Feels Like Spring…

It might currently be colder than Aussies serve their lager but that doesn’t stop us here at Hop Stop so brace yourself for another week’s worth of our news and views.

The last week has been fascinating listening to all your comments on the Fullers takeover of Dark Star. The general consensus is a cautious optimism, a typical comment was ‘well if they were going to be purchased by anyone than Fullers are the best option’. No-one was proclaiming they would never drink Hophead again, in fact people were excited that it might be more widely available as long as the quality remains tip top. So we will watch this space and see what happens, if we do hear anymore news we will keep you informed.

Spring heralds the beginning of beer festival season and it kicks off on Friday with the North Sussex Camra Spring Equinox Festival in Horsham. A solid mix of local and regional beers provide the right ingredients for a fun festival. In the middle of March the last ever London Drinker Beer and Cider festival is being held. This is the place to go to try the best of what London has to offer with 200 different cask beers from London breweries, one of which will be named 2018 Champion Beer of London. Then at the end of the month is the big one for all you hop crazy drinkers out there with Hop City 2018 brought to you by Northern Monk. It promises to be a hop extravaganza with a line up of some of the leading breweries in the world. The beer pictured above has been released as a little teaser of what to expect from the event, read more about it in the new arrivals below.

Do you have a burning beer related question that has you pondering over your pint or have you found yourself waking in the middle of the night wanting to know the difference between top pressure, gravity fed and hand-pull? Well we are here to help. Email or tell us next time you are in the shop your beer conundrums and we will do our best to answer them each week. I can’t help you though with hangover cures, after thorough testing I still haven’t come up with a conclusive answer apart from the sensible drink less…….. You never know the best questions each month might just win a prize (or not).

New Arrivals

As I write new arrivals have been a bit thin on the ground this week thanks to the weather conditions delaying deliveries. We did receive the Hop City thankfully and out of our coolroom has emerged a new bottle from Devil’s Peak. If you are visiting the shop on Friday or Saturday we should have more Cloudwater and Gipsy Hill as well. To make up for the lack of new arrivals I have highlighted one of the few beers that has been a constant on our shelves since opening.

Northern Monk/Verdant/Deya Hop City 2018 8.4%
If that line up of breweries doesn’t get fans of murky fruit juice DIPA’s excited I don’t know what would. Three of the UK’s most revered juice bomb merchants teaming up with renowned Hop developer and supplier YCH Hops to brew the official beer for Hop City 2018. Hot off the canning line and delivered into us only yesterday I haven’t managed to try it yet but it has gone to the top of my (long) must try list.

Devil’s Peak Dead Reckoning IPA 7%
A step up from the Cut and Run pale ale from Devil’s Peak we had on keg recently Dead Reckoning is a juicy IPA packed full of fruity aromas and flavours. A splash of oats in the brew gives that smooth mouthfeel which is satisfying without being filling.

Orval 6.2%
Complex, deep and intriguing, no not how I am after 6 pints but rather just three of the words that can be used to describe the wonder that is Orval. One of the few beers in the world with the Trappist designation Orval is zesty and dry which makes it a perfect aperitif. Or have it is a satisfying nightcap, not too heavy or rich but mellow and smooth with the yeast doing a delicate dance across your tongue. Want to know what Brettanomyces imparts to a beer? Try Orval. Need a refresher after a hard day? You’ve got it, try Orval. It will come as no surprise that Orval would be a desert island beer for me. Renowned for developing with age I also think it develops over an evening changing to fit the mood and circumstance that you are drinking in. If you haven’t tried it before I would urge you to, it really is a beer tour de force.


Ruth and Mike