It's our fourth and final #tryanuary extravaganza this week! I do hope you've all been enjoying your month of trying new things. Not only have we introduced you to 9 new beers, breweries or beer styles thus far, we have chatted about the brewing and bar scene in Bristol, not to mention the concept behind tryanuary itself.
I don't have much more to add to all that this week except to urge to to continue to try new things in the world of beer. Don't get stuck in one style, or only drinking one brewery. If you think keg beer is oh so wrong, give it a try. If you look down your nose at canned beer; give. It. A. Try.
There's so much more to beer than you may have thought at first, from Geuze to California Common, or from Triple IPA to Imperial Russian Stout, there will be something out there for you!
Wild Beer – Madness IPA
Wild Beer are local-ish. They're based over in Shepton Mallet-ish. Basically out in the wilds of Somerset. Surprisingly, I'm sure, they make 'wild beer.' They use wild yeast, that's their speciality, and they do an awful lot of crazy stuff. Although they also have a more moderate core range too. They've recently opened up their own bar in Cheltenham, which is surely worth a visit, although I'm yet to get over there myself yet.
This is an IPA which we went over in one of the previous weeks. India Pale Ale. Light, hoppy and pretty darned punchy.
In reality it's not a particularly big challenge of a beer this, style wise. But this suggestion is more about trying the brewery, and branching out in to their more Wild beers. This one is a good starting point, being more of their more 'straight' beers.
Aroma: Grapefruit, pine, biscuit, citrus, peach, mango
Taste: Orange, peach, pine, pineapple, grapefruit, caramel
Palate: Balanced, good bitterness
Overall; A well executed straight up IPA with a good hoppy punch.
Jolly Pumpkin - Luciérnaga
These guys make crazy beer, and having had a looksee at their website, it seems they may also be equally crazy. Which is certainly not criticism!
While I advise taking a look about their website for info, the American brewery makes weird and quirky beers. Many, if not all, are barrel aged. We have a selection of Belgian style barrel aged soured beers (not Lambics) and barrel aged saisons in stock. All of which look fascinating, and the one I've actually tried so far, I was blown away by.
So, Jolly Pumpkin don't really assign their beers a specific style according to the BJCP guidelines, or whatever. Ratebeer has the Luciernaga down as a Belgian Ale. This is pretty ambiguous seeing as in the new BJCP guide there are 6 sub categories for Belgian Ale or Strong Belgian Ale, and a a further four for Trappist (Which doesn't have to be Belgian, and is most definitely different, but the styles; Dubble, Tripel etc are often replicated without the provenance of being Trappist.)
Rather than assign this beer a style that I think is correct, and run the risk of being wrong, I'm just going to state that it's pale, with the fruity-spicy traits of Belgian yeast, some grainy sweet malt flavour, and some fruit aroma.
This is also claimed to be in the Grand Cru tradition, which mostly means it's a limited run, a special version, or a higher quality version. With respects to beer, think more complex primarily.
This beer is spiced with coriander and grains of paradise.
Aroma: Citrus, funky, earthy, floral, orange, coriander
Taste: Coriander, wheaty, white wine, grainy, funk,
Palate: Tart, dry, sour and hoppy
Overall; A pretty complex, lightly tart or sour Belgian style blond or golden ale with spices and all the god stuff.
The Kernel – Imperial Brown Stout
I have a lot of respect for The Kernel. Although I've not visited their brewery, they give the impression they're all about the beer. Screw fancy labels, gimmicks and fireworks. They make good beer, packaged honestly, with annoyingly short use by dates on them to ensure that the beer is in the best condition when it's drunk. Their no nonsense website give a tiny bio to that effect, and little to no information about them or their beer otherwise. It's almost as if they want you to drink the beer before making up your own mind. Novel eh?
Imperial Brown Stout.
One of The Kernel's things is using historical recipes. This is such a one. Essentially it is a forerunner to the Imperial Russian Stout (Russian Imperial Stout?) It's still black in colour, but is a little more easy going on the tongue, more rounded and a bit softer flavour-wise.
Aroma: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, tobacco, ash, plum, liquorice, caramel, pine
Taste: Roasty, hint of sweetness, chocolate, coffee, toffee, vanilla, red fruit
Palate: Medium body, creamy, oily
Overall; An excellent version of an Imperial Stout, which is made super easy drinking due to the creamy texture and complex taste. Somewhat dangerous at the ABV!
We're offering you these three beers, if you buy 'em together, for an impressive 15% off the usual price, £23.76 for the lot. You'll be able to try three new beers or beer styles at a beautiful Tryanuary discount.
All four weeks worth of special offers will be available (subject to availability) until the end of the month.
Get involved using the #Tryanuary tag! Photograph your beers, tweet them, facebook them. Tell people you're trying something new, let them know what you think (even if you hate it! At least your giving something new a chance huh?) Get us in on the conversation using @Brew_Bristol on twitter, or post something to our facebook page.