Howling Hops & How To Fall In Love Again

Many years ago, when CAMRGB was in its infancy so were Howling Hops.
They were making fabulous beer in small batches and we hit it off right away, they even allowed our first #Twissup to meet up in their pub where we quaffed copious amounts of their very good beer.
Now, years later, they still excite me, making some of the very highest quality beer in the UK.
Back then their bottled beer was packaged in labels that were all had drawn and cool, nowadays they can their wares and wrap them in the sexiest of patterned designs.
I’ve been keeping up to date with them on and off through beer supplies from Pop’n’Hops, but I thought I should go straight to the source and drink some of their newest brews.
And so I visited their store, and found the following beauties.
You can do the same by following the link at the end of this article.
This is what I drank and why I have fallen in love with Howling Hops all over again.

Miles Away (5%) is a superbly dry Double Dry Hopped Pale using Enigma, Topaz and Ella hops.It pours a cloudy peach with a big fuzzy head and smells of pineapple, bubble gum and apricot.
It’s a fresh and juicy smell that lures you down into the depths of the beer where you’ll find a sticky caramel and honeycomb, waffle and Rich Tea biscuit malt body.
It may be a light and supple body, but it’s in no way weak or feeble, and provides a superb base from which the hops spring.
Lashings of melon and chive, lemon zest and mandarin peel, and a great big smack of freshly chopped nettle leaves and garden herbs make for a long, bitter and lip puckeringly dry finish.

Rainbow Healing Temple (6.8%)
This Export Porter does everything right, providing all sorts of fun and good times.
There’s the deepest, darkest burned Pain Au Chocolat for a start, and this is swished down with lashings of black coffee, roasted nuts, toasted brown bread and cinder toffee.
It’s a brown sugar rich beer that never gets overly sweet thanks to a big slap of hoppy herbal greenery, hitting you square in the face with sharp and brittle pithy undergrowth.
But this beer is all about its malts, and man alive its malts are the business as they start to feel warm and smoky alongside the aforementioned syrup rich sweetness, pulling you down into the gooey embrace of the finish.

The Fun Loft (5.6%)
Brewed with El Dorado, Azacca and Citra, this Double Dry Hopped Pale Ale is big and round and juicy.
It pours a creamy peach with a little fluffy head and a smell packed with oranges and leafy greenery.
The malting is soft and supple, all caramel wafers and honey coated pancakes, providing a gentle pillow of a body on which the hops can rest.
But they don’t rest.
No, they jump up and down, filling your face with orange marmalade, melon balls, lemon sherbet, lime leaves and apricot juice, not quite the attack of a big IPA, but full and round and fresh, just before they are calmed by another swish of sweetness in the soft bitter finish.

Free Fall (7.3%)
This NEIPA is brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Idaho 7, a combination that brings a flavour like the best fruit punch you’ve ever tasted, especially as this beer was only canned two or three weeks ago and as such is amazingly fresh.
There’s a creamy smooth, and very subtle, malting, it combines white bread crusts with runny honey and those pink wafers you only ever had at birthday parties, and this is backed up by the soft peachy fuzz of the yeast.
But this beer is all about the trio of hops.
They bring big bangs of lime zest and lemon bonbons, freshly chopped garden herbal leaves, satsuma skins and even a hint of rosemary as you head towards the snappy twang of the crisp bitter finish.

Off Ramp (8%)
A Double IPA that only went into its can a week ago, now that’s a thing of beauty.
As fresh as you can get it and brewed with HBC 692, Cryo Mosaic and Citra, this is one hell of a good DIPA.
It pours that cloudy peach that we’ve all become accustomed to, its little frothy head sparkling with life.
The aroma is round and juicy and fresh, all mango and peach goodness.
In fact everything here is fresh, the malts bringing newly baked French bread, doughnuts and sticky caramel, while the hops come on heavy with tropical fruit punch, pine resin, lemon zest, fizzy flying saucer sweets and the green shoots of spring foliage.
All of this makes for a beer that is bright and zesty, thick and chewy, and warmed through by a clean alcohol bite that rounds out the long, sexy finish.

