The beverage market is seeing a sharp rise in the popularity of craft beer ranging from light and refreshing session ales through more potent IPA’s to deeper bodied stouts and dark IPA’s. Smaller boutique bars buying into low volume brews means it is now far easier for the consumer to get hold of a wide variety of different brews as the niche brands experiment with different hop blends.
So with so much variety for the curious punter to choose from we have put together three†of our favourite Brewers and their signature beers to get you started on this ale trail.
The founders of this libertine craft brewery were bored of the industrialised lagers and stuffy ales that have previously dominated the market. Starting from scratch in 2007 they brewed tiny batches and†in true start up fashion bottled the beers by hand and sold them at local markets. With powerful media attention from the masterminded Tokyo brew, the strongest beer in the UK, the company grew rapidly employing 277 people by 2014. To sustain this growth Brewdog is largely crowd funded with their share offer campaign rebelliously named Equity for Punks. Brewdog is now the UK’s fastest growing food and drinks brand, exporting beers and opening bars worldwide.
The headline beer within the Brewdog range is Punk IPA and can be readily found in a number of large supermarkets, a significant nod from the big wigs to†the craft beer movement. Punk IPA is a post modern classic india pale ale which embodies the Brewdog rebellion with its insurgent flavours.
“Layered with new world hops to create an explosion of tropical fruit and an all-out riot of grapefruit, pineapple and lychee before a spiky bitter finish, this is transatlantic fusion running at the fences of lost empires.”
ABV: 5.6% – MALTS: Extra Pale – HOPS: Chinook, Ahtanum, Amarillo, Cascade, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin
In stark contrast to the defiant scotsmen from Brewdog, the Kona Brewing Company started as a father and son team in Kailua – Kona on Hawaii’s big island. This laid-back approach to brewing focussed on the dream to create fresh local island beers made with spirit. Both sustainability and philanthropy are core values of the hawaiian family brewery, most of their spent grain is given to a cattle rancher on the island and the remaining amount is used as an ingredient in the pubs’ pizza dough. As the company is an integral part of its community they regularly co-ordinate fundraising campaigns for local organisations including the Kokua Festival and Surf Rider Organisation, over the past 14 years they have raised more than $350,000 for foundations within the region.
Think of Hawaii and you think of surfing, so it is no surprise that their Longboard island lager is brewed to be a delicate and exceptionally smooth beer, ideal after a long day in the surf. It’s laid-back flavour comes from being fermented and aged for weeks at cold temperatures and it’s slightly spicy hop aroma compliments the malty body of this beer.
ABV: 4.6% – MALTS: American Pale Lager – HOPS: Mt.Hood, Hallertau, Sterling, Millenium
Jasper Cuppaidge founded Camden Town Brewery after being frustrated by the bland and fizzy lager that was flooding the UK market with anything half decent being imported and thus costly. Jasper felt lager had a bad name and made it his goal to make it great once again. Despite brewing and liking many different styles of beer, the Camden Town DNA is firmly rooted in lager. Location and name very much came about due to chance. When Jasper started the brewery he lived in Camden and wanted to be able to walk to work. After typing the main name CamdenTownBrewery.com into Google and finding it had no owner, he quickly purchased it and the brand was born.
Camden Hells is the signature brew, inspired by Germany and delivered for London. The beer amalgamates two beers styles in to one – a crisp dry bodied german style pilsner mixed with a gentle british hopping to create a classic lager that is easy drinking, refreshing and with a great depth of flavour that comes as a result of the slow maturation in tank. A proper lager, as it should be.
“When you’re brewing lager there’s nowhere to hide. You can’t brew it through hops, yeast or grain. Great lager is a balanced alignment of these profiles, so getting it right is a slow progress. We still work tirelessly on making Hells Lager right, even though we brew it every week we are always monitoring it and improving it little steps at a time.”
ABV:†4.6% – MALTS: Pilsner – HOPS: Perle, Hallertauaer Tradition
These are just three brewers that we enjoy at Woodhouse, but the beauty of the craft beer movement is that there are always new blends to try.