying in the beer world as a great imperial stout.. and that's what Time and Tide's Apex Twin is.

When this goes on general release make sure you grab some, you don't want to miss this!




Session IPA Citra Ekuanot by Cloudwater

Thursday, 20 July 2017
Session IPA Citra Ekuanot by Cloudwater
Thursday, 20 July 2017


Beer Name: Session IPA Citra Ekuanot

Brewer: Cloudwater Brew Co., Manchester, England

Date Sampled: 20th July 2017

ABV: 4.5%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

I've drunk a lot of Cloudwater beers in the last twelve months, especially their amazing DIPAs! But it was high time that I explored a little more of their range so when The Beer Musketeer recently scored a few cans I didn't hesitate to snap some up.

First of these to be reviewed is their Session IPA Citra Ekuanot which weighs in at a very civilised 4.5% ABV.

It certainly looks like a Cloudwater beer when poured, with a glorious sunshine yellow hazy appearance and a beautiful white head that laces well.

The nose is punchy enough, with apricot, fresh cut grass and citrus freshness giving it the aroma of summertime, and it's mouth-feel although relatively light, is well carbonated.

That summer time vibe comes through well in the tasting, with the apricot joined by tangy grapefruit and a wonderfully bitter finish that lasts and lasts.

This session IPA is a great example of modern IPAs, proving that you don't need to sacrifice flavour when brewing a sessionable ale. I could happily sink a few pints of this in a sunny beer garden!









Steady Rolling Man by Deya

Monday, 17 July 2017
Steady Rolling Man by Deya
Monday, 17 July 2017

Beer Name: Steady Rolling Man

Brewer: Deya Brewing Company, Cheltenham, England

Date Sampled: 6th July 2017

ABV: 5.2%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Deya have done it again. After being absolutely blown away by their IPA Into the Haze I finally managed to get hold of a can of Steady Rolling Man, a pale ale that for many people was their first experience of the Cheltenham based brewery.

And the quality of this beer goes a long way to explaining the excitement around Deya.

In the glass it pours a slightly hazy golden orangey yellow; it looks like liquid sunshine.

The aroma is a lovely mix of grapefruit, pine and fresh cut sweetness.

The taste is more delicate than Into the Haze, with clementine and apricot up front before a pithy citrus bitterness comes in at the finish, all with a smooth mouth feel that straight from the fridge is an absolute delight.

Steady Rolling Man is a cracking pale ale; as you'd expect from the style it's not got the punchy flavour of Into the Haze but it is beautifully balanced, incredibly refreshing and hugely crushable.

Hats of to you Deya, you guys know how to brew!





Southsea Ale Club Summer Beer Tasting

Friday, 14 July 2017
Southsea Ale Club Summer Beer Tasting
Friday, 14 July 2017

Thursday 13th July 2017 saw the inaugural social event of the Southsea Ale Club. The brain child of some local beer lovers, the instagram account has been live for a while and is already a showcase of quality local, national and international craft ales.

But last night was their first attempt at gathering some like minded beer nerds together and it was a roaring success.

Their summer beer tasting night, hosted at Hunter Gatherer Coffee in Southsea, featured five beers selected and introduced by Portsmouth's own Beer Musketeer Stuart Ainsworth.

You can tell that Stuart knows his beer as he selected five very different ales that were all perfect for sunny alfresco drinking! I didn't take any notes at the time so the following thoughts are almost as hazy as the beers but....

Buxton Brewery Pale - Light, slightly floral nose, very well balanced and drinks nowhere near its 5.2% ABV.

Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropicana - Strong fruity aroma, especially pineapple, all of which carry through into the taste, however, not too sweet with a nice bitterness on the finish. Very crushable!

Magic Rock Shredder - The orange that is infused in this wheat beer is hugely evident on the nose and is also fairly dominant on tasting. Not a style I'd normally drink but quite enjoyable.

Siren Craft Beer Thresher - This spelt IPA had quite a sweet nose, almost like the bottom of a compost heap (that's a good thing), but something quite medicinal in the tasting.

Kernel Biere De Saison - Lovely aroma full of funk, wine, hints of cider and a taste that brings all of that together with some lovely fresh white pepper that helps to balance it all. Brilliant beer.

Of these I scored the Clwb Tropicana and Biere De Saison very similar and although very different styles, were the stand outs of that part of the night.

The climax of the evening was a bit of a coup for the organisers, as they arragned an exclusive tasting of Southsea Brewing Company's latest beer. Introduced by the brewer himself, David Eastwood, his Brazilian Breakfast Coffee Milk Stout is made with a coffee cold brewed by Hunter Gatherer (with beans provided by Craft House Coffee in West Sussex) and the beer recipe itself includes Belgian Waffles and Maple Syrup!

I'll be grabbing a couple of bottles soon to do a full review but from that initial tasting I can tell you that it's something very special and I have no doubt that the limited batch of 400 bottles will not be around long.

I can't thank the guys behind Southsea Ale Club enough for the efforts they put into last night. It was brilliantly organised and to sell 30 tickets for their first event was impressive work.

Make sure you follow them on instagram and look out for the next event!

The Southsea Brewing Brazilian Breakfast Stout is officially launched tonight (Friday 14th July) at Hunter Gatherer (starts at 7pm contact info@huntergatherer.coffee for details) and will then be available all weekend direct from the brewery at Southsea Castle as part of their one year anniversary celebrations, along with the rest of their range of beers.

And don't forget to pop into The Beer Musketeer on Albert Road for a great range of craft ales and ciders.








Jurassix DIPA by Staggeringly Good Beer

Monday, 10 July 2017
Jurassix DIPA by Staggeringly Good Beer
Monday, 10 July 2017


Beer Name: Jurassix DIPA

Brewer: Staggeringly Good Brewery, Portsmouth, England

Date Sampled:  9th July 2017

ABV: 8%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

I have got a whole lot of love for Staggeringly Good! The Portsmouth based brewery consistently turn out top quality beers that not only taste amazing but also have dinosaurs on the label. They have a brilliant tap room at their brewery and are hosting Warriorfest in July, a craft beer festival on the 19th century warship HMS Warrior!

There latest project is one that had got me very excited ever since they teased an image on their social media in late April by local artist My Dog Sighs, along with the hashtag #JURASSIX. Then when in June they announced that the project was a collaboration bringing together Staggeringly Good's first ever DIPA with cans designed by local artists I just knew I had to get some.

I snapped up one of the preorders as soon as they were available and on Saturday night (8th July) I joined the large queue of people outside Play Dead Tattoo and Art studio in Southsea to collect my Jurassix Six Pack. It was a very warm night to be stuck in such a throng of beer lovers but thankfully pints of Staggeringly Good's Hop Rod and Hole in Time were available to cool everyone down whilst Jags@119 had some amazing looking burgers cooking for anyone looking to go all T-Rex on some fresh beef.

The cans themselves are amazing and the original versions of much of the artwork were on display within the studio and I think most had already been purchased. The only brief that Staggeringly Good gave to the artists was the word 'Prehistoric' and it's fascinating to see the direction that each one has taken. I love them all and I'm not sure I can actually pick a favourite!

Now all of this creativity is brilliant but lets not forget that this is a beer blog, so I guess I'd better let you know how the contents of the cans turned out... I'm delighted to say that Staggeringly Good have absolutely nailed their first DIPA.

On first cracking open the can you're smacked in the chops with a concentrated aroma of tropical fruits which, as you pour, softens into a lovely mix of and mango and apricot, but with a slight hint of rhubarb sharpness also evident.

It looks amazing, with a hazy dark orange appearance that glows when the lights hits it from behind.

Fresh, almost over ripe soft fruits are up first on tasting, but just as it threatens too much sweetness the rhubarb-like sharpness cuts through, followed by a lip smacking bitterness that grips the back of your jaws much in the way a vintage cheddar bites back. Then there is just enough alcohol warmth to remind you that you're sipping an 8% abv DIPA.

Staggeringly Good have never been shy when it comes to adding a lot of hops to their beers so I shouldn't be too surprised that their first DIPA has turned out well. But to get something so full of flavour and well balanced is a master stroke and I really hope that we don't have to wait too long before they make their next DIPA.

What do you think of these amazing cans? And which is your favourite?


Can design by Samo Arts




Can design by M-one




Can design by My Dog Sighs




Can design by Other Things




Can design by Farkfk




Can design by Midge


Some Fifty Summers

Thursday, 6 July 2017
Some Fifty Summers
Thursday, 6 July 2017

Beer Name: Some Fifty Summers

Brewer: Verdant Brewing Co., Falmouth, Cornwall, UK

Date Sampled:  6th July 2017

ABV: 4.6%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

After all of the Double IPAs I've been drinking lately Some Fifty Summers by Verdant is something a little more sessionable. At only 4.6% it's a much lower ABV than some of their amazing recent beers (like One More PSI, Putty and Pulp) but does this mean that it's lacking in flavour?

Thankfully the answer is no.

Once poured it's like a glass of fresh sunshine, with a hazy golden yellow hue and a crisp white head.

It's nose is full of pithy citrus and pine, not as tropical fruit heavy as some I've had but still very appealing.

It is well carbonated with a lovely smooth mouth feel.

On tasting it is bitter grapefruit that's front and centre, although there's just a hint of candied peel. Then the bitterness comes back on the finish along with just enough pine to add a nice depth to the flavour.

As you might expect it is slightly more delicate than some of their DIPAs but in Some Fifty Summers, Verdant have produced a modern IPA that is easy drinking and perfect for long hot sunny days.


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