Thursday, 28 April 2011

Huma Lupa Licious IPA - Short's Brewing Co from Kris Wines N1

Had a bit of time on my hands today so I made the journey to North London and to specialist beer retailer Kris Wines, I thought as its another bank holiday weekend and a good chance I’d have guests around for a BBQ best get some decent beers in. Now this shop is always pretty well stocked up and funny enough it’s a pokey little shop slightly larger than a regular sized garage but it’s got the biggest range of international beer this side of the river.

Been shopping here now I reckon for the last seven years, we used to pop in quite regularly on the way back home from Highbury on a match day but now don't get the chance that often and no its got nothing to do with The Gunners I’m still making my attendance thank you.

Kris (yep that why its called Kris Wines) is a nice bloke and very enthusiastic about this stock always something new in and this time soon as I walked in he shouted out "You gotta taste this mate" and that being Huma Lupa Licious IPA by US brewer Short's. 

I'm ashamed to say I’d not heard of Short's until today so I was keen to try this one out. Short's setup is in Bellaire a village in the state of Michigan USA, started up in 2004 and currently make over 30 beers, their current premises was a 100 year old hardware store with they restored and now houses not only the brewery but a pub and deli.

Pours a cloudy orange Amber colour with a medium sized thin off white head. Aroma is a burst of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, and lemon some sweet malt. The flavour has more fresh citrus hops as expected, grapefruit, moderately sweet malt, pine, and dry bitter finish with a bite ggrrrr. Very sharp carbonation medium bodied and very enjoyable.

Did I say very well I take that back it as its not just very well its got to be one of the best if not the best IPA I’ve had and believe me I’ve drank a few.

My Rating:
Huma Lupa Licious IPA - Short's Brewing Co (6.8%)- 9/10

Do visit Short's website for more info on this great beer and as a must pop in to Kris Wines when you are in North London.


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Kernel Brewery S.C.A.N.S Prawn Pakoras

Suns out so its time to get the garden furniture dusted, knock up some seafood snacks and chill in the garden with a good beer and a book. I’m a big fan of Prawns ever since I went to Goa couple of years ago and I just got hooked on them, such a great snack and can be cooked in so many ways.

I even managed to go out one morning with the local fisherman on a catch which was an experience I’ll never forget, health and safety was out the window (no life jackets) these guys where hardcore jumping in and out the sea without nets and no ropes attached.  

You know that feeling you get once you start munching on a packet of pork scratching (yep that feeling) I get the same also with Prawns, so I made up this recipe using my favorite beer of the moment Kernel’s S.C.A.N.S

Here goes:

Shell and devein 250g of Prawns marinate them with a bottle of Kernel’s S.C.A.N.S and leave in the fridge overnight

Next day make the batter by mixing any beer that you’re drinking (Kernel’s S.C.A.N.S preferably) with flour, salt and spices together in a large bowl. Make a well shape in the centre and add the beer and some warm water to form a thick smooth paste with a slow-dropping consistency.
Leave to stand for a few minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep pan hold the prawns by their tails and dip them gently into the spicy batter mix to coat, then gently pop them into the hot oil for around 4 minutes turning once until crisp and golden brown all over.

Drain on some kitchen paper for a minute and then get stuck in.

330 ml Kernel S.C.A.N.S (more can be used)
250g King Prawns
2 green chilies very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
120g gram (or plain) flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
100ml Warm water

Kernel’s S.C.A.N.S as you know has a wonderful sweet tropical fruitiness its just so exotic and makes a great marinate for the prawn’s and by adding beer to the batter same way we do with fish sometimes just gives it a bit more, making this a snack to die for.  


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ramsgate Brewery - Gadd's Black Pearl Oyster Stout

This is a beer I’ve been wanting to taste for a while now so I was made up when a mate of mine handed this bottle to me, I’m not a huge fan of dark beers don't know why! But over the last few months I have started to experiment (on beer) and being frank it’s a beer style I can get quite used too.

Well this tasty beverage is by Ramsgate Brewery from Broadstairs in Kent and offers both draught and in bottles, started off brewing in the back of a pub in 2002 and now offers these award-winning beers from larger and modern premises. Amongst its much-deserved awards they have won Best Kent Brewery 2007, Best Kentish Beer 2008 and Best Kentish Beer 2009 and i'm sure there are more to come.

Pours a pitch black with a light tan head, aromas of dark fruits, Cocoa and roasted dark malts. There are hints of milk chocolate in the taste and the dark fruits; cocoa and even hints of tobacco are very well balanced and delightful on the tongue. The mouthful is very warming and soothing down my throat with a dry bitter hoppiness aftertaste and after a few mouthfuls I pick up a little salt but not in a bad way. Very nice indeed.

My Rating:
Ramsgate Brewery - Gadd's Black Pearl Oyster Stout (6.2%) - 8/10

If you would like to find out more do check out the company website and more info on Breezy Broadstairs which is a very nice town on the Kent coast at which I spent many happy family day outs as a kid and still remember the picnics with cans of Tizer with my mums spicy Aloo Paratha's mmmmm. 


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Brauerei Simon - Spezial

A bottle I picked up in Nuremberg back in February from a store called Hofladen in Nuremberg city centre, interesting store stocking produce only from the German state of Bavaria. I was quite surprised as to what is produced in this area Wines, Sprits and even some very nice Cheese and like the trend in the UK the shop assistant told me that recently there are many more new producers in the area and are promoting customers to buy more local produce in the stores.

Brauerei Simon is in Baveria in a town called Lauf an der Pegnitz around 20 Km East from Nuremburg, the brewery as been around 100 years and brew 3 types the most popular for its Weissbier 5.4% and a Schwarze Kuni 7% which is a strong dark wheat beer.

I picked up a bottle of the Spezial, well I wasn't going to go for any thing less. Poured a chestnut brown could call it Maroon even with a good cream coloured head. You instantly get hit with Sweet roasted malt even I thought burnt bread. Tastes quite creamy with a lot of Caramel and generous hoppiness but its bit too sweet for me. Going by the name Spezial was hoping for something more maybe a little roasty even stronger.

My Rating:
Spezial- Brauerei Simon (5.4%) - 5/10

If you would like to find out more do check out the company website and more info on Hofladen on the store website too.