Wild Beer Breakfast of Champignons

Total Score: 6/10 Peppercorns1Coriander1Earth1Tulipglass1

These just landed at Black Sheep Newmarket and I was a bit curious as I’ve not tried many beers that have mushrooms in them (Garage Project VPA springs to mind). So colour me intrigued Wild Beer Co, which I imagine is sort of a purpley-gold colour, their labelling and style is reminiscent of BrewDog, which is hardly a negative thing in my eyes. If this brew goes down well I’ve been eyeing off that bottle of Gazillionaire too – which is based on the theme of a Swedish bun (who doesn’t like a good Swedish bun every once in a while, I go out of my way to IKEA for that shit). Back to Breakfast of Champignons, which is described as a Sour Ale on Untappd, I take it that Wild Beer Co only brew spontaneously fermented beers – I can dig that.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber/orange body with not much of any head, the little of which is white. Experience has taught me to expect no head from most wild fermented beers so this is neither here nor some other place (there). 7/10.

S: Great nose on this beer – quite unique, very earthy/spicy and herbal, notes of barnyard, pepper, musty yeast and literal damp dirt fill the olfactory senses. If you’re not a fan of wild yeast beers then: a) WTF did you buy this in the first place? And b) this isn’t going to be a great time for you… for me: I love this style of beer and I’m whiffing non-stop hey. 8/10.

T: Smacks you in the face with upfront tartness, like random spontaneous yeast beers generally do, was kinda hoping for a little less sourness and more of that earthy mushroom character as that was what drew me to buying this in the first place. Behind the veil of tartness there are not a great deal many flavours going on, it’s slightly peppery, musty and earthy. Finishes dry without any bitterness or sweetness, yep that’s wild yeast for you: All take, take, take, when it comes to sugar. Burps are not fun either… it’s one of my favourite hobbies too. 5/10.

M: Mid to light, a bit thin and watery, bodied with a flat carbonation… nope. 6/10.

D: This one goes into the “too weird for its own good” box for me. If they used a better yeast and maxed the mushroom and sweetness it might have been a winner, however the end result here is a beer that if you home-brewed it you would probably have tipped out, or struggled through (because you know – you calculate the exact amount of cents each bottle costs and you’re too poor to waste a batch of beer). Sorry Wild Beer, I’m now hesitant to try their Gazillionaire. 6/10.

Food match: Fish and chips to go with this vinegar brew.

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Holgate Hop Tart

Total Score: 6.45/10 Lemon1Peach1Orange1Nonicpint1

Holgate Hop Tart immediately caught my eye with its label containing a hop flower in a fairly radical colour scheme: Bright pink/purple and light blue. Plus I don’t mind this whole meshing of styles between sour beers and Pale Ales/IPAs – it gives us something new but isn’t a silly trend like craft beers that have fruits added to them. In any case the marketing and label design worked for me on this, and Holgate are alright (at times), so here we are: Review #712… FYI… not that it really matters.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada US pint glass.

A: Pale straw hazed body with a thin white cappuccino head on top. Not bad, quite noticeably paler than most Pale Ales (which as I explained to a lady yesterday was named for its use of “pale malts” not for being “pale in colour”… I got the impression she didn’t believe me, stupid lady). 7/10.

S: More tangy than sour on the nose, it has that charming candied lemon and orange starburst fragrance that you find in certain Pale Ales and IPAs. Slight cracked pepper spiciness and a hint a lychee as well. It’s definitely got the aroma of a hop-driven brew, which I will definitely drink to: Cheers! 8/10.

T: Sourness hits right up along the front of the tongue – where the sweeter taste-buds usually hang out – as such there is very little/if any sweetness in this brew. Following that is a grainy note (which I generally find in Australian Lagers and hate with a passion), some lemon, hints of stonefruit, and not much else. It’s surprising how much the Lactobacillus (the sour element) takes over the flavour profile. I suspect it has something to do with it being added to the wort before the boil – the sourness has time to take over the malt components of this brew. 6/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a flat but dense carbonation – this one got flat real quick – doesn’t bother me, however just noting. 6/10.

D: Not a great deal going on with this brew apart from sourness, which whilst not being intense does manage to push aside the other critical flavours one would normally find in a beer: Sweet, and to a lesser extent, bitter. Apart from being one-dimensional there’s not much else to say, it could be better, we know Holgate have brewed winners here-and-there, this is not one of those beers. Might be better ice-cold on a hot summers day, however my blog isn’t named “Doc’s Beerz that Beez Good on a Hot Summaz Day” if you want to read that blog go create it yourself… weirdo. 6/10.

Food match: Something fish related… with strips of something potato related.

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