Aaaahhh...free beer. Does anything taste better? You may be surprised learn in actual fact something does - free beer from a can! Cans of course having the magical ability to eliminate any in package oxygen, or at least you'd think so the way some of the crafties go on.
This lot came from Beer 52 and did actually include some cans, which was good as I was keen for some craft cans but didn't want to spend any of my own money on them for obvious reasons. I'd recently talked to a couple of brewers who know an awful lot about packaging and they look shocked at the idea that canned beer would have lower dissolved oxygen levels than bottled.
One of the cans was even a plain can with a label on it, which strongly suggested short run on low spec equipment. But having said that be beer tasted fine and I couldn't notice any oxidation.
Heat and Soul by Vocation brewery had a citrussy good American hop flavour so I'll even forgive them the nonsense they've written in calling it a 'session IPA'.
Lucky Jack American Pale Ale was also in a can, and again no problems. The bloke on the can made me think of fisherman's friends but fortunately the beer didn't taste like that, it had a nice restrained American hop flavour I enjoyed.
Then it was on to bottles:
Six Degrees North hopclassic Belgian IPA didn't taste much of hops, though the Belgian yeast flavour did come though. It also had strong sweetcorn smell, no doubt from DMS. This pleased me as I've never noticed DMS smelling like sweetcorn before even though it's the most common aroma description for it.
Bronher the drunk hop lager lager had a clean, crisp, mild American hop flavour and resinous mouth coating bitterness. It was a bit thin but moreish.
Dark Sister Belgian black IPA wasn't a bad effort. Black IPA is not my favourite style, as fundamentally it's a horribly imbalanced daft idea. I couldn't taste the Belgian yeast but the American hops were not too pronounced, and neither were the dark malts so though still a bit of a mess I've had worse.
For a bit of variety a mead was thrown in which was a surprise.
As was the fact it was fizzy, but still I quite enjoyed it. It tasted of honey.
I didn't enjoy the beer from Brewfist though.
It was hazy, with a lot of yeast. slight aroma and a mild taste of American hops. The flavour was muted by the yeast. Not good.
Finally I was pleased to see a beer from Cloudwater.
I first heard of this brewery when I noticed on twitter people complaining about people complaining about it. I never did find out what the original complaining was about but never mind the beer was good.
I've had few beer selections over the years and this set was definitely at the better end as even the beers I didn't like I found interesting. If you want to spend your money on beer from Beer52 I've been given a code you can type in: EDSBEER10. It probably gives you a discount or something.