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#Collabfest2018 part 2: @BrewDogShored

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We're in Shoreditch for day 2 of our Collabfest, a few yards down the road from Rich Mix, where we've just seen what might be the best film of LFF 2018. Find out more on tomorrow! In the meantime, beer (though not from Meantime).

5. Lothian Road / Cross Borders: BrawDog (New Zealand IPA, 6.0%)
Nice old-fashioned proper IPA to start, none of that Bretts or Bruts shit: just decent hops pleasantly presented. Funnily enough, it was just the other day (after seeing a Swedish kids' cartoon, look it up) that The BBG and I were discussing how the Scottish 'braw' is obviously related to the Swedish 'bra', meaning 'good', and not 'bra' like you thought. 

6. Shoreditch / Hackney Brewing Co.: Space Coyote (Mango Scotch Bonnet Chilli IPA, 5.5%)
Very much The BBG's thing (she's still got Dalston Chilli on her nose from the hot dog she ate a few minutes ago), but this is relatively subtle - mostly mango with a hint of afterburn right at the end, coming through more as you get further down the glass.

7. Dundee / 71 Brewing: 97 On Ratebeer (Tropical Stout, 7.0%)
Our first cheeky beer name of Collabfest 2018. 'Oooohh' is our initial reaction on actually tasting it: gloriously fruity stout, initially thought it was cherries but it's actually liquorice, cacao and dates all mixed together. 'It's good, not like AB21' is a comment I've heard comparing it to another liquorice-based beer of recent vintage - the liquorice is a contributor to the flavour rather than dominating the whole thing.

8. Sodermalm / Örebro Brygghus: Black Öyster Stout (Oyster Stout, 5.3%)
And now for our first international beer - at least they're not charging Swedish-level prices for it. A very nice stout indeed, with a decently rich flavour for a five percenter. Had to guzzle it once we realised we'd have to panic-buy the next flight or two before they ran out, which is a shame...
19th Oct 2018, 21:54   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 part 1: @BrewDogCanaryW

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?Collabfest! We've been doing it since 2013, and Moblogging it since 2014, so you may already be aware of how it works. Every year, each of BrewDog's bars teams up with a local brewery to make an original beer. Then for Collabfest, all the beers go on sale in all of the bars. In 2014, that was sixteen beers to be consumed over one day: now, it's grown to around fifty beers over four days. 
The Belated Birthday Girl and I are trying to do both this and the London Film Festival over the next four days, so let's see how we get on with the whole liveblogging as we go. Two disclaimers: 1) we're sharing 1/3 pint sample glasses between the two of us so we don't get too drunk: 2) as Moblog is virtually obsolete now, I can't log in to fix any errors after I've posted them, so be gentle with me.We're opening up our Collabfest at the brand new Canary Wharf bar, so brand new that it doesn't even open till tomorrow - we're at the shareholders' preview. So that the staff don't get too freaked out on their first day, only five of the fifty-ish festival beers are available here, and we're going for four of them.
1. Angel / Two Tribes: Dry Your Ryes Mate (Red Rye Session IPA, 4.8%)Initially approached the flight from the wrong end, but on second attempt this is definitely the red rye IPA. Nice bitterness to it, and more of an IPA flavour than those bloody NEIPAs that everyone's doing now. Nice bit of fruitiness to it, too.
2. Clerkenwell / Yeastie Boys: Hippo’s Can Fly (Bretted Norwegian Farmhouse IPA, 7.0%)If it's not bloody NEIPAs it's bloody Bretts, of course. Some of that fashionable fermentation was always going to be part of this collection, I suppose (though The BBG doesn't mind them as much as I do). Actually, not too much of that funky taste in there: it's more of a tingle at the back than anything else, with a nice balance of brettosity alongside the hops.
3. Shepherd’s Bush / Partizan: The W. Collins (White Negroni Saison, 6.0%)A high court judge writes: What is a Negroni? Neither of us can remember, so The BBG has to look it up (I'm using my phone for, um, writing this) and it turns out it's gin, vermouth and Campari. She's getting some of that, though to me it initially tastes like the sort of things you'd mix in chemistry class to poison the daft kid (yeah, don't deny you used to do that). It gets better after a few mouthfuls, but there are all sorts of ketones and things in there that I don't really expect from beer. The BBG thinks it would make a really good aperitif.
4. Camden / Moncada: Buck Craft (Kettle Sour, 6.0%)Sour, but slightly sweet - there's a feel of dried fruits to it, and less of the mouth-puckering sourness that marked our first batch of Collabfest beers in 2017 (I can't do HTML in here any more, so you'll just have to go back through the older Moblog posts and find it for yourself). All these four have been pretty good, none of them outstanding: still, we've got three more days to go...

