When the pubs shut down back in March it was a nightmare scenario, one of my (and many thousands of others) pleasures in life taken away. Facts have to be faced and life must go on.
Drinking at home. I never was a great one for it, I was happy with a cup of tea or coffee when I finally got home from work, finally because nine times out of 10 I would have stopped off somewhere for a pint or two on the way home. With this part of my life temporarily amputated from my routine, a tin or two at home is now the thing.
I have been pleasantly surprised at the variety of beers and breweries, a good few new to me, that are now available on the supermarket shelves. Here is my take on a few of the beers I’ve tried so far.
The Session Beers
Magic Rock Saucery
A nice refreshing beer, light drinking at 3.9% but bursting with tropical fruit flavour gifted by the Citra and Ekuanot Hops. 7.5/10.
BrewDog Pale Ale
A citrusy pale that came as a bit of a disappointment to me, given BrewDogs hoppy history this lacked any real punch at 4.2%, that said its a perfectly good pale ale but I much prefer Dead Pony Club. 6/10
This beer is Mr Consistency and one of my very favourites be it in bottle or cask, it always offers full on flavour without being over the top and is very drinkable at 4.2% 9/10.
Stepping Up The Strength
Vocation Life And Death
Quite a game changer this one, hazy, more so with a fast pour as there is sediment in the can, bursting with tropical and citrus flavours it really packs a punch at 6.5%, a great introduction for me to Vocations wonderful beer range. 8/10.
Vocation Love & Hate
This has to be in my top three lockdown beers, Juicy, Hoppy and fruity, a fantastic 7.2% New England IPA I’ve returned to several times in the last few weeks. 9.5/10
North Brewing Lost Cosmonauts
A brewery that was brand new to me and made an immediate impact with the 6.0% Lost Cosmonauts,this beer features Mosaic and Equanot hops,and they blend perfectly giving juicy, tropical fruit flavours, another top three contender 9.5/10
The Dark Side
Its pretty clear from the choices above where my flavour preferences lie, but I do also enjoy some dark beers now and again.
Magic Rock Dark Arts
An easy drinking 6.0% Stout, billed as a surreal Stout it has complex flavours with dark chocolate to the fore but underlying liquorice and hedge fruit. Interesting and moreish . 8.5/10
Wiper And True Milkshake Stout
A classic 5.6% Milk Stout with hints of chocolate and vanilla, rich and sweet. 7.5/10
BrewDog Vs Evil Twin Roaster Coaster
This BrewDog and Evil Twin collaboration has the grand title of being a Nitro Imperial Vietnamese Coffee Stout, well despite the spin this is a very good beer weighing in at 9.0%. To be honest the first can I found a little to sweet and cloying but tried another a couple of days later and it hit the spot immediately. It really is good stuff. 8.5/10
I have tried plenty of other beers over the past couple of months both good and not so good, all the above are supermarket fayre with the exception of the Wiper And True Milk Stout which I got from Cobbetts Bottle Shop In Dorking. I’ve got to the point now where I need to investigate the brewery delivery side of things until the pubs reopen, I am missing some Siren and Vibrant Forest beers so need to put that right.
There is one more beer that deserves a mention and you can see me showing it off below with my lunch.