Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Long, Hop Summer


"The Sun is shining in the sky,
There aint a cloud in sight,
It's stopped raining, everybody's in a play,
And don't you know,
It's a beautiful new day hey, hey"*

And when this happens, I find myself wanting a gloriously golden, well hopped and delicious beer.

Now that June is finally upon us, it seems the chances of long, luscious lingering sunny days that demand a glass or two of something really refreshing grows.

The start of June tends to be the time of the year when I banish the darker beers of the mild, stout and porter variety and go towards the light.

But, what beers will be floating my beer boat and ascending my ale elevator this summer?

Like all beer obsessives, I have a list. It's a mental one. Not in the sense that it's off the wall and crazy but that it's stored in my head and it contains the beers that I want to seek out and try for the first time as well as beers that I've enjoyed in summers past and really look forward to trying again.

The pint pots of gold I want to find at the end of my great summer beer hunt include,

Hawkshead 5 Hop

One of my faves of the year, so far, but pretty hard to come by in my neck of the woods. Hopefully, that will change. The Hawkshead 5 Hop is also known as Citrillo. The last time this beer was available, round my way, the cask was cleared in under four hours. The 5 Hop is simply a lovely beer that, unsurprisingly, contains 5 different hops - Bramling Cross, Fuggles and Goldings  provide the early hops which is followed by a late charge of Amarillo and Citra. This 5% beer also contains Maris Otter pale malt, Munich and malted wheat. It's a stonker.

Also, look out for a new beer in the summer from Hawkshead. They are introducing, very soon, a 6% New Zealand pale ale. I can taste those juicy fruit flavours from the Nelson Sauvin hops as I type. If it is as good as the 5 Hop / Citrillo, then we are in for a treat.

Camden Town Inner City Green

This is a 3.9% pale golden ale that bursts hop full of gorgeous tropical fruit aromas with a grassy, sweet citrus flavour that is balanced by a stiff malt backbone that gives the beer quite a full body for it's ABV. Oh, how I long for a pint of this on a warm summers day as I sit in the beer garden of The Southampton Arms.

Redemption Trinity

Redemption Brewery is the second best thing to come from Tottenham. They make fantastic beers and one such beer that has set tongues wagging and tastebuds tingling is their Trinity beer. I haven't had the pleasure of trying this beer yet but I want, I want, I want! It sounds intriguing - three types of hops, three types of malts and at 3% it is labelled as a light mild. However, the various descriptions I've read about it sound more like a golden floral hopfest of pineapple, grapefruit, malon and mango delight that defies it's miniscule ABV.  It sounds exactly like the sort of beer I like and I cant wait to get my hands on a pint.

Fyne Ales Jarl

My favourite Scottish Beer ever and one that is quite simply jaw droppingly superb. I'm not going to say anymore about it. I've said enough. Scotland's best beer. Scotland's best brewery. Go find.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo

An American beer this time and one that you are more likely to see in a bottle. I've had it from the keg in the Euston Tap before and it was rather special. It's no different from the bottle too. It's a 7.2% American IPA and it is bursting at the seams with fresh, herby, resinous pine aromas and flavours of grapefruit and orange pith created by the whole cone magnum, crystal and citra hops. It's a perfect back or beer garden slow drinker.

Fingers crossed that not only will the sun shine but that I'll get my hands on these and many other great beers over the next few months.

Here comes the summer, so get out, get about but above get drinking some lovely, tasty and refreshing beer.

*Mr Blue Sky - ELO


  1. Five great beers. I hope I can find a lot of Trinity this summer as it's a fantastic beer. And I just wish I could drink more Jarl than I do - delicious!

  2. Some good stuff to look out for there. Thanks.

    We had the Fyne Ales Jarl at the Helensburgh & Lomond Real Ale Festival and I agree with you that it is a cracking beer (and not dissimilar to their excellent and better-known Hurricane Jack). If anyone was unsure what to drink, it was my main suggestion. Especially for lager drinkers who were unsure what to try. Always went down well.