In the latest iteration of Liverpool’s Clove Hitch and 23 Club outings and following the successful Brewfist tasting in December 2013, Logan Plant, son of the erstwhile Zepellin frontman, presented six of Beavertown Brewery’s flagship beers for an eager crowd to experience.
Set up in partnership with Byron Knight December 2011, the brewery began in relatively modest surroundings of a kitchen of Dukes Brew and ’Que, De Beauvoir in Hackney. Incidentally, a colloquial twisting of the location gave rise to the brewery’s name. Fast forward to March 2013 and the Beavertown boys set up new premises to grow their capacity and cement a reputation at Fish Island, with future plans to get canning.
According to Logan, Beavertown’s beginnings were seeded long before 2011 and a while before his epiphany in New York and subsequent realisation. Teenage ale infatuation with a session beer, spending afternoons sinking a few beers in the beer garden was a precursor to a later moment of clarity. Whilst part of a band playing in New York, Logan was having to eat rather late and therefore experienced American style craft beers and barbecued meat, giving a push to exit stage left from gigs and the recording studio and thus into the brewery.
First up was the proverbial ‘Neck Oil’, a veritable session beer if ever there was, weighing in at a reasonable 4.3% and bursting with citrus lemon and cut grass freshness. It is a very easy drinking, straw coloured and dry hopped number; something apparently influenced by Logan’s Grandfather who referred to an estimable drinking session at his local as the time for the ‘application of neck-oil’. A slightly stringent mouth-feel gives this beer a pleasant edge if you’re wanting to partake in a few.
‘Gamma Ray’ is the second and possibly one of the most common of Beavertown’s beers to be had. A former employee at the Kernel (another brewery in London) was the first recruit to Beavertown’s brewing team and after a couple of iterations, hit upon a dry hopping ploy with Amarillo, Calypso, Columbus and Omega hops for this tasty and light bodied American style pale ale. There is plenty of flavour, similar to the Neck Oil with citrus character, but a more coating mouth-feel and plenty of fruit. It will be the first to be canned when Beavertown roll out their new venture soon.
Third up was the ‘8-Ball Rye IPA’ which was a much softer edged beer than the previous two. The initial process was using 3 grains and approximately 17% rye in the malts, there was some difficulty sparging due to the finely milled particle size provided by the supplier. Upon a solution being achieved through supply chain amendments, an earthy, spicy beer with a cloudiness has been created, using a combination of US and New Zealand hops to bring out a delicious IPA at 6.2%.
‘Some Like it Hot’ was next to hit the taste-buds; a chilli and lime saison, with the addition of raspberries and apples from Chegworth Orchard, giving rise to a standard sourness, but twinned with a very interesting tart-heat in the aftertaste and mouth-feel. The acidity is finely balanced with the level of hopping, giving an intensely fruity beer which was influenced by a cocktail mixologist who recommended trying to achieve something similar to a cocktail. The dry hopping with chillies provides a clever dimension to the beer providing some depth of flavour plus the expected heat.
Finally we hit the big brother to a standard Beavertown brew, the ‘Imperial Smog Rocket’, which weighed in at a hefty 10%. Using smoked malt and brewed in the imperial style popular with Catherine the Great, the Imperial Smog Rocket was built as a foil for some collaborative work performed with the Brewdog boys. They created an Imperial Stout which was named ‘Catherine’s Pony’ (do an internet search for stories surrounding Catherine the Great and horses… just don’t complain when you find out why they named the beer as such, the dirty boys), but Beavertown decided they could raise the bar from the collaboration and thus launched the rocket, creating a thrust of big chocolate and coffee oiliness. Magnum and Chinook hops sit atop a mountain of malts, drifting in and out of liquorice, with some vanilla and smoke. A must-try beer, but perhaps stick to one or two eh?
Until the next time….
Beavertown Brewery Web: http://www.beavertownbrewery.co.uk/
Follow Beavertown on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeavertownBeer
Clove Hitch/23 Club: https://twitter.com/theclovehitch / https://twitter.com/TwentyThreeClub
Tel: 0151 709 6574
Address: 23 Hope Street, Liverpool. L1 9BQ