Welcome again to another edition of the Hop Stop blog where we bring you up to date with what is happening in your local beer shop. Amazing how quickly the months roll by, we have been open six months now so thanks for all the support you have shown us. We love sharing our passion for great beer with you all although all the sampling can be hard work at times but we manage……
Now onto the beer!
For those of you that love canned beer we have just taken delivery of a load of cans we haven’t had in stock before. New ones from Beavertown, Roosters and Magic Rock feature along with a clean crisp New Zealand take on a Pilsner from Three Boys. If you don’t like canned beer due to bad memories of metallic tasting lager out of tinnies then I would urge you to give one of the modern cans a go. The technology is vastly improved with a liner being used inside the can to protect the beer from any metallic flavours. Often the beer isn’t pasteurised, fined or filtered before canning so none of the taste is removed. If I am able I pour any canned beer into a glass before drinking but being nice and light and easy to open they are perfect for taking on the train or for the walk home after a long day’s work. My current favourite can? Moor Revival, a Trans-Atlantic pale full of fruity hoppy goodness with a mild bitter bite that means one sip is just never enough. At only 3.8% that second (or third) can doesn’t hurt in the morning either.
Just in time for St George’s day we have Excalibur from Pilgrim. Ok so Excalibur might have been Arthur’s sword but I am sure St George’s sword would have been just as mighty. A light coloured bitter with a fruity flavour look out for it on the 23rd of April.
There is the welcome return of two of Marble’s fine beers. The aptly named Pint, a 3.9% bitter with plentiful New Zealand hops, it has a nice ring to it asking for two pints of pint. Stepping up the strength is the Lagonda, a fruity IPA with a refreshing bitter note.
Juha and Simon from Crooked Brook Brewery in Copthorne have been brewing up a storm since taking over the brewery late last year. Sitting in our cold storage is a cask of their Golden Ale which I am looking forward to trying. We recently had their Cascade Carousel Pale on draught and it was extremely popular, I am expecting the Golden to be the same.
With the temperature slowly pushing up the mercury thoughts begin to turn to light refreshing pales and lagers so we have made sure to order plenty of each. In the lagers old favourites Augustiner Edelstoff and Fruh Kolsch are ready for spring time drinking along with the return of Thornbridge Bayern, a distinctive late hopped pils. On the pale side of things both Bristol Beer Factory Acer and Magus from the Durham Brewery are made for spring sun supping (try saying that after a couple of pints) They both are light, citrusy and spicy and to my taste are best enjoyed after spending an hour in the fridge while I practice my gentle left arm spin bowling.
If those two are a bit light there are always some strong IPA’s to head towards such as Wiper and True Citrus and Sevens. There is bit of a trend at the moment of adding fruit juice or extract to beers to really increase the grapefruit or citrus notes already present from the hops, Magic Rock Highwire Grapefruit and Brewdog’s Elvis Juice are two examples of beers infused with Grapefruit. Wiper and True have used Sicilian lemon juice and pith to increase the citrus notes which results in a beer which is zingy, refreshing and smooth at the same time. If you are tired of overly hoppy and bitter IPA’s this is the beer for you.
Love Oxted Day www.LoveOxted.co.uk
This Saturday is the inaugural Love Oxted Day featuring over 30 different stalls set up in Station Road East and West. There will be lots of local food and drink producers plus live music and free parking. Of course all that shopping is likely to be thirsty work so pop in to see us for a refreshing sample of draught beer. We will have some local favourites and the 2015 Champion Beer of Britain available for you to try. Look out as well for our special Love Oxted Day gift pack, these are limited in quantity so best to get in early to secure one. Three bottles from Surrey and Sussex breweries at a special market day price, great to take home and enjoy with all that local food from the market.
Blindley Heath Country Show
Look out for our mini Hop Stop shop at the Blindley Heath Country Show Sunday 1st May and Monday 2nd May. The show has something for everyone from displays of falconry to vintage machinery, shire horses, arts and crafts and food and drink. We will have all the shop favourites available and while there won’t be draught beer to takeaway there will be samples to taste. It will be a great day out for the whole family, check out www.blindleyheathcountryshow.co.uk for all the details and tickets.
Just a reminder that if you bring back your two pint container for re-filling you save 30p from the normal two pint price.
CAMRA Revitalisation Project
CAMRA has recently announced that it is undertaking a consultation project involving its 180,000 members to decide which direction it should head in the future. The beer world has changed a lot in the 45 years that CAMRA has existed and now CAMRA are looking at how it should change. I don’t envy the decision makers on this, no matter the outcome members will be unhappy. Do they go back to Real Ale only and stop campaigning for cider and perry? Do they expand to be a campaign for good beer as has been mooted? (Good luck defining what good beer is) Keep campaigning for pubs? Become a more socially focused beer drinking club? With these decisions and more to be faced it could be a huge upheaval for CAMRA and a big opportunity for the members to set the direction for the next 45 years.
That’s all for now, enjoy those beers in the evening sunshine.
Mike and Ruth