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Top 10 beers in the world media

Collaboration brew, Magic Rock Brewery and Lervig Brewery, Leeds/Norway

Will Hawkes, writing in The Independent, picked out a selection of beers brewed in collaboration by brewers from around the world, including this intriguing farmhouse IPA brewed by a Leeds based brewery and a brewery based in Norway.

He said: “Partnerships like this have been part of the US brewing landscape for years, but not so much here. It reflects not only US craft brewing’s congeniality, but also its creativity. Can you imagine two Bordeaux winemakers getting together?”

Of this particular brew, he said: “Powerful grapefruit hop flavours give way to a funky, sourish yeast character.”

Farmhouse IPA, 6%

 Cool as a Cucumber, Fyne Ales and Wild Beer Co,  Scotland/ Somerset, UK

Another of Hawkes’ partnership brew recommendations was this low alcohol wild beer brewed by Fyne Ales and the Wild Beer Co.

He said: “Take ‘Cool as a Cucumber’, made with cucumber and mint fermented with Saison yeast for a dry finish,” adding, “plenty of cucumber and a touch of sourness make this a perfect summer afternoon drop.”

Wild beer, 2.9%


The Reverend, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, Colorado, US

Todd Haefer, writing for, reviewed Avery Brewing’s The Reverend this week calling it as “fine a quadruple as you will find.”

He said: “The Reverend is a Belgian-style quadrupel ale that stays true to the style without any gimmicks such as extreme alcohol content or inappropriate hops or malts. It’s as fine a quadruple as you will find. The amber ale produced an off-white head during the pour with lacing quickly sticking to the glass, and complex fruity and bready aromas appearing. The fruit flavor of the beer is exceptional — a bit of pear, raisin, cherry and especially black currant. One of the magic qualities of beer is that the combination of certain malts and yeasts can produce these aromas and flavors without actually having to use fruit.

“Black currant fruit has a flavor similar to black raspberries, but is very tart. Like cherries and raspberries, it is versatile and its flavor nicely complements malt. Much of this flavor is due to the use of Belgian yeast strains that interact with Belgian Special B malt, one of the The Reverend’s ingredients.It is a specialty roasted caramel malt that adds dark fruit notes and a richer, fuller body to beers. Although its main use is in darker Belgian styles, I have also enjoyed its use in my homebrewed stouts, porters, brown ales and, especially, Scottish-style ales. However, fruit is not the only aspect of The Reverend’s flavor profile. That breadiness from the aroma is present, as well as caramel, clove, pepper and molasses. The sweetness is enough to bring out the flavors and temper the high 10% abv, the carbonation is low medium, and the mouth feel is full and creamy. Hop flavor and bitterness is minimal.”

Belgian-style quadrupel ale, 10%

M&S Welsh Golden Ale, Brains Brewery, Cardiff, UK

The beers of UK supermarket Marks and Spencer were given a test run by drinks writer Jamie Goode writing at his blog, this week.

He said: “Marks & Spencer have put some thought into developing their own-label beer range. Here are three bottles from the line-up. They’re quite smart beers: not serious hardcore craft material, but considering their customers, they are a bit more edgy than they needed to have been, which is a good thing. These are the sort of beers I am happy to drink if I lack a more serious option, but I won’t be making a detour to find them.”

Of this Welsh golden ale he said: “Made with challenger hops, late hopped with Cascade and Styrian Golding. Slightly savoury style , with the bitter hops just about winning out over the subtle malty notes. Midweight with some herbiness and hints of spice. There’s some complexity here. 7/10.”

Golden ale, 4.6%

M&S Black IPA, Meantime Brewery, Greenwich, UK

Another of Marks and Spencer beers to make it into Goode’s top three was this black IPA brewed by the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich.

He said: “From the Meantime brewery. Beer writer Roger Protz describes this style of beer thus: ‘Black IPA is absurd and an insult to history.’ I disagree. Let the beer talk. It’s made using seven dark malts, and a combination of English and American hops. Dark, malty and chocolatey with some bitter dark chocolate notes, some herbs and a complex savouriness. Distinctive and attractive. 7/10

Black IPA, 7%

M&S Organic Scottish Heather Honey Beer, Black Isle Brewery, Scotland, UK

For those with a sweeter palate, Goode recommended this organic Scottish heather honey beer.

He said: “Made by the Black Isle Brewery, this is organic. A blond beer brewed with heather honey. Sweetly honeyed with some herbiness and subtle malty notes. Pale coloured with some spiciness. The honey influence is quite subtle adding a bit of sweetness. Normally, I’m not a fan of beer with flavourings, but this seems to work well, 7.5/10”

Honey beer, 5%

Sapient Trip Ale, Dark Horse Brewing Co, Michigan, US

Jason Baldacci picked this seasonal Belgian-style beer from the Dark Horse Brewing Company in Michigan as The Chicagoist’s beer of the week.

