I couldn’t believe it, I had finally achieved my recent mission – I finished all the beer at home. It was a difficult, though necessary task, as I had pledged not to buy more beer until my current stash was depleted. Over the last 18 months, I have become more adventurous when trying beers; looking for the interesting cans and finding the bottles with an unusual description, in order to find the best of what’s out there. I am thrilled that local supermarkets stock so many varieties that I wouldn’t be able to sample in a local bar. From Belgian dubbels and Mexican cervezas, to bold craft British beer, I keep my eyes peeled for unfamiliar brews stacked in my favourite aisle.
Before getting to this point I had a significant collection of beer to work through, which was the result of a number of reasons… If you buy more beer than you consume, then you end up having a happy Dr Beer! accumulation ensues and your “beer corner” becomes a beer wall. Building a museum of beers had been surprisingly easy. All I did was buy 4 different beers, drink the two most appealing and then buy another four! Between this and having had a couple of one off promotion “craft beer trial subscriptions” the beers quickly build up! I really like the concept of the subscription boxes – but usually you are left with one or two styles which do not suit your tastebuds (mine being coffee stouts or saisons).
Before I knew it, I had built up an OTT beer hoard; as appealing as this was, my growing OCD of lining the cans and bottles up in a number of different variations dependent on name, brewery and style etc, meant enough was enough! It got to a point of sheer ridiculousness, so something had to be done – I had to DRINK THEM ALL. By the way – I happily obliged. Once this was completed it was time to go to the local supermarket. I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I was surrounded by all the beers and felt a bit like this;
Beer had to meet certain requirements to be added to the shopping basket:
- Bright, vibrant labelling
- IPAs, lagers or similar variety
- New and exciting beers that I haven’t tried before
I think I managed to squeeze approximately 20 different beers into my shopping basket before I noticed people beginning to stare at me. At this point I realised it was probably time to stop… I lifted my heavy-weight basket (my favourite kind of weight-lifting) and took it to the self-service check out. On my way there I passed many people that gave me disapproving looks – I noticed I got more attention than two guys a similar age to me with a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of vodka… I was half tempted to say “they’ve got more units than me!”, but refrained. I got to the checkout and put the basket ready for scanning. About 3 bottles in to the checkout process, a store attendant came over, unsurprisingly looking for ID – this is quite common for me – I laughed internally, it would be really awkward if I had forgotten my drivers licence or was trying to buy alcohol underage (getting refused for >20 bottles would be so embarrassing). I gave a cheeky grin and happily handed over my licence prior to him even getting the request out of his mouth. I successfully passed the authentication process (they always look amazed when they realise I’m 25), paid and left the store with my double-bagged beer – the thought of dropping and smashing a bottle on the way to the car is inconceivable.
I got home and arranged the bottles neatly in the corner of the kitchen, forming a bit of a wall once more. I put a select few into the fridge, including two from Redwell brewery. Redwell’s ethos is fantastic – a group of people from Norwich, England, got together with the mind-set of producing good quality, vegan, craft beer.
Extra Pale Ale
This was the first time, to my knowledge, that I had consumed a beer by Redwell. I have noticed the cans in my local supermarket, bright and bold in colour. I had always made a mental note of “must try this one soon”. Today was the day. The first of theirs that I decided to try was an extra pale ale. The can was certainly striking – it was a light electric blue with a unicorn on it! The unicorn is the national creature of Scotland, my home, so it definitely caught my attention.
I took the chilled can from the fridge and poured it into one of my favourite beer vessels – “Teku”. It poured as a hazy amber colour, a little darker than I was expecting. A fairly large white foam head was created on top of the liquid, so I gave it a minute to subside slightly. On the nose, not a huge amount of aroma came from it – potentially some citrus and pine, but on first sip the taste of citrus really came through. It was smooth (considering it was from a can) and as the citrus faded away, a light bitterness took over.
Rating: 3/5. A vibrant design on the can and soft flavours on the palate making it a pleasant beer. Not something I would specifically go out to buy, but one I would happily drink it again.
West Coast Pale Ale
Having had a promising first experience of Redwell’s beers, I was eager to try the next one. The can was less striking than its predecessor, but you mustn’t judge a beer by its cover! Upon pouring, it was a similar colour to the can which was quite cool (how intentional this was I don’t know). Having been packed with American hops during its brewing process, the citrus and tropical aromas come off this beer in bucket-loads. It poured with a remarkably tall white head and I waited while the bubbles burst more tropical notes into the beer’s own little atmosphere.
Grasping my Delirium Tremens chalice glass, which is great for accentuating the beer’s aroma, I took the first sip. The scent undoubtedly carried through into the taste – huge tropical notes primarily, with blood orange and grapefruit, followed by a touch of bitterness. The beer tasted as bright as it looked and was most definitely the ‘beer of the night’.
Rating: 4.25/5. Definitely more than above average and would actively seek to have this again. I am currently really enjoying west coast pale ales and this one didn’t disappoint.
Congratulations to Redwell Brewery on making some great brews – they have certainly gained a new fan and customer in me. I will keep an eye out for their other beers in the future, as they have set high standards initially. Great ethos, cool and trendy designs, with cracking beer to top it off. When you’re in your local supermarket, make sure to keep an eye out for these – you won’t regret it.
Thanks for reading, keep up to date with all my latest beers on social media and let me know of beers that you think I should be trying!