Monday, 17 January 2011

Yes! Wee Cans!

Tasting Notes - Maui Brewery - Big Swell IPA

Those good folk at BrewDog have recently started listing a rather nice selection of foreign, hard to get beers on their website. Being an impulse internet beer buyer, I took the plunge and placed an order for some of them. These included 335ml cans of  Big Swell IPA and Coconut Porter from Hawaiian Brewery, Maui. I'll review the porter in a later blog.

I don't tend to drink my beers from cans very often but I have to admit that I quite liked the exotic novelty of pouring, from a can, beers from the land of Barack Obama, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Steve 'Book him, Danno' McGarrett and Tia Carrerra.

I couldn't wait to get my Big Swell IPA opened. It gave quite a hissing fizz when it popped back the ring pull. On hearing that, I expected a gusher but it was fine and I set about filling my glass. It poured with a lively carbonation that formed a big thick white head on top of enticing golden amber coloured brew. A quick sniff reveals a robust honeyed resinous aroma from the dry hopping of meaty East Kent Goldings hops.

It drinks smooth, clean and crisp with a floral, citrus taste dominated by heavy grapefruit and mango that is nicely balanced by elegant sweet malt. There is also a tickle of warm yeasty bread. I had expected a big bitter finish but this doesn't happen. Instead, the taste gently subsides to a nice, satisfying and slightly dry finish.

This is a very well made and extremely drinkable IPA. I can imagine Dog the Bounty Hunter eagerly downing a few of these before humanely apprehending some bail jumping felons. If he wasn't on the wagon.



  1. Do I spy a ringing endorsement of craft canned beer?

    Should I consider a wholesale re-branding any time soon?

    I'm beginning to think this 'can' thing might have legs...

  2. It was nice from the can and I did enjoy the thrill of a nice, tasty beer from it rather than the usual multinational crap you get see in your local supermarket. In the 80s, i was a big schlitz drinker from the can and it took me back to that time.
    I'm looking forward to trying brewdog's beers when they can some of theirs. It's an interesting development for the british 'craft beer' scene and i think it will suit the 'brand image' of some breweries over others. Brewdog being one.