its the Friday night before the Bank holiday. Today the temperature has nudged 30 degrees and its still warm now, looking like 16 or 17 overnight. The room has a lovely orange glow from the last embers of the hot sunshine. I am crying out for a cold beverage.
I have had a bottle of beer in my fridge since late March or early April, and recently spent a sum of money on some other rather excellent ales from Sean at Beer Central. The bottle in question is the BBNos and came from Shakesepares and is the first I will use to try and cool me down. I wouldn't normally drink it straight from the fridge but am warm and alas a little sweaty and the instructions on the bottle of the unfiltered and unpasteurised ale say to do that. It also says drink fresh - it was bottled 30 January so should be drunk by 30 May. I have therefore also followed that instruction. The Hop City is chilling in the fridge whilst I write about this one...
The BBNo 05/20 is an Azacca and Amarillo IPA at 6.5%, so a perfect starting strength. The label mentions that the resinous tropical fruit flavours of the Azacca are enveloped in the soft citrus of the Amarillo - this is probably why the veer has such a piney, fruity hoppiness, although it packs a very bitter after taste.
Its colour is darker than I had imagined and I wonder if I had drunk it in February instead of May it might have been paler? Not that it matters, its still a wonderfully easy drinking punchily hopped IPA. The aroma is also beautiful , its possibly pine or hop resin that I can detect. Its definitely a characteristic of the hops used that gives it that distinctive moreish luponic tang. And now its warmed a little, there are subtle flavours of blood orange coming through. And the bitterness does not dissipate. Brilliant.
The Hop City IPA is a beer Sean raved about. I understand there was a festival in Leeds, maybe at the Northern Monk brewery, of the same name, and this collaboration was born out of or for, that. The IPA is a collaboration between Northern Monk, Cloudwater and YCH Hops. I had never heard of the latter, but a quick Google search leads you to their website which is here and information about Cyro Hops. I have heard of them, if nothing else because Cloudwater and Magic Rock I think used them, or maybe the Lupulin Powder, in some recent canned ales. Alas at present I can't recall which beers, but one of the DIPA's had Lupulin powder in it so am guessing its the same product.
The Hop City is lighter than the BBNo and has a distinctive Cloudwater nose - maybe its that J W Lees yeast they use? For a hoppy 6.2% pale its incredibly easy drinking and the hoppy bitterness is subtle but ever present. The can proclaims they used HBC 344, which is a new or maybe experimental hop, along with Simcoe, Amarillo and Mosaic. The result is a lovely blend of tropical fruit, spice and bitterness.
These are two fantastic beers that showcase the hops used perfectly, and both have tropical fruit notes with lingering bitterness, so are right up my street.
Lets hope that now I know about it, I will be able to try similar and other hoppy ales at Hop City 2018.