We’ve been asking some of our favourite folks around town for their Tryanuary picks from London breweries. Here’s the first instalment of a selection of London beers they think you should try this month.
Sharona Selby, International Beer Representative for Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing
Sharona Selby is the international rep for Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing. She is based in London when she’s not off at events or beer festivals around the UK. She’s been a longtime supporter of London’s brewing scene. See what Left Hand events are happening in the UK by following @LeftHandUK on Twitter.
Duke of Dank from Weird Beard Brew Co.
This Pacific Northwest style red IPA was a collab between Weird Beard, The Duke’s Head in Highgate and Matt Curtis, brewed initially for London Beer City. I’m thrilled to see it again – it’s dead gorgeous on cask with a terrific balance between a sweet sweet malt body and a refreshing, resinous bitter finish. Far too drinkable at 6.7%, it doesn’t take long until you’re totally #dankedoff.
Alligator Tugboat from Pressure Drop Brewing
GET IN ME SIMCOE. This single-hopped IPA from Pressure Drop is EXACTLY what you want it to be: citrusy, piney, fruity, and smooth as silk wrapped around a cat draped over the deck of a sailboat gliding through the summer waters of Saint-Tropez. THAT SMOOTH.
01|13 Saison Mosaic from Brew By Numbers
Sweet mother of all juicy bangers. BBNo‘s Saison Mosaic is a fruity, punchy knockout. Mosaic is full of tropical fruit and berries and citrus followed by more tropical fruit and berries and citrus, and its profile shines so brilliantly in this saison that by the time you’ve finished your first bottle, you’re dressed like Carmen Miranda, doing the cha-cha and trying to order another as you dance past the bar.
Hannah Davidson, Sales and Communications Manager at East London Brewing Company
Hannah Davidson is the Sales and Communications Manager at East London Brewing Company as well as a veteran of London’s beer scene behind the bar. She is a beer fan who talks about beer a lot and is always looking to try something new (and old). Her favourite beer styles include pretty much anything dark–milds all the way up to smokey/wicked strong/barrel aged imperial stouts–and sours.
India Rubber Ball Clementine IPA from Pressure Drop Brewing
Aroma of clementine, pineapple and tropical fruit pop, with loads of pretty orange and lemony flavours, with a dry citrusy finish. This is IPA on holiday and will shine a glorious fruity light in the depths of January. Limited Edition Bottle so get involved.
Quadrant Oatmeal Stout from East London Brewing Company
Aroma of dark chocolate mocha, silky smooth body tasting of black fruits, bitter chocolate and smooth coffee finish. This is one of my favourite beers in bottle, and on keg is like drinking liquid mocha dessert. A great intro to darker beers and amazing with a good bit of blue cheese.
Redemption Trinity from Redemption Brewing Company
This pale ale features aromas of zesty orange, sweet citrus, leading to pale biscuit flavours with a lovely hoppy finish. This is cracking pale from Redemption: big body, full flavour, teeny alcohol content. This is lovely classic cask pale, and one of those beers that if you’ve never tried it, or it’s been a while, is worth seeking out.
Tom Harrison, General Manager of The Duke’s Head, Highgate
Tom Harrison is the general face of double Time Out Love London Award winning, The Duke’s Head, a freehouse in North London’s Highgate Village specialising in independent British cask and keg, and offers monthly street food rotations. When not propping up the bar, Tom also does creative direction and video work for bands. You can find his relatively dormant personal account on Twitter @theopenfire or follow his pub posts @DukesHighgate where he loves to GIF a bit.
Atlantic A.P.A. by Brixton Brewery (on keg)
So impressed was I with Brixton’s output in the past 12 months that I made sure we squeezed them into an ever tightening supply line, on both cask and keg. Whenever I’ve seen the Atlantic on keg, it’s been a no-brainer, straight in. I remember one sumptuous pint I had of it in Hackney’s Cock Tavern as if it were a hazy dream. I think it was by the end. At a sessionable strength (for Duke’s staff) of 5.4%, it’s a great alternative to our house favourite, Gamma Ray, bursting with tropical fruit and citrus. Really. Hard. To. Go. Wrong.
N1 Pale by Hammerton Brewery (on cask)
A SIBA Gold winning ale, and rightly so. We’ve built a great relationship and friendship with Lee, Nina and their team down in Islington. It’s a pleasure for us to support local, both London and borough. This one’s definitely for me, but also for the customers, who lap it up on keg and cask. A quick turnaround on tap/vent/pour makes the most of those dry-hop aromas, guaranteeing a perfect session quencher. It’s all about the cask version for me, a beer that turns around so quickly we decided to keep it on permanently to appease locals. We just need an N6 now…
London Beer by London Breweries (on cask and keg)
I’m going to go a little off piste* here and say from a publican point of view, if you should try anything in Tryanuary, it’s beer by independent London breweries. Sitting firmly on the customer facing side of things, whilst often leaning heavily over the fence and putting my hands in people’s pockets, be it brewing with Weird Beard or Hammerton, or celebrating birthdays with Brew By Numbers and Beavertown, all I can say is how amazing a year 2015 was for the beer scene in this fine city. Bring on 2016. (*I found it too hard to pick a third.)