Nine beers into BrewDog’s fanzine subscription and the fourth instalment has arrived at home. This was the first time that I hadn’t had a text from the postal service (my usual delivery date for fanzine is either Wednesday or Thursday). But as I opened the door, following a four hour drive, I had a slip redirecting me to my side entrance – of which sat a new fanzine box.
All 330mls, the third set of Fanzine beers are as follows:
- English IPA
- Hop Shot
Mandatory ‘Interstate’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: no formal rating (at time of writing)
- ABV: 4.6%
- IBU: 25
- Style: Lager
- Tagline: Vienna Lager
- Descriptive Comment: Waltz over the stateline
Another lager and to be honest on a hot summer’s day I was more than happy to be trying this beer. It is named Interstate, in relation to the malts being used coming from two separate countries, separated by a border – Vienna (Austria) and Munich (Germany). The Can is a golden yellow colour, with a similar, but thankfully less fluorescent colour, produced on pouring. A medium sized white foam head was produced, which looks quite thick in nature. The foam head lasts for the majority of sampling – surprising for a canned lager! Fruity aromas come through on the nose and this is unlike the majority of lagers I’ve sampled. It has a deeper, with a nutty caramel taste, although this is very subtle. It maintains the lager’s typical essence of light, crisp and fresh in spite of this novel tasting. Reassuringly there isn’t a metallic aftertaste, of which I find is a common taste in mainstream lagers
Rating: 3.0/5. ‘Interstate’ is a good lager, though I wouldn’t be disappointed if this never made it onto BrewDog’s regular range. It is surprisingly complex for this beer variety with the scents and flavours that act completely independently which is quite a strange sensation on sampling!
Mandatory ‘English IPA’ Facts
- Untappd Rating:27 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 5.2%
- IBU: 40
- Style: IPA
- Tagline: Small batch, retro India pale ale
- Descriptive Comment: First beer that hasn’t had a descriptive comment
What makes an IPA an IPA? Traditionally, (1800s) when beers were being sent to British born people, working and living in India, via ships across the vast oceans, the beers were arriving and tasted “off” following the long journey. IPA changed this. Ading extra hops, enocouraged stability which made the beers stay fresher for longer! Instead of having a descriptive comment, BrewDog have clearly stated the hops used (lots!) and the timing during the brewery process. From the hops added to the first wort, kettle, whirlpool and finally dry hops. Brambling, East Kent Goldings and First Gold hops are all added at multiple points, in order to bring out their full flavours. The hippy neon green can design really reflects this retro style, fully hopped beer, with the colour looking pretty similar to many hops that I’ve had the pleasure of smelling directly.
The beer pours a typical IPA deep oak-caramel colour. A mild white foam head was formed, but this quickly settled to the side of the glass, leaving just a trace at the edges. Floral notes rise from the beer’s surface. The beer really delivers on the hop front, with notes of pine coming through an oat and malt light base. This beer is then rounded off with a warmth from spice notes and your palate is left with a dry bitter finish.
Rating: 2.75/5. English IPA contains lots of hops, a nice bitter finish and a subtle hint of spice and floral tastes. It’s a bit on the “dry” side for my palate I find that with beers that finish with a dry note, I end up drinking them much quicker and before I know it, it’s gone! I feel that this beer needs tweaked slightly, just to amplify the flavours, which could turn this beer into a real winner.
Mandatory ‘Hop Shot’ Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.91 (at time of writing)
- ABV: 9%
- IBU: 70
- Style: DIPA
- Tagline: Double India Pale Ale
- Descriptive comment: Chopped, tuned, ready.
BrewDog have produced some brilliant DIPAs. My go to is usually Mr President. So unsurprisingly whenever I try a new BrewDog DIPA, I have a strong comparison and high expectations. This can is neon blue and pours a transparent toffee colour, with a hint of pine on the nose, probably from the Chinook hops. I can also smell (or able to convince my olfactory senses!) a deep bitterness urging through, encouraging me to take a drink! A modest 1.5 inch white foam head was produced, but this settled within a minute. The taste is complex, with citrus and deep resin notes going through the entire sampling. It has a nice mix of bitterness, sweet citrus and a not too overly dry and warming finish from the 9%.
Rating: 4.25/5. ‘Hop Shot’ this is my kind of beer. Resin, citrus and a double IPA. This is the kind of beer I would order if given an eclectic draft tap list. My ultimate question when drinking these fanzine beers is, “Would I buy a growler” and to Hop Shot I would most definitely answer “Yes!”.
Box Rating: 3.33/5
Fanzine Rating to Date: 3.29/5
Enjoy your beers! Let me know what’s on your beer menu.