From a summer stout to an organic IPA, from a South African spot famous for shipwrecks to London’s newest brewery, with a healthy crop of ciders along the way, here’s all you need to lighten up your list in time for spring
Mikkeller, Hazy Organic IPA, Denmark
Another cracker from the Danish maestro, a New England IPA which, true to form, is really juicy. There are green herbal notes with pine hints from the hop cocktail of Bravo, Centennial, Simoce and Idaho. Look out also for the highly sessionable 3.5% Stedsegrøn IPA. It’s fresh with medium bitterness and oh so palatable.
Anything else? Mikkeller's tally of restaurants, bottle shops and bars world wide, including the London one, has reached forty!
6%, £62.92/24x33cl, Euroboozer
Thatchers, Cider Barn 458, Somerset
Fascinating story – this cider is produced from juice from all 458 different varieties that grow in in the Thatchers’ Exhibition Orchard at Myrtle Farm, a unique spot nestled near the Mendip Hills. The varieties have been gathered by John Thatcher over the years.
Medium in sweetness, there’s a rich seam of stoned fruit on the palate, ripe apricot with cling peaches, with light acidity and carbonation providing balance.
Anything else? Also new in is Cider Barn Vilberie, with gentle astringency from this less common bittersweet apple.
8.4%, POA/50cl, Thatchers Cider
Mothership, Summer Stout, Cardamom and Rose, London
Textured and flavourful launch from Mothership, London’s newest brewery. Debuting at the 2019 Craft Beer Rising, this is delightfully dark yet dreamy, the cardamom and rose making this a great beer for summer, despite its colour.
Try it lightly chilled. Founded by Jane Frances Leblond, Mothership is an all-women crew and, until its own brewhouse becomes a reality, brews at UBrew in Bermondsey.
Anything else? Don’t miss Mothership Brut Pale Ale. In the SS19 Session Range, this is fresh and lightly aromatic, with blossom, light haze and good texture.
6%, £59/24x44cl; Eebria Trade
Cape Point Brewing, Pale Ale, South Africa
Named after the iconic south-western tip of South Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, Cape Point Brewing has built a strong name for tasty beers in its homeland. And now they’re here, thanks to the global outreach of Morgenrot.
There are three beers making the initial foray: a lager, an IPA and our favourite, the pale ale. Discernible, almost creamy malt notes perfectly balance the secret blend of hops and American pale ale yeast, making this food friendly as well as good looking.
Anything else? With a German master brewer at the helm, Wolfgang Koedal, the beers are brewed according to the German Purity Laws.
4.8%, £17/12x34cl bottles, Morgenrot
Cider crop from Craft Beer Rising
To finish this month’s Swift Halves, it’s back to cider with four that caught my eye at Craft Beer Rising. Pulpt, the modern Somerset cidermakers, shared their trio of ciders, including the predominantly Dabinett, Union (6.4%), the more medium Level (5.4%), with 25% Yarlington Mill, 25% Dabinett in the blend, and our favourite, Verve, with its beautiful palate and good astringency (5.8%). Check out their easy-to-understand way of depicting the flavours and their intensity.
Thistly Cross has a new can, and it’s a welcome drier version of its other ciders (5%). Kentish Pip’s new baby, Dappler, arrived, heading straight into can and keg (5.5%). Wild-fermented from a mix of cider and dessert apples, this is tangy and dry. And last but no means least, Cotswold Cider Co, sported a plentiful array, including Shape Shifter, its zestily exuberant ginger and lime cider (4%), soon to be a welcome addition to its growing canned range.