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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA and innovation in beer…

Posted by John Shearlock on

In last week’s blog we talked about innovation in beer some 200 years ago with the infamous Kwak glass. Today I thought we should look to more recent times and a canny piece of kit developed in 2009 at Sierra Nevada called the Hop Torpedo. Ken Grossman, owner of Sierra Nevada, really is one of the pioneers of the US craft scene with a brewing history that begins way back in the 1960s. The first few Sierra Nevada releases back in the early 80s were a hop-forward pale ale, a fresh hop IPA and a malt and hop heavy barley...

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Kwak 8.4% 330ml and the power of beer

Posted by John Shearlock on

The early 1800s was a good time to be a mail delivery person in Belgium. If you were canny and got your routes to pass through the town of Dendermonde, when in need of thirst quenching sustenance, you could pull up at the De Hoorn Inn and have a decent beer poured into a special glass that would fit neatly onto a holder on the side of your carriage. There would be no need to leave the precious mail cargo stored in the carriage and you could quaff away to your heart's content. Ingenious.This beer was, of course, Kwak, its...

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Thornbridge Halcyon Imperial IPA and adventures down the IPA rabbit hole...

Posted by John Shearlock on

It’s always nice to actually read up on a brewery whose beers you’ve been drinking for a while but basically know nothing about other than that you enjoy said beers.Thornbridge is one such brewery for me. I’ve always been a fan of the Jaipur IPA and always thought that the brewery was steeped in history like so many other British breweries but, in truth, they’ve only been established since 2005. In craft beer years this arguably makes the brewery quite old (craft beer years are a bit like cat years I think) but, in the context of historical brewing, it has...

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Firestone Double Barrel Ale 5%

Posted by John Shearlock on

I love oak. It is indeed a wondrous, magical thing. Whisky isn’t whisky without its beguiling touch and, well, most wine wouldn’t be wine without oak's sweet caress either. Of course, oak and beer go hand in hand too, and this relationship goes back many centuries, but, with the availability of stainless steel and all the improved hygiene and cost savings it brings, we've seen its use decline.When I think of the role of oak in beer today I think of barrel aged stouts or barrel aged sours; lambics, gueuze and the like. The first is a great example of oak maturation and the latter goes one...

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Clown Shoes Zen Garden Double Hopped New England IPA 473ml

Posted by John Shearlock on

What do you think of when you read the words New England IPA on a can? Do you think of somewhere in the US or do you think of a hazy, fruit forward but heavily hopped beer? I’m guessing the latter and I doubt you would go out of your way to track down a brewery based in New England to get your hands on one either!    Of course, in the globalised era in which we find ourselves and with the unrelenting craft beer explosion, the ingredients that make these beers are readily available all around the world, as are the...

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