Monday, 15 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
14. Weird Beard Brew Co. - Miss The Lights 5.9%

The name Weird Beard first came to my attention at the end of last year when they started following me on Twitter. Intrigued I immediately followed them back. Looking back now I see that their first 'tweet' was on 23rd October 2011 and reading forwards I found it incredibly interesting to see a brewery coming to fruition, from prototype brews to a visit to a hop merchants, from a delivery of fermenters to finalising the bottle cap design I was absorbed. There's also a blog on the website that is a very worthy diversion. Established in Hanwell in the London Borough of Ealing by two aspiring home-brewers Gregg Irwin and Bryan Spooner who wanted to 'take their passion for drinking and creating great hand-crafted beers out of the kitchen and beyond the garage'. Having met both Gregg and Bryan (although blissfully unaware of their Weird Beard venture at the time) I found them both friendly and fun ( and sporting facial hair), and if read their beer labels (which remind me a little of those of Jolly Pumpkin ) you'll find this comes across rather well. I won't spoil it for you by quoting any of them, you'll just have to buy some for yourself. One thing you'll find immediately apparent is from the blog and website, before you've even tasted the beer, is that these guys love hops. Hops are used to provide flavour, aroma and bitternes and you can be assured of all three of these in their beer.
Miss The Lights is a bottle-conditioned IPA brewed with Target and Aurora hops then dry hopped with the same again, laid down on an English malt base. This is another beer that I was lucky enough to get from Ales By Mail. They're selling out fast but I'm told more is on the way soon.
It pours a deep cloudy orange but with a pale yellow layer at the bottom of the glass, like some spooky beery tequila sunrise, and an off-white head. The aroma is resonant of warmly mashed barley, all warm and sugary, but this one has plums, apricots and pineapple floating on the surface releasing their beautiful fruitiness inviting you into the glass. This is a beer that you could spend an age just taking in the fumes coming from the glass, it's intoxicating. There's a sharpness here that's like a blunt knife being drawn across the tongue, and it has a full mouth-feel, sticky too. The flavour is peppery, gooey pineapple and apple fritter soaked in a delicious toffee caramel. It is absolutely delicious. The finish leaves my tongue feeling that it's been lightly grated then had a thin layer of molasses draped over it like a comforting blanket. There's some nice tea bread cakiness in there too, and this is the flavour that emerges and stays with you long after the last sip.
You might be thinking that I like this beer but you'd be wrong. I absolutely love it. I have three more of their beers to try in this series and I have to admit that I'm positively salivating at the thought of drinking them.

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