The Bottle Club at Tap and Bottles was quite eventful, with Glen Affric sharing the limelight with Top Rope and Chapter Brewing. The Birkenhead based outfit used the occasion to launch a test batch of their Blood Orange IPA - Atomic Orange (a timely launch given the seasonality of the oranges and with other breweries also holding similar launches). The full brew of this will probably take place in the next few weeks. The Atomic Orange was well received and the brewery is currently weighing up their options on brewing more test batches, or just ploughing ahead with a tweaked recipe. So there's another thing to keep your eyes and ears open for.
Progress for Glen Affric's own Tap Room is ongoing, with works and licensing being negotiated carefully, at the moment it seems that it should be ready in the next few months, but there is no set date given the rather volatile scheduling the brewery has. At current count, the tap will have an 8-line bar (though this might be subject to change during the build). Fingers crossed that everything progesses smoothly for the project!
Commander IPA (4.4%)
A straw to light gold coloured session IPA, Commander is hopped to 35 IBU using Colombus hops, then given a combination of Azacca, Chinook and Centennial for the aroma, along with a similar combination on the dry hop. Commander pours with plenty of effervescence and leaves a thin white head and a discernible amount of haze.
The aromas are quite malt driven, with plenty of cereal and biscuit coming through along with some citrus notes. The flavours back this up with cereal, honey and hints of lemon and orange poking through, leading to a bitter and acidic finish. The mouthfeel is light and very smooth, even conveying a lightly silky element in the body. The finish leaves a puckering to the sides an back of the tongue. The balance is a little out with the strength of the bitterness, but with a bit more fruit on the aroma and in the flavour, things will straighten out nicely. The foundations are good on this beer, a little flabbiness can be trimmed off easily enough; look forward to future iterations building a very pleasing session IPA.
Payload Pale (5.0%)
An American style pale ale, Payload pours a hazy and robust golden colour with a thin white head, at 40 IBU is hopped using a combination of Colombus, Chinook and Centennial, similar to the Commander. The head is crisp, but diminishes fairly quickly sadly, but the beer retains a good level of fresh carbonation. The aromas are of lemons, bitter fruits and cereal, backed up with lesser notes of wood and pine. The flavours are driven again by the malt bill, with a metallic cereal tang bolstered by more lemon and some gentler pine notes.
The finish is as with the Commander, bitter and dry along with plenty of puckering effect and leaving your mouth watering through the acidity. The body is a little thin and carries a bit of a residual quality. As the Commander, this has the makings of a very solid brew; a bit more body and fruit presence in the aroma and it'll be spot on.
Happy hunting and cheers!
Some of the photographs and the pumpclip art/labels were kindly supplied by Glen Affric for use in this article. Replication or image use without the permission of Glen Affric is prohibited.