He said: “It pours a deep, cloudy blonde in the glass, and there’s a prominent aroma of malt and spicy yeast on the nose. This one begs you to be careful on the palate. It’s definitely very yeast forward, as we could expect from the nose, with big notes of tangy citrus and clove. There’s a hint of floral hops that linger just beneath the surface, but the malt profile in this beer is the real juggernaut. If some beers seem bready, this one is almost doughy but it also comes with a touch of brown sugar-like sweetness. If you’ve ever had monkey bread (the kind that is doused in cinnamon and sugar) the essence of that childhood favorite is all over this beer. It’s definitely rich, but not cloying. Mostly, it just sticks with you for a while. At 8.5%, Sapient Trip Ale is creamy on the palate, but dangerously drinkable for the style and strength of the beer.

“A Belgian-Style Tripel is not an easy beer to make in the first place, let alone an easy beer to make well. Our hats are off to Dark Horse for doing a bang up job with this one, but what we appreciate most is that they made it their Spring/Summer seasonal. Who makes a high-alcohol content Abbey-style Tripel as their warm weather seasonal? No one except for Dark Horse. While it may seem like an intense choice to drink on a summer day, the beer is surprisingly crisp for how strong it is and it does finish dry. We also have to recognize that it would be a solid pairing for most things you would find at a backyard BBQ. Burgers, ribs, and pork chops would all be wonderful with this beer, but it’s also big enough to stand up to dessert. We might even throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream right into a pint glass, just to see what happens.”

Belgian-Style Tripel, 8.5%

Anchor Liberty Ale, Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, US

Chris Morris, writing at New Jersey’s, recommended Anchor Brewing’s Liberty Ale calling it the “most American beer out there”.

He said: “That title is certainly up for debate, but I went with Anchor’s Liberty Ale. Anchor is heavily rooted in American craft beer culture, with it’s beginnings dating back to 1896, and it’s oldest beer, Anchor Steam, a symbol of the early craft movement. It’s other well-known beer, Liberty Ale, is more than just a good ol’ American beer – it was first brewed in 1975 to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s ride – it’s pretty good, too.

“Liberty Ale pours a bright golden orange, nice and clear, with a fluffy white head two fingers thick. Retention and lacing are both as good as the beer itself. The aroma is dominated by an inviting citrus that’s clean and refreshing, the definition of the Cascade hop, the only one used to brew Liberty. Subtle sweet malts and a touch of bread help balance it out.

“As for taste, Anchor is perfectly well-rounded. A good bitterness from the early hop additions, but again, it’s a clean and crisp citrus, and the sweetness of the malts keeps it all in check. Overall, it’s flavorful, but easy. The same can be said for the mouthfeel. Lighter in body, a bit of a bite from the hops, but incredibly clean and crisp.”

American pale ale, 5.9%



Brooklyn Summer Ale, Brooklyn Brewery, New York, US

Brooklyn Brewery’s summer ale was another seasonal brew recommended by Evan Benn writing in the Sacramento Bee this week.

He said: “Brooklyn Brewery’s Summer Ale is a really refreshing, light-on-the-palate beer that is available seasonally through July. It’s brewed in the English style, with more of a pronounced malt presence than some of the more hopped-up American pale ales. An assortment of American- and German-grown hops give Summer Ale a slightly bitter, lemony finish.

“Pairing: Summer Ale’s bright, lemon-zesty notes work in tandem with the clean, buttery flavors of tuna poke.”

English-style pale ale, 5%

Bock, Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco, US

Bock is the second beer brewed by San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company to appear in this list, a brewery which Michael Bates, writing in the York Press, said was “one of the big hitters of the American craft beer movement.”

He said: “The brewery traces its history back to the late 19th century. Anchor is renowned for its California Common, or Steam, beer as well as their Liberty Ale, and Porter, for decades now, and are considered the leading light of the rise in craft brewing throughout America.

“The Bock beer, brewed for release each spring, is brewed to be darker, stronger, and more complex overall than their Steam beer, just as a traditional German Bock stands in relation to a Pilsner or Kolsch. Pouring walnut with tobacco highlights, and a tight tan head, an aroma of banana, pear drops, and treacle rises from the glass. The flavour is not as sweet as some Bocks I’ve had, it is still sweet, but this is a slightly drier, crisp affair, with a welcome ashy, roasted malt acidity cutting through the mix to break apart this rich toffee lager. Chocolate raisins and cinder toffee are brought into relief by a subtle lemon sharpness and a spritzy carbonation, ending with a treacle-y, sweet and sour finish revealing a touch of black pepper and lemon-zest bitterness.”

Dunkler bock beer, 5.5% 


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