We Buy Teeth (5.5%)
Beginning with an aroma chock full of toffee, brandy butter and honeycomb, this is a very good take on an American Brown Ale.
In fact, it takes me right back to my earliest days of beer discovery when I had my first American Brown Ale – by Rogue, if I remember rightly – when I absolutely fell for the balance of sticky toffee pudding and bright floral hops.
And that’s because those two things are exactly what you get here.
A body of hefty malt goodness, all toffee and praline, buttery pastry, peanut brittle and lashings of honey over just a hint of woody black coffee and bitter dark chocolate, and a heady hit of garden border flowers, herbal leaves, and a sharp and aromatic lemongrass zing that makes the finish a bright zap of bitter, pithy joy.

Source: Howling Hops

 

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UnBarred Brewery Berry Sour (6.5%)

Blimey and gosh, this is full of berries.
Berry Sour pours a thick and cloudy tiny red with a fluffy foaming head and a smell akin to popping your face into your blender as you make a summer fruit smoothie.
The berries involved here are raspberry, blackberry, cherry and blueberries and they come as a big 3D day glo blast of juicy, squishy tart fruity goodness.
There’s a softly sweet caramel and wafer biscuit malting, and just a hint of sticky honey that makes for a lovely backbone over which all those berries have made me fancy some jam on toast as I’m hit by the long and tartly bitter finish.

Source: UnBarred Brewery

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Liquid Light Brewing Co. Mother North (6.8%)

I first met Liquid Light at the Nottingham Craft Beer Festival a couple of years ago.
At that point, if I remember rightly, they were still a Nano Brewery using borrowed kit, but even then I enjoyed the beer that they had on offer and hoped they’d grow.
And now I’m drinking my first can from them and it’s really very good indeed.
Mother North is a Kveik IPA brewed with Norwegian Voss yeast and El Dorado hops.
The malting is solid, with biscuits, honey and Victoria sponge creating a soft and sweet malt body, while the El Dorado bring lots of fresh and sprightly green herbal leaves, brittle bitter nettle stings, lime and lemon zest, and this is all made earthy and rich by the gentle farmyard fug of the yeast that also lends an apricot and damp woodland smell to the beer.
Yup, I was right to be interested when I first discovered Liquid Light.
I’m really looking forward to more.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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Pentrich Brewing Co. Ancient Pixels (9%)

Scotch Ale.
Rich and round, fruity and boozy.
This is simply super.
Imagine taking a Christmas pudding or, failing that, a big chunk of Malt Loaf, and injecting it with a belly full of brandy and rum.
Are you imagining?
I hope so.
There’s squishy malty goodness in here, plump raisins, a hint of banana, treacle tart, chocolate, toffee and honey coated digestive biscuits.
The hops add crunchy hedgerow leaf litter, rosehips, green hazelnuts (yes, I remember eating them as a kid and feeling a bit poorly afterwards), and fresh rolling tobacco, but this beer is all about its malt bill, its sexy round body full of plums and dates, figs and nougat, all drowned in dark alcoholic goodness.
I’d like to spend an evening trying to fight my way out of a barrel of this, if you don’t mind.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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Donzoko Brewing Co. Endless Graft (9.8%)

For my birthday the other week I bought myself a bottle of 3 Monts’ Saison, one of my favourite beers.
It’s a classic, doing exactly what you want from a French Farmhouse beer.
And lo and behold, this “Dry Hopped Super Saison” does much the same.
Sticky sweet honey and lots of French crusty bread is warmed through by a hefty boozy heart while a scattering of dry and crunchy autumnal leaf litter crackles with lemons and apple cores, garden flowers and damp foliage as the Monroe and Celeia hops do their thing.
The yeast is dark and sexy, dirty even, adding its own special earthy spice to the mix, while the addition of Rye brings even more meatiness, conkers and chestnuts, as I head towards the boozy warmth of the round, voluptuous, sexy finish.
I may be in love.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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