18th Oct 2018, 19:15   comments (0)

#Collabfest2018 prologue: #LFF

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?Two festivals running in parallel over the next four days. That shouldn't be a problem, should it?
18th Oct 2018, 17:52   comments (0)

#Collabfest2017 part eight: Sheffield

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Ah, balls. We're down to our last five beers, and we're at Clapham, which has just one of them in stock. Of the other London bars, Shepherd's Bush and Camden had none of the remaining four when we were there today: Soho has tweeted that they're down to their last eight, all of which we've drunk: Clerkenwell is closed: and Shoreditch is obligingly tweeting arty out-of-focus pictures of their board (there's a reason why Shoreditch Twat was a popular phrase a decade ago). So I think we're going to have to call a halt to this after 30 out of 34 possible beers. Here's the last one...

30. Abbeydale Brewery Ltd / BrewDog Sheffield: Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy (Lemon Curd on Toast Inspired Ale, 5.50%)
It's a bland one to finish up on - there's no real evidence of the promised lemon in there. It's just cold and fizzy, with a bit of mustiness to increase the disappointment a bit. Tiny bit of lemon somehow coming through at the bottom of our half pint, just about justifying the larger measure.

So we've missed out on the beers from Cardiff (Rock Lobster), Gothenburg (A Guy Called Fudge), Leicester (Mango Innit) and Manchester (Higher State). Some of them might turn up in bars in the future, but our hopes for that aren't especially high. We're consoling ourselves with another glass of Aberdeen's Very Big Moose, which is probably our favourite from the weekend (and everybody else's, judging from the ongoing Untappd poll). It seems like a bit of a cliché given that it's the only 12% monster on the board, but it's a worthy winner, and it's moderately amazing that Clapham still have it on tap this late in the weekend. If you're near the bar right now, hurry, hurry, hurry.

Can we have real-time availability updates from the bars ready in time for #Collabfest2018, please?
22nd Oct 2017, 18:43   comments (0)

#Collabfest2017 part seven: Southampton, Newcastle, Castlegate, Clapham, Birmingham

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Yes, five, deal with it. We're basically mopping up stragglers by now and don't want to miss out on any.

25. Unity Brewing Co / BrewDog Southampton: Tango in the Night (Black Saison, 6.00%)
It says black saison, and that's basically what you're getting. The BBG thinks there are hints of something from the malts she likes at the end but can't identify, "...possibly sais?" The description says licorice and cold brewed coffee, but we're not really getting either.

26. Almasty Brewing Co / BrewDog Newcastle: Sixteen Letter IPA (IPA, 7.00%)
As someone at the Bush bar was suggesting earlier, "it's called that because there are sixteen letters in the name." Hoppy, but quite sweet and fruity with it, in the style of the East Coast IPAs that are so fashionable these days (though you do get a little bitterness right at the end). Doesn't feel especially boozy, given its ABV.

27. Speyside Brewery / BrewDog Castlegate: Pina Collaba (Pina Colada Milkshake IPA, 5.00%)
Odd mixture of tastes that doesn't really separate out into anything. The BBG's second least favourite behind the WeirdBeard, with an unpleasant slight musty taste - I wouldn't go that far, but to me it's the drink equivalent of the brown colour you get when you mush up all your Plasticines together. Wouldn't be any better with an umbrella in it, says The BBG.

28. The Gipsy Hill Brewing Co / BrewDog Clapham: Dayman (Oatmeal (milk) Pale Ale, 3.60%)
Looks oddly fizzy in the glass compared with the rest of the flight. A floral fruity nose, quite a bit on the palate too, without being as aggressively fruity as some of the ones from earlier today. Definitely the session beer of the 34, one you feel you could drink large amounts of without it breaking you.

29. Burning Soul / BrewDog Birmingham: SoulDog IPA (IPA, 7.00%)
This one sold out literally as The BBG was queueing at the bar at Shepherd's Bush earlier, so we fell on this as soon as we saw it again - hence the five beer flight. Nothing odd going on in the recipe, but this isn't the fruit bomb that 16 Letter was, with a bit more old school IPA bitterness (and I'm getting a bit more of a malty finish at the end than she is).
22nd Oct 2017, 16:49   comments (0)

#Collabfest2017 part six: Glasgow, Camden, Nottingham, Sodermalm

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Brunch at Shepherd's Bush to launch our final day, and the board of available beers is looking a little battered, with gaps indicating that several have been drunk dry. Theoretically, the bars are capable of letting everyone know online in real time which ones are still left: in practice, that ain't happening. Getting hold of our final 14 beers will be a combination of using any information that happens to get tweeted, and pure dumb luck. Wish us the latter...

21. Fyne Ales with Out Of Town / BrewDog Glasgow (Kelvingrove): Fountain Mountain (Lemon Sherbet Grisette, with Lemons, Citra and Sorachi Ace, 4.40%)
A fruity foursome to start the day (apart from the one that isn't). Not overpoweringly lemony, soft rather than sharp, but with enough of a tang to make it interesting, which gets stronger as it goes down. (The BBG discovers that a grisette is a lighter version of a saison originally made for miners. Fancy that.)

22. Brewheadz / BrewDog Camden: Passionate Morning Cuppa (Passion Fruit & Keemun Tea Oatmeal Pale Ale, 5.00%)
The little information we've been able to glean in advance about the bars we're visiting today suggests that Camden has run out of its own beer, so we'll have to drink it here instead. The passion fruit is absolutely there, attacking your nose as you raise the glass and lingering all the way down. The hints of tea in the background add another refreshing layer. Apparently they don't serve brunch at the Camden bar, so I can only assume they've all been drinking this instead - it's a rather lovely breakfast beer. (And dangerously gluggable for a five per center.)

