Craft Metropolis and I collaborated over the run up to Valentines to curate blog post to showcase our favourite beers that we think will keep you feeling refreshed over months, and beers we think should take prime spot in your fridge.
Craft Metropolis initially are a monthly subscription based box (click here to visit their website), although you can buy one-off boxes if you so which, allowing you to mix up the box with cans or bottles with up to twelve.
London has quickly become the go-to city when it comes to Craft Beer, with more and more bottle shops and bars opening their doors month by month.
It’s always refreshing to see be it a bar, bottle shop, eatery or even a barber shop stocking independent breweries beers adding to the craft movement and with exciting beers being imported and beers that folk deem exclusive; it can sometimes shadow out the London breweries that are producing tasty and quality beers.
Which is what I particularly like about Oli’s Craft Metropolis, it’s always nice when you’ve drunk a hopped beer or sour Mikkeller or To Øl and then grab a British beer and it is on the same level, if not better than what you have drunk before.
And with the collaboration box we decided to have the choice to 6 cans/bottles each and compare ideas and create the finest selected box for you fridge whether it be Summer or Winter, a box full of flavour and refreshment.
First up, Pressure Drop’s Wu Gang Chops the Tree.
An almighty refreshing Hefeweisse (Wheat Beer) with a sharp and lingering tingle in the back of the throat. WGCTT is a great beer to drink in the evening or even midday after work, with a low ABV of only 3.8% you can session on this like no tomorrow, or better still be enjoying this brew with a curry as the foraged herb notes in this beer really pack-a-punch to a spicy, floral dish.
Swiftly followed with Five Point’s IPA in can.
I’ve always considered this IPA as a personal favourite one that should me the diversity in IPA’s when I first got really into craft beer, everybody has their staple beer and this is it.
Brewed with Galaxy and Cascade hops that really brings a taste of the American Northwest and Australia to your humble abode with notes of Lychee, Mango, Orange peel and licks of fresh citrus to add that tingle to the palette.
Now, how can you move on from a sumptuous IPA with citrus and fresh fruits? Well, I followed this with a can of Signal Lager.
A lager that brewed right out London and ready to tackle people’s perspective of lager. To me, before getting into craft beer, one always knew lager as boring and tasteless, since then and realising how confined I was, maybe it was just my social surroundings with friends grabbing the nearest and cheapest beers to keep the party moving.
But perceptions will break with Signal Lager, a lager brewed with the drinker in mind. With no substitutes, preservatives or additives it is a beer that definitely makes you think twice about the commercial end of the spectrum. This beer is tasty, refreshing and definitely deserves to sit in your fridge with its crisp finish and sumptuous mouth feel.
We’re now going to take a short trip down the Bermondsey Beer Mile, to a brewery that is just at the start of the Mile and it is of course, Partizan Brewing.
Partizan for me are a brewery that really make their beers stand out in flavour, balance of bitterness and of course their amazing artwork, their stout is barrel aged comes with a very dark appearance packs a big bold flavour of coffee, dark chocolate, stewed fruits and caramel. A rich mouthfeel with some carbonation and is an awesome stout to have sitting in the fridge ageing a little longer over the winter months.
Staying at Partizan, I followed this up with their Lemon grass Saison which to my surprise was a lot better than what I originally perceived.
With its fragrant foraged herb aroma, I instantly opted this as a summer beer, or if you’re not looking for a beer that is really heavy but light, flavourful after a long day, this is it.
As before mentioned on aroma, there is licks of foraged herbs, lemon zest and citrus with spice with the same going palette, a very light bodied and a dry finish which rounds this beer off very nicely.
Sticking to the Bermondsey Beer Mile, we’re heading to brewery number four on the list and that is, Brew By Numbers. A brewery that always pleases with their forward-thinking beers and beers focused on the flavour and quality.
Just like many of the breweries that I have come across, I first came across BBNo in Junkyard, Nottingham sampling their O5|03 IPA (Amarillo & Mosaic) a sumptuous beer full of the distinct flavours packed with these two hops.
And trying their 17|04 Grisette (Huell Melon & Nelson) comes with no disappointments, a very low ABVbeer sitting at only 3.7% so you can enjoy this for hours on end, well, let me retract that, you can enjoy a few of these with no worries of feeling worse for wear.
This Grisette is full of gorgeous fruity, floral and white grape notes coming from the Huell Melon & Nelson Sauvin hops.
