January 26, 2021
I did not expect when I dwelled into the world of craft beer, was to realise that craft breweries are the rock stars of the 21st century. And while it sounds like a joke, or an exaggeration, I couldn’t be any more serious. Breweries now have so much personality, through their artwork, their attitude, and truly their beer – and at the age of social media, breweries and brewers interact with the public constantly, and it is easy to make a reputation for yourself, good or bad. Craft beer aficionados get extremely invested, and you will easily find people defending their favourite brewery through thick and thin – until some scandal hits, and nobody wants to hear about them anymore. Merch is also exploding, and sporting a t-shirt of your favourite brewery has become exactly like wearing a band’s t-shirt. People want to show their support, and there is also a certain pride coming with being a craft beer fan. Should I say snobbery? It is true that the world of craft beer has been seen as a very snobby world for quite a while, and I can see how it would be perceived that way. I am still quite happy to say that I believe the community to be overall very inclusive and tolerant – still laddy in a way, I can’t pretend otherwise, but it is definitely getting better. A quick look through Untappd, or a craft beer forum, will explain more than I ever could – it is a hobby people take very seriously, and it comes with a lot of heated arguments, often in good sport, though not always. Beer releases make people go mad – just recently, Verdant announced their well-loved Putty, and the website was out of stock in a few minutes… Yes, in the 21st century, people buy craft beer like they’re buying tickets for Glasto. It is also very interesting to see the legendary status some breweries, and beers, are achieving – the best example coming to mind is obviously that of Yellow Belly, a ceased and desisted beer very hard to find and notoriously delicious. Bottles are hoarded and then drunk well past their best before date, and still appreciated, like you listen to an old record which admittedly isn’t the best quality but still as legendary. And of course I am guilty of this too! I tend to go back to the same breweries, some of them I adore, sometimes just because I like the vibe they give off, some of them I don’t like much, for reasons that are maybe silly. Truly, there is nothing wrong with this, but I still think that we should all go out of our comfort zone once in a while, and remember to give different beers and breweries a try.
last week, I had never tried a Yonder beer. Bit shameful, I admit, considering they are local to us, what they make is right up my alley and they seem to be super cool guys with a great ethos. I think maybe I had heard their Raspberry Gose praised so much that it already felt like I had already had it myself. Nevertheless, we got their 2 new beers delivered in the shop, and I knew I had to try them. Who Is Nellie is a triple fruited peach sour, and Flying Wonder is a sea buckthorn saison. Who Is Nellie is a true dream. It is thick, juicy, sour as hell, and packed full of peaches. In my book, it is a perfect sour beer, just like their Raspberry Gose that I had as well. You can taste the quality of the ingredients, and also of the whole brewing process in general. Flying Wonder is weirder, in a good way. First of all, it is a saison, which is interesting in itself as it isn’t the most brewed type of beer at the moment. Secondly, it is brewed with sea buckthorns that have been foraged along the coast – Yonder is very much into their foraging, which I think is the coolest thing ever. The beer tastes like nothing I’ve had before. It is herbal, earthy, citrusy… Very clean and refreshing, like a funky soda. I loved it. And in a world of hazy IPAs and smoothie berry sours, I’m not sure I would have initially gone for a buckthorn saison. But here we are, and I don’t regret I did.
keep on supporting your favourite breweries, and keep on trying new beers! This is the single most exciting thing about craft beer – it is ever-evolving, and new amazing beers are made every day. So don’t be shy. I’ll try not to be.
February 18, 2021
February 11, 2021