Lost Indusrty: Annum 2020

Every year the gang at Lost Industry create something a little bit special for their Annum range, and this year is no exception.
In fact it feels really important this year to have something a bit special to enjoy, given what a grim slog the twelve months have been for all of us.
This year’s Annum range is a triumvirate of beautifully brewed and Bordeaux barrel aged fruit sours, something that Jimmy and the crew are very very good at.

Peach (6.4%)
Pouring as thick and creamy as freshly pressed peaches, this is a big juicy beer that starts with an almost vanilla ice cream and farmyard aroma.
The body of the beer is full and round and rich, a thick peach juice bolstered by wheaty biscuits, honey and pancakes, while the hops add a green herbal spark to the mix.
The Brett yeast does what it does so well, adding a steely metallic dryness and a fug of warm sweet silage as the barrel ageing builds, bringing damp tannin rich oak and a hint of damsons and cherries to the superbly dry finish.

Raspberry (6.4%)
This one pours a deep pinky purple and shines in my glass, it’s a clear beer rather than the soup of the peach, and the aroma is a woody red wine.
Where the soft fruitiness of the peach meant that the barrel ageing added subtle extra layers, the raspberries bring out the wine and wood of the ageing process, with the malting providing a subtle toffee and waffle backbone.
And so, as well as a deliciously fresh and juicy raspberry flavour, and that hit of Brett yeast bringing its earthy tang alongside the rush of the freshly chopped herbal hops, you find that the barrels are thrust to the fore, all lip puckering boozy plums ad damp woody goodness.

Cherry (6.4%)
This for me is the best of the three, as the balance is absolutely perfect.
The Peach, while lovely, only let the barrel ageing peep out from behind the fruit, and the Raspberry gave too much space to the barrels, whereas the Cherry allows everything the time that it deserves.
The fruit is dark and rich, juicy and round, the malting is a soft caramel brioche, sweet, doughy and light, and the hops add their sharp herbal tang.
And then there’s the almost sweet woodiness of the barrels, slightly musky, slightly damp, and a wash of lip drying wine that brings warmth and elegance, and more than a hint of booze filled raisins to the superbly dry finish.

Source: Lost Industry Brewing Co.

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Turning Point Brew Co. Earth Years Old (4.8%)

This Pale Ale has been brewed with a new and experimental hops variety called Bru-1.
Turning Point have paired it with Citra and a light and subtle malt base.
What they have created is a light beer with the most extraordinary flavours.
Whether this is down to Bru-1 alone or the mixing of it with the other ingredients I neither know nor care.
The aroma of Earth Years Old isn’t anything special, some garden flowers and honey, but take a swig and you’re greeted with vanilla ice cream coated pineapple chunks, peach Melba, fresh rolling tobacco, garden herbs and lemon sherbet.
There’s also a very pleasing Hubba Bubba chewing gum flavour that reminds me of popping into the local newsagent on my way home from school and spending my last 50p.
This is a terrific beer.
And it may all be thanks to a terrific new hop variety.

Source: Turning Point Brewing Co.

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Signature Brew Co. Bells End (5.2%)

Christmas is a time for Tradition, enjoying things that have always been, nostalgia.
And so Signature have teamed up with The Darkness to brew their 2020 Christmas beer.
It’s an ESB, and Extra Special Bitter with a comedy Christmas name, and it’s really good.
Pouring conker brown, there’s a toffee apple and brown bread aroma, and these dark autumnal delights pop up in the flavour.
As you take your first swig you find a lovely malt body that’s full of bread crusts and honey, waffles, toffee and Golden Syrup.
The hops bring crunchy red autumnal leaves, nettle tea and a lick of lemonade.
Bells End is a warm round comfortable beer to drink on a dark damp evening.
It’s a beer named by The Darkness and as such is rather silly.
I remember many years ago, a dear friend of mine who used to promote concerts at the sadly now closed Buffalo Bar in Islington, telling me he was putting on a metal band and that they were very funny, and were going to be huge.
It was, I believe, their first gig and I didn’t go because I had other plans.
The band was The Darkness and my friend was right, they were funny and they were huge.
Happy bloody Christmas.

Source: Signature Brew Co.

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Pentrich Brewing Co. Dead Earth (8%)

Brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight (a new hop to me), this is a very good Double IPA.
Very good indeed.
It pours the standard cloudy peachy gold that we’ve come to expect from our big modern IPA’s and it smells of mandarins and chives, orange jelly and vanilla ice cream.
And given that the Mosaic and Simcoe are known for their pithy redwood pine stickiness and fresh green herbal leaves, I’m guessing the Falconer’s Flight has a lot to do with the orange and lemon flavours and aromas that this beer gives you.
I may be completely wrong and, to be honest, I can’t be bothered to check the hop’s flavour profile, so take the pee if I’m way off the mark, I don’t really care.
What I care about is how this beer feels round and smooth and creamy, its malt body thick with caramel and honey, wafers and waffles and crunchy white bread crusts.
I care about how the alcohol doesn’t burn at all, and in fact feels subtle and delicate, adding a soft gin warmth the the marmalade and brandy snap finish of this rather fine DIPA.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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New Bristol Brewery Irish Cream Stout (7%)

This is almost brilliant.
You see, it has a flaw.
It begins with the lovely warm aroma of creamy coffee and whiskey, and those smells draw you down into your glass where you find lots of the same.
There’s coffee and praline, thick cream, dark chocolate, whiskey and treacle tart.
The body is a warm pastry, buttery and thick, chewy and mouth filling.
All good so far, right?
The problem is that the beer doesn’t stop there.
Where you want to end on a sweet and sticky vanilla milkiness, to be treated to a pudding of a beer, instead there’s a rather harsh (at least in this context) bitterness, and it has far too big a herbal slap to really fit in with everything else going on, and to make matters worse this comes from East Kent Golding, a hop variety that without all the smooth chocolate and vanilla around it would generally be a rather subