a while ago, although probably this year, I was in a public house with Rich, erstwhile member of the Neepsend Brewery brewing team. He was enthusiastically telling myself and Tash about a new beer they had brewed which was going to be monstrously hoppy. Dry hopped, pre hopped, wet hopped, with kilo upon kilo of hops in the mash and at every stage.
OK, some of the above is guesswork. My memory is not geared up any longer to...um...remembering stuff and thus all I can remember is Rich looking elated, laughing, and drowning us in brewing terminology. He may have told us what it was going to be called, but if he did that fact has also since escaped me. Until, that is, this week. In Shakespeares, pre and sadly post antibiotics (I know, I know) I had a pint of the 6.5% Century IPA from Neepsend Brewery on cask. It was £3.60 a pint (or similar) and tasted amazing.
I don't know if that same beer Rich was enthusing about so was, in fact, the Century. I also don't know which century is being celebrated in this lupuloid loop the loop. I also don't care. Because Century IPA is a humongously good beer.
Am guessing it may now have run out, as have I of days to drink now am taking 8 antibiotics a day for an infection. It will of course be on somewhere else soon. It may well have been, or will be, at the Wellington, and the Sheaf View. Wherever you try it, and am assuming you will, I trust you will love it.
By way of description it has a dry and then citrus hoppy finish after an explosion of hops. Don't let that put you off - the hops are fantastic but well balanced, and the beer is incredibly tasty. Whatever dark hoppy practices went into making such a beer they should be repeated. To make a beer of that strength so overwhelmingly hoppy whilst retaining a balance of bittersweet and dry hops in the aftertaste is a trick worth pulling off again.
I remember trying the Neepsend Sharpshooter when that came out last year (or earlier) and thinking that for a beer of its strength it carried quite a hop punch, whilst retaining, and this is key, a balance of flavours. I have no idea what hops were used in either brew but I would suggest that the Sharpshooter was a precursor to, or practice for, the Century.
Well done to Gav and Rich and other persons who have names at Neepsend for making a wonderful ale for me to chew and delight in.
Your very good health.