One of my favourite moments is when you crack open a big bottle of beer. It’s a special occasion. They look cool. They’re rare. And the beer often tastes better in the bigger bottle.
But I understand that they’re more expensive and because they’re rare, you’re never certain that you’re even going to like the beer inside. It can feel like too much of a risk. Too much of a waste of money.
And that’s a shame because they really are worth trying. So we’ve decided to have an evening in our Putney store where you can share some of our big ‘bombers’ with friends and see for yourself. It really will be a special evening with a nod to Belgium, where a lot of these beers, and most of us who work in the store, draw our inspiration.
This is what we’ve got lined up for you (and don’t be scared by the strength of these beers, we are only serving 125ml taster sizes of each!):
Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles: La Rulles Estivale (5.2%)
A west coast, US style pale ale made with Belgian (Orval) yeast. Very hoppy. Smells amazing. A refreshing citrusy summer beer. If it was called Beavertown and was in a can, you’d have tried this already and loved it already.
Buxton Brewery: Deep Rainbow Valley (8.5%)
One of favourite breweries, who consistently produces great beer, have teamed up with Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co to produce a soured saison infused with orange juice, wild foraged gorse flowers and Amarillo hops. This is a rare, hard to make, wonderful beer. Hard to call it beer really. Slightly tart. Slightly unusual. May not be for everyone but if you like this, you’ll love it.
Jolly Pumpkin: Maracaibo Especial (7.5%)
Jolly Pumpkin are a US brewer that specializes in ‘complex’ beers that take time to mature. They are not widely available but worth seeking out. The awards that they keep winning in the States are evidence of a growing reputation. This beer is a dark rich brown beer brewed in a Belgian style but with a tropical mix of cinnamon, real cacao and sweet orange peel. I’ll grant you, this one is definitely unusual. Bittersweet taste. Warming. More of a winter beer but with the English weather, who knows what it’ll be like on the 18th.
Founders: Blushing Monk (9.2%)
Another American brewer, well loved in The Beer Boutique, this beer is made with loads of raspberries. Again it uses a Belgian yeast (those guys are good for high alcohol beers) and it looks a lovely deep red colour. The raspberries give the beer what raspberries do – sweet but with a bit of tartness too. This has a nice alcohol kick to it.
Brooklyn Brewery: Local 1 (9.0%)
Brooklyn are probably the best known of the craft brewers in the US. Most people have had a Brooklyn Lager. This beer is their Belgian-inspired strong golden ale. It is a smooth, easy drinking beer. Nice and golden. Nicely carbonated with a bit of an alcoholic aroma. Brooklyn’s big bottles are usually worth trying.
Malheur: Zestig (10%)
So yes this is also made in Belgium, but it’s an IPA so it’s hoppy and strong. It uses Belgian yeast which gives it more of a Belgian aroma (banana, spice and alcohol!) than a traditional US style IPA.
Rogue: Imperial Pils (8.15%)
Just to shake things up, this is a lager, with one of the coolest bottles on the planet. It also happens to be an award winning beer (Best Strong Lager 2014). Looks and smells like a pilsner. Tastes like one too. Doesn’t taste as strong as it is – be careful!
Alesmith: Numbskull (11%)
And finally, a California old English style barley wine. This is a great end to the evening. Strong, sticky, dried fruit (a bit of sherry?) but super bitter too. No way you could drink this bottle on your own but it’s so good, you have to try it. This beer has won so many awards that they’re too many to mention. Trust me, this one is worth coming along on its own.
Why don't you come along and see what all the fuss is about?
Get your tickets here.