23. Black Iris Brewery / BrewDog Nottingham: Nuclear Nuts (Pistachio White Stout, 4.40%)
Warning! Contains nuts. (Like most people born before the eighties, we assume that nut allergies are all made up because nobody had them in our day, but we'll give you the warning anyway.) The BBG thinks it's a bit like a pistachio cream soda, pleasantly drinkable like the previous one but not as exciting. Loses its flavour as time goes on: by the end it's really just fizz with a rapidly fading nut flavour.

24. Örebro Brygghus / BrewDog Södermalm: Passion Fur Berlin (Passionfruit Berliner Weisse, 3.90%)
Initially smells just like a glass of passion fruit juice: drink it, and it tastes like that too. There's a tiny amount of tingle in there, but only a little. Loses some flavour over time, but still keeps that incredible nose. Nice and zingy. If nothing else, we must have got ?most of our five a day by now, and that's all from a single pub.
22nd Oct 2017, 14:52   comments (0)

#Collabfest2017 part five: Bristol, Dundee, Kungsholmen, Liverpool

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Back to the Bush to wrap up day 2. Hi Pisci!

17. Lost and Grounded Brewers / BrewDog Bristol: Dig That Well Deep (Dunkel Lager, 5.20%)
Sweet toastiness and caramel on the nose, again possibly served a little too cold. A little more interesting than you'd expect from a lager, a bit like a Brooklyn but not as great as the one from Berlin we had earlier. You keep expecting it to get more interesting as it gets warmer, but it doesn't really. Not a particularly exciting beer, not a particularly exciting style.

18. 71 Brewing / BrewDog Dundee: Collaborator (Doppelbock, 7.20%)
Mainly honey flavour (possibly from the malts) with a slight floral note, but not much going on apart from that. Another blandish German style. We've had more interesting and more chewy doppelbocks in Germany this year, I think - "I can't imagine monks living on this," says The BBG.

19. Hyllie Bryggeri / BrewDog Kungsholmen: HyllIPAn (Belgian IPA, 6.50%)
After a couple of bland ones in a row, a proper hop bomb to make up for it. Sometimes all you want is a really good IPA. Slightly different from the usual, not quite sure what the 'Belgian' thing is that distinguishes it - maybe a slight sweetness, possibly from the yeast.

20. Black Lodge / BrewDog Liverpool: The Floor is Java (Black Treacle and coffee IPA, 5.50%)
One of the beers people seem to be talking about this year (we watched it sell out before our very eyes at Soho last night). It's coffee all the way down, the most coffeey beer The BBG can recall since the Abstrakt that was three types of coffee and booze (AB17, apparently). The nose hits you even when you're a good six inches away from the glass. Technically it's our bedtime beer - we're not actually going to bed, but we're on another non-BrewDog social engagement for the rest of the evening - and this would work very nicely in that role.
21st Oct 2017, 18:41   comments (0)

#Collabfest2017 part four: Oxford, Shoreditch, Berlin Mitte, DogHouse Merchant City

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Next stop Shoreditch, where I think I deserve some degree of respect for carrying a flight of four beers down the stairs to the basement bar without spilling any. Except once I got to the table I realised I'd bought Goose Willis for a second time by mistake, so had to go back up for one more beer, which came in the wrong size glass to mess up the photo. Happy now?

13. Lovibonds Brewery / BrewDog Oxford: No Smoke Without Sour (Sour Cherry Porter, 5.00%)
Back in sour land again, though not as aggressively as last night: it's a bit more subtle. It's another one that feels like it needs some time to warm up - there's more cold than cherry coming through on the palate at the start, but the fruit pops its head up a little more later on.

14. Affinity Brew Co. / BrewDog Shoreditch: There's Saison About Mary (Bloody Mary Saison, 5.20%)
I got tomato off it straight off, with a bit of spiciness coming through as time went on, like a deconstructed Bloody Mary. The BBG didn't, but she was in the middle of scoffing a pizza at the time, and just saw it as a rather nice saison. Top tip from her - "if you want to appreciate subtle flavours in a beer, don't fill your mouth with Dalston Chilli immediately beforehand." They should use that on the label.

15. BRLO / BrewDog Berlin Mitte: / Dr Frank's Happy Pils (Imperial Pilsner, 7.50%)
Very nice hoppy and fruity pilsner, emphasising how interesting BrewDog's lagers could be if they weren't just trying to target Fosters drinkers. ("True but slightly unfair," says The BBG - that's what I usually aim for, certainly.)

16. Up Front Brewing / DogHouse Merchant City: Das ist Techno Sex (key lime and passionfruit gose, 5.40%)
Sharp and a little bit salty rather than sour, with the fruit really cutting through in the first few mouthfuls (but dying down a bit as time goes on). Is the idea that the beers with 'sex' in the name are the most gluggable?
21st Oct 2017, 16:40   comments (0)