For those reading this who visit our shop, you’ll know that every fortnight we have 6 new beers on the centre table that we have picked out as that fortnights “spotlight beers”. These are beers that we feel are deserving of special attention. It may be that they are exciting new arrivals, old favourites or might for, whatever reason, have just been a bit overlooked recently. It’s great to be able to highlight these in-store, but we thought why stop there so every couple of weeks we’ll also be putting up a slighltly extended version up here on our blog, so that you can read up on the beers at your leisure.

These are not meant to be massive insights into the beer, instead more of a general oversight of the beer and brewery. Just enough so that you get a feel for the beer, and hopefully enough to whet your appetite.

Arbor Ale – Yakima Valley IPA

ABV 

7.0%

Location   

Bristol, England

Brewery   

Starting life as a 2.5bbl brewpub in 2007, they upgraded in 2009 and again in 2012 to their current 12bbl brewery. In the mean time they’ve bought several other pubs. Their constant experimentation makes them a firm favourite of ours at WBB.

The Beer   

Brewed with six different American hops grown in the Yakima valley region, this is one big beer! In fact, despite Arbor being a brewery who pushes the hop-boundary, this is their most hopped beer. With a rich, malty backbone, the dank, pithy bitterness comes across incredibly fresh and bright. 

Dupont – Saison

Style 

Saison

ABV 

6.5%

Location   

Toupes, Belgium

Brewery   

The current brewery, founded in 1950, is located on a working farm that dates back to 1759. They still use traditional brewing methods and have an incredible world-wide following, winning numerous awards.

The Beer   

This is a prototypical saison, and one that most other breweries try to emulate. The beer is brewed during the winter times, before being stored to be drunk during the hot summer. This has all the typical Belgian yeastie estery flavours, a slight pepperiness and muted, slightly fruity straw flavour.

Evil Twin – Freudian Slip

Style 

Barley Wine

ABV 

10.3%

Location   

Brooklyn, New York

Brewery   

A gypsy brewery, Evil Twin contract brew out of around 10 breweries in the US and Belgium. This gives them a scope to experiment like few other breweries. They never take themselves seriously but always produce excellent beers.

The Beer   

This is an American style barley wine and it’s got all the wonderful boozy, caramel, sticky, slick mouth-feel, and dark fruit characteristics you’d want and expect from the style. It has been hopped – massively – which gives it a bright bitter finish that cuts wonderfully through the heavy backbone. This beer is definitely a sipper so don’t rush it!

Rogue – Chocolate Stout

Style 

Stout

ABV 

6.3%

Location   

Oregon, USA

Brewery   

Founded in a brewpub in 1988, Rogue have taken the craft beer ethos and pushed it as far as any other brewery. With their own hop farms, barrel makers, bees, malt producers and more, they craft their beer from start to finish.

The Beer   

This stout uses chocolate malt along with chocolate flavourings to give it a sweet, rich aroma and flavour. Malt oatmeal, as well as barley, gives this beer a creamier texture, giving it the body of a higher ABV beer. The liberal use of Cascade hop helps to give this beer a smooth, bittersweet finish.

Upright – Five

Style 

Rye Saison

ABV 

5.5%

Location   

Oregon, USA

Brewery   

Upright specialise in farmhouse style beers, inspired by those from Belgium and France. Their beers are designed to be a mashup of styles, putting their own twist on traditional beers. Do not expect the ordinary from these guys.

The Beer   

This saison has been hopped more than you might find with more traditional ones. This gives it a complex flavour profile that is obviously American, but never becomes too bitter. Instead, there is an underlying earthiness to it, which works well with the funky yeast esters. A light, sweet finish keeps this dry and drinkable.

We Brewed Beer/London Beer Lab – The Bear of St. John

Style 

Red IPA

ABV 

6.5%

Location   

Balham/Brixton, London

Brewery   

A collaboration between ourselves and London Beer Lab, who are based over in Brixton, producing beer commercially, but also running home-brew classes. We love what they do and the beers they produce so we approached them regarding brewing this collaboration.

The Beer   

Brewed to celebrate the opening of our new shop on St. John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, we chose a Red IPA because we’re now moving into autumn. We wanted a beer with a warming malt backbone, but also one that had the intense American hop profile we all love in the shop. We’re pretty happy with the result, and four kegs in less than 4 days tells its own story.