- minute forty four -

Movies, Craft Beer and Geek Stuff

Brewery: Flying Dog (USA)
Style: Session IPA
ABV: 4.7%
Serving: 355ml Bottle

I’m a big fan of Flying Dog, more so than a lot of other beer writers are. I’ve had Snake Dog IPA, Underdog lager, Raging Bitch Belgian IPA, Doggie Style Pale Ale and even their Oyster Stout, Pearl Necklace and I have to say, for me, there isn’t a bad one in that selection. So when I saw that they released a session IPA, I was pretty excited to see what they did with the style. Found this in my local bottle shop and really well priced so I grabbed one.

Beer pours a lively, perfectly clear light straw colour that is almost like a lager or a very light pale ale. There is brisk carbonation leading to a two-three finger sudsy head (in the photo it has disappeared somewhat). Doesn’t really look like IPA but looks are often deceiving.

Flying Dog Easy IPA

Aromas is bright, fresh citrus fruits, with lemon, grapefruit and even under-ripe grape all present. There isn’t much of a malt presence here it’s all hops. There is a slight dank, resinous note which is a standard for Flying Dog. All of these aromas are pretty minimal though. You have to work to pick them out and they certainly don’t jump out of the glass at you.

There is way more flavour than you would expect given the aroma. There is a tonne of sharp citrus juice and peel, more of that grape and some acidity. The resinous note is almost undetectable in the flavour with that citrus taking centre stage. You get a pithy bitterness which is very dry, so much so that I would argue that this beer isn’t truly sessionable. If you had more than two or three bottles your mouth would feel like Gandhi’s flip-flop and you would be begging for something sweeter. Again, nothing much in the malt department here, it’s dominated by dry, bitter citrus hops which personally I don’t have a problem with but I certainly wouldn’t have objected to just a bit more sweetness to balance things out.

Mouthfeel; thin as you’d expect from a session ale and, as I’ve said, very, very dry. This isn’t a big deal if you’re having one or two but a session would probably be not so enjoyable.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Brewery: Williams Brothers (Scotland)
Style: Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.3%
Serving: 330ml Bottle

Williams Bros. brewery is a name which you may have come across in supermarkets in recent years with their March of the Penguins stout and IPA/Lager Hybrid Caesar Augustus. This is just the tip of the iceberg. A visit to their website reveals the true size of their range and also some of the really inventive things they’re doing with their beer. I picked up a bottle of their Scottish Style Double IPA, Double Joker on a trip to my local bottle shop. I’ve tasted this before, on keg at a BrewDog bar and remember really enjoying it so I couldn’t not review a bottle.

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Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 4.4%
Serving: 355ml Bottle

I’m pretty stoked that we are starting to see availability of a lot more Stone beers in the UK. Bottle shops now regularly stock a pretty healthy range and BrewDog even managed to get a shipment of their ridiculously fresh Enjoy BY 08.16.14 to sell in their bars. Up until now, my only experience of the brewery has been of their sensational IPAs (Stone IPA, Ruination and the Enjoy By) so on a recent trip to my local bottle shop, Hopology, I picked up a couple of their other styles to try out. First up, their session amber ale; Levitation.

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Brewery: Stone Brewing Co. (USA) / Magic Rock Brewing (England) / BrewDog (Scotland)
Style: Saison – Pale Ale Hybrid
ABV: 5%
Serving: Pint – Keg

I’ve had some fantastic collab beers during the course of my craft beer journey so far. I’ve also had some rubbish ones. More often than not though, I find them to be simply mediocre. Often these mediocre brews are simply two beers from different breweries mixed together and, more often than not they aren’t as good as either of the component beers on their own. Prefect example is the BrewDog/Mikkeller collab I Hardcore You which is a mixture of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat yoU. Both of those beers are better on their own. When breweries come together and brew something unique, however, that’s when things get interesting. One of the best beers I’ve ever had is the BrewDog/8Wired collab DogWired which is a hoppy imperial pilsner that just rocked! When I heard about Magic Stone Dog; a menage a trois of awesome between three of my all time favourite breweries, I had to get some of that action so on Saturday I stopped in my local BrewDog bar and had a pint.

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I should start this by saying I don’t normally review restaurants. In fact, this will be my first attempt so sorry if it’s not great, I’m just trying something new. Since opening a few weeks back, there have been mixed reviews of Derby’s new gourmet burger restaurant The Forge. Opened by seasoned (pun intended) restaurateur Brad Worley, The Forge promises great artisan burgers made from locally sourced, top quality ingredients served in a non-formal, relaxed atmosphere. Well that sounded just my cup of tea so I had to check it out.

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Brewery: 8 Wired
Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.3%
Serving: 500ml Bottle

I got myself a little bit of something special to drink on International IPA Day in the form of a bottle of revered New Zealand brewery 8Wired’s Hopwired IPA. I’ve only ever had one 8Wired beer before – mainly because they can be pretty expensive due to having to be shipped half way around the world – which was their India Red Ale, Tall Poppy. That was a phenomenal red ale, possibly the best I’ve ever had, so needless to say I was psyched to try Hopwired.

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Brewery: Stone
Style: Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 9.4%
Serving: 650ml Bottle

A few times a year legendary California brewery Stone produce a beer with one specific purpose; to make it into peoples’ hands and into their glasses in as brief a window as possible. They take this so seriously that, as well as only giving the beer a 35 day shelf life, they emblazoned this shelf life on the label in the form of the beer’s name “Enjoy By..”

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Brewery: Mikkeller
Style: Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 8.9%
Serving: 330ml Bottle

I bought this bottle at my local BrewDog bar after having the outstanding Nelson Sauvin version of it. I also recently discovered how good a single hop Simcoe beer can bee when I tried the Kernel Simcoe IPA a few weeks back. With both of those things in mind, I had high hopes for this beer. Not only that, I’ve held Mikkeller in very high regard ever since first trying their I Beat yoU imerial IPA last year.

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Brewery: FourPure
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.5%
Serving: 330ml Bottle

A pub quite local to me has recently started making a big push into the territory of new style craft beer. They have four craft keg lines which often feature the likes of the mighty Magic Rock and Kernel breweries. In addition to this they have a formidable fridge full of bottled craft beers to choose from. On top of all that, they’re very reasonably priced – a half of Magic Rock Cannonball is only £2.20. A recent addition to their fridge was FourPure’s IPA. On a recent beer run I picked up a bottle.

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Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
Directed By: James Gunn

Marvel takes us outside the mainstream with the first proper “space” comic adaptation, Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt plays Starlord, an outlaw seeking a mysterious orb for a buyer on the Nova planet Xandar but things go sideways when it turns out powerful baddies (Ronan and Thanos) are also seeking the orb, for a much more sinister purpose.

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