This beer is definitely on the list over your Valentines meal if you want to break up the chocolate porters and coffee stouts you’ll be indulging over the next few weeks, if you’re both the porter/stout couple.
And now, I have looked to try this pale ale from Gipsy Hill Brewing for a long time now, and I must say it is something in its own league. Beatnik is a light pale ale showcasing an all-US hop line up!
Coming in at only 3.8% this pale ale is definitely setting the standard for flavour in just under 4.0%! After tasting Beatnik I was definitely amazed with the amount of floral fruity notes packed into this, along with caramel and resin just on the backend which rounds this beer off really nicely.
I am one for wondering how it turns out on keg and I presume it is absolutely gorgeous and smooth!
Following this was a beer that simply wowed in hops and bold citrus flavours, Weird Beard’s Five O’Clock Shadow. A 7.0% American IPA that is oozing with resinous notes, juicy fruits and ripe grapefruit aroma and on the palette is something that I really loved about this IPA.
At 7.0% I thought that I would be able to taste the alcohol or at least get some sort of overwhelming alcohol taste but there was nothing other than juicy fruits and a kick of the resin at the back-end.
Next up, a brewery that I had almost never heard of until Craft Beer Rising this year and I tasted their Larger, a beer which completely changed my perception on the style and before Signal and this 40 Ft Larger I was completely put off the style and believed there was no way I would enjoy it.
40FT Brewery are as the name states a 40 foot brewery, brewing beers out of a converted shipping container in the midst of Dalston, London who have also managed to squeeze a tap-room in the same place as the brewery.
How awesome is that! Most commonly known for their Pale Ale which, we’ll come on to next, are a brewery that really are not scared to push the limits in terms of character of the beer and how it tastes. I know that term has probably now turned into a cliché but it really is for 40FT Brewery.
Trying their new brew, Larger at CBR ’16 was almost like a light bulb moment – it was gorgeous.
40ft Breweries Larger is their take on the popular German style of beer Kölsch which is very similar to a lager but a lot larger in flavour and aroma (hence the name). Brewed using a new hop on the block from the State’s, Lemon Drop giving the beer a very bold lemon zest infused aroma and taste on the palate.
As from the image, the beer poured slightly hazy straw colour with a thin broken Whitehead, with a slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is big on the resin with biscuit malts coming through with citrus undertones which invite you to take your first sip of this beer.
Taking my first gulp of this beer I noticed the medium bitterness and very light sweetness on the palate, very forward on the lemon coming from the Lemon Drop hop which I love-making this beer very drinkable. I highly rate this beer making this my go to larger when I visit London, extremely with food and will definitely sit well with any dish you decide to cook up this valentines.
We then come on to the older brother of their range, their Pale Ale, an American style Pale Ale bringing an arsenal of UK & US hops producing a very unique clean, fresh aroma.
A very cloudy amber body with a thick off-white head and bold aroma of pine, citrus (lemon zest, grapefruit and orange) as soon as you crack open the can.
Diving into the beer it’s very dry with a light body and clean, hard mouthfeel coming from the carbonation – flavour is packing a punch that’s for sure, piney and resin with juicy citrus notes on the palate.
Soon after finishing off 40ft Breweries Pale Ale, I soon cracked open the last beer which was Crate Brewery’s Sour.
A sour beer brewed with passion fruit and hibiscus, my first thoughts were that this wasn’t overly sour as I was expecting. Maybe if this aged for say 8-12 months to have the yeast do its thing then the sour levels would be how I was expecting it but this was refreshing and well-balanced.
If you are keen drinker of sour beers but like to see what breweries are creating then I would definitely recommend grabbing a can of this beer from Crate but if you are more on the mouth puckering sour beers I would recommend sticking to what you regularly drink.
Either-way, it isn’t negative as this beer is delightful in its flavour and balance of juicy passion fruit and the hibiscus flowers working its magic on the back-end.
At the time of drinking this I unfortunately drank this straight from the can so didn’t take a snapshot of the colour but according to reviews online it is of an amber and white head body but from my first thoughts there was very, very light carbonation.
If you happen to pick up a few cans of Crate’s sour I would probably recommend ageing a can just to see if the sour levels rise on this beer as is gorgeous and there is definite room for improvement there.
Let me know what beers you have enjoyed tasting on the run up to Valentines and what breweries I should check out next.