I heard these were on in my local bottle shop and carefully planned my route going shopping to ensure that I would accidentally pass the shop with enough money to get some in. I've seen these things flash by on the beer feeds and felt left out as everyone said how good it was. Well, tonight I get to try it for myself and find out what I've been missing.
It's Lupuloid IPA from Beavertown Brewery and I am well-pleased to have it in my possession. Look at that can! I'm itching to get to the drinking and reviewing so would you like to join me by pressing the read more below frantically? Yes? Then do so!
Like with all canned brews this opened with a disturbing difference to usual soft drink cans, and that just freaks me out every time. I'm not saying I dislike it, but even now it messes with my expectations and perception. However, there was more activity on this one than there had been with other cans and part of this was down to the fact that I got the can in today and quickly brought it home, left it just a couple of hours to settle from the rather quick-walking journey and then opened it after tea. Partly because it said to drink it fresh and partly because I was excited to finally get my mits on it. Lovely tropical smell on the pour with a bit and brash head that slowly calmed and allowed me to fill to the brim of the glass you see below.
I love the can too. It's not often I talk about packaging, but they really have done a lovely job with this one and I rather like the effect. It's the sort of scheme I'd happily buy trainers in. Anyway, yes, thin and murky yellow with a big hit of tropical fruity hops, only a hint of zest, on the nose. This was not looking like one of the ales that I go out of my way to savour. I was still excited, but I was now viewing it with some trepidation. I've had a lot of stouts, I like my stouts, would this really be able to match that kind of embrace and depth?
In short: yes. It combines that hoppy tropical hit with a burst of bubbles and a definite whammy of grapefruit atop the kind of pale malt that lets the hops get on and do their thing. Heavy on the citrus, surprisingly cooling and refreshing given the fruity juiciness previously. Willow declared that she liked the smell but was most offended by the amount of grapefruit on the tongue, to the point where she stuck her nose back in the glass afterward "to remember it fondly" rather than leave it to the taste. It is a drying ale, it certainly causes the mouth to water and then to dry on the aftertaste. It's not a massive orbital strike of grapefruit like the, frankly, insane Elvis Juice (click here) but it does have a bit of that tang on hand. It fizzles in the middle, like a particularly soft and marshmallow-like firework, but then the 7% ABV fades and you're left with a zing of a citrus slice and a feeling that you have been well-treated.
I could easily have this all night. It's got just the right amount of juice on the nose and into the aftertaste that it would do well in summer and in pretty much any environment you care to nominate. At the same time the citrus tang cuts like a knife through any strong flavoured food that you might be tempted to pair it with, making it an excellent addition to a curry night for example, but the dry aftertaste allows you to pair it with smoky flavours or mushroom risotto. About the only thing that wouldn't work so well would be an English breakfast. In short, I am mightily impressed with this and see how my local bottle shop almost sold out within a day of getting a whole load in. I wish I could even imagine a daft analogy for this but I can't, apart from saying it's got a definite Lilt quality to it, because it does rather speak for itself.
This is an everyday sort of ale with a strength that makes it the end of a night. Don't be on call, don't have any responsibilities, and get a couple of these in for the night. Don't mix it with other ale, it's not worth it, but don't take ages on each can either - this is designed for moderate sessioning rather than knocking them back but it is not designed to take hours - enjoy this for what it is and take a moment to feel the joy with which this was surely brewed course around your brain. Put on the music. Dance!