We’ve been asking some of our favourite folks around town for their Tryanuary picks from London breweries. Here’s the final instalment of a selection of London beers they think you should try this month.
Alix Shaw, Beer Fairy of London
A self-described “beer fairy of London,” Alix Shaw works with The Bottle Shop in Bermondsey in assisting with their website, social media and helping out at the bar on Saturdays. She also works with The Five Points Brewing Company by helping with events and playing with labelling machines in the brewery. Alix is the co-founder of Crafty Beer Girls, which started off as a small group of ladies that were happy to have found other females working in a beard-dominated industry but has started to become a little community of beer lovers. Her favourite things are baking, beer (often combined!) and Star Wars. Follow Crafty Beer Girls on Twitter at @craftybeergirls.
Smoked Cranberry Porter from Anspach & Hobday
For the most part of 2015, I was slurping on sours and saisons. It wasn’t until I came into contact with this awesome tipple from A&H, that I realised how much I loved stouts and porters! It’s the perfect balance of smoke (kind of like standing near a bonfire that you just get a whiff), and the zingy dryness of the cranberry. It’s a one time brew, however, so you need to try this while you still can!
Hook Island Red from The Five Points Brewing Company
One of the original rye based beers in London. Super fresh and deliciously bitter, there’s nothing better than finishing a day’s work with Five Points only to finish with a bottle of this. I first discovered this 2 years ago when I first stepped into the London beer scene, and I still love it as much as I did the first time I tried it.
08|03 Chocolate and Orange Stout from Brew By Numbers
When BBNo. announced they were launching this stout, I was excited from the get go. Silky smooth, undeniably chocolatey and just a sprinkle of orange, this had everything I expected and a little more.
Martyn Sharman, Sales Representative at Howling Hops
Martyn Sharman works as a sales representative at Howling Hops. Up until recently he ran The Cock Tavern in Hackney Central. Martyn loves his beer and cider, starting out in his career in beer by selecting ale for a Kilburn pub. He quickly realised that his favourite beers were coming from the east of the city and moved there as quickly as he could with his fiancé, Hannah, and their rescue cat, Stanley.
No More Bright Ideas from Weird Beard Brew Co.
This was my favourite beer from 2015, just a stunning dark beer that was big, bitter and beautiful. With an ABV of 7.3%, Weird Beard have managed to balance the alcohol and flavour perfectly, with an amazing bitter finish that made me come back for a third, forth and fifth pint, before admitting defeat at the sixth and staggering home happily!
Blonde Pale from Maregade
On both cask and keg this beer is fantastic! The new brewer in The Cock Tavern basement has made a pint that hits all the right notes. It’s juicy, fragrant, easy drinking and murky as hell. I’m excited as to where Maregade will be this time next year, but for now, I’ll have another pint of blonde pale!
IPA No. 2 from Howling Hops
This beer from Howling Hops is exactly what I want from an IPA, it’s full to the brim with flavour and is a great example of London beer in all its glory. An updated recipe has given this IPA a nose that’s popping with fruit, and an easy finish. Coming in at just under 7% it’s not too boozy either, a great excuse to grab another one!
Kevin Karaca, Independent Film Maker & Producer/Director of Original Gravity – The Film
Kevin Karaca is the producer of the all-new Original Gravity short documentary, a 30-minute film about London’s Brewing Scene. Based in London he’s observed the rise of London beer & bars over the years, always wanting to check out the latest places, especially if that means having a few beers! Check out where to watch the film at http://originalgravityfilm.uk and follow them @OGBeerFilm.
Sir Thomas Gardyner from Brick Brewery (on cask)
This was the first beer I tried from Brick Brewery and was blown away by this flavoursome 3.8% beer. With the hype of high alcohol and big hops being very dominant, it was a welcome reception to have such a lovely cask ale, well cared for and local. Brick Brewery have excited me since I tried this beer, if you haven’t gotten hold of one of their beers yet, you should!!
Pale Fire from Pressure Drop (on keg)
I LOVE THIS BEER!! Pressure Drop get me with this beer every time. It is a house pour in many places, and rightly so – it is a phenomenal pale ale, with a juicy body and all the hop aroma to make you feel like your dancing through America’s hop fields, with the sun gleaming over you. This is my go-to whenever I see it.
Tonic Ale from Tap East (on cask)
I stumbled upon Tap East in Stratford Westfield by accident trying to find a bookshop. It is a small piece of heaven in a large, arduous shopping centre – you can sit back on their lovely leather sofas and drink a delicious pint of Tonic Ale to revive you for the rest of your shopping, or if you fancy something darker Coffee in the Morning is a delicious smooth stout with fresh coffee beans added. I’ve built a great friendship with Tap East; their Head Brewer being one of the first people I spoke to about the Original Gravity film project. So if you’re in Stratford struggling to get through those January sales, try taking a break and enjoy a pint (or two!) of Tap East’s 6 cask & 10 keg selection.
Have you tried any of the beers above? What have been your Tryanuary standouts from London brewers?