Sunday 15 November 2015

The Night of the Hawks

Ah, free beer again. It must be the third lot I've got this year. I did see something on twitter about how crowd funding is being used to launch mail order beer businesses. If this is indeed the case then I'll have to change my views on crowd funding. If crowds of people want to spend their money sending me free beer I'm all for it!

The latest company to get in touch was Beer Hawk. An excellent name I thought, both beer and half of Hawkwind in the name. They did give me dilemma though, as rather than asking the simple "do you want some free beer?" to which I of course answer "yes, please!" I was given a choice this time. They have quite a wide range of beer on offer and asked me which I would like.

I thought of going for German beers, as it's my weakest area in terms of nerdy beer knowledge but some of the beers looked boring. So then I thought maybe American as I don't buy a lot of American beers either. But I saw Rogue brewery were included in the selection and I didn't want anything from those anti-worker wankers. Perhaps British craft brewers were the one I should go for? But what if they were all badly made murk? Cracking under the pressure I failed to make a clear decision and went for a mixed selection.

When the beer arrived I saw my cunning plan had failed as it included a beer from Rogue. Oh well, at least I didn't pay for it.

On the plus side it did included some canned craft beer. This is the thing that causes the most excitement amongst my fellow beer nerds at the moment so I'm curious about it. Not curious enough so spend my own hard earned cash on it mind, but welcome when it's free.

Weird Beard Decadence Stout (5.4% ABV) had an interesting name. I'm a firm believer in decadence. On a practical, not a theoretical level of course, I've no time for that ICC nonsense. I was wary of the beer at first as it looked cheap with a stick on label on the can and a beer stain down the side. It also fobbed when opened, and I had to fill two glasses to empty the can. The beer quality was fine though. Sadly the taste was of American hops and dark malts. Not a combination I'm fond of I'm afraid but it leant more to the malts so not too bad.

Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier (6.3% ABV) was suitably German so educational for me. It tasted lagery, with not much aroma from cold fermentation. Light in body for the strength. Clean European hop and a beansprout vegetal lager malt flavour.

Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest (5.5% ABV). Similar to above so recognisably in the style but a bit more zing and a bit less vegetable, richer malt taste. It was American though so I'm not sure if it was as educational.

 Otley Blonde (4.8%) was a grapefruit tasting ale, not high bitterness but pleasant enough.

Mordue IPA (5.1%), made by my mate Rob, was as expected delicious. Grapefruit again, with some orange this time and the bitterness to back it up.

Anchor Liberty was similar: bitter and citrus, but a bit more restrained than Mordue.

I took the precaution of wearing a hat when drink Ilkley The Mayan as I didn't want to risk catching my death of cold. As it happens the beer had chilli in it so was quite warming. It was also chocolate flavoured, and whilst the chilli was at the right dose the chocolate was too much.

Celt brewery Bleddyn 1075 had my scratching my head as they claim 1075 is indeed the original gravity despite the ABV being only 5.6%. Nice beer though, citrus and piney taste, but with a  loose yeast. It reminded me of the work of John fucking Kimmich, thought it didn't manage to immanentize the eschaton.

Brooklyn East India IPA had a cascadey citrus smell with grapefruity taste so definitely craft beer. Bitter but not tongue stripping, with a decent body to it. A good American IPA

Rogue whatever it was on the other hand tasted of the sweat of oppressed brewers and the tears of proletarians yearning for freedom and equality. Not to the recommended.

Left Hand Brewery is a name I approve of. "Left Hand" just makes you think of that winning combination of intelligence, ability and good looks common to so many left handers.Good Juju was a bit thin and lacking though. Made with ginger it had a ginger aroma and ginger taste, but the taste wasn't as strong as it is in ginger beer so seemed under powered.

Flying Dog Double Dog had a fruity smell, but not just citrus. Full bodied, in fact a bit chewy, which made me think more of barley wine than IPA. Bit piney which I'm not so fond of but pleasant enough.

Durham White Stout harks back to the days when "stout" meant strong, not "something like Guinness". There's not a lot of aroma and at 7.2% ABV it does taste alcoholic. It was full bodied but balanced by the bitterness.

Siren Craft Quadrophenia impressed me with the name. Surely a handy way of removing any doubt about whether your beer is craft or not is to include the word "craft" in your brewery's name. As to the beer, there is a Belgian yeast taste but the taste is slightly harsh making it unbalanced. Not as smooth and rich tasting as I expected but it did mellow out as I drank more, or I did anyway. The actual Belgians definitely do it better though.

Finally it was back to Germany for a wheat beer: Unertl Oberland Export Weissbier.This was flavoursome wheat beer, though perhaps a touch too phenolic for me as it tasted a touch plasticy at times.

And with that it was the end of the freebies and back to home brew at home. 


  1. So really just the mordue you enjoyed?

    1. I had fun working throught the selection, and I was happy to drink most of the beers, but Mordue was the best.

  2. On a practical, not a theoretical level of course, I've no time for that ICC nonsense.

    Took me a moment! (They aren't still going, are they?)

    1. Glad you spotted that one! I'm afraid they are still limping on, but the last thing I saw about them was they'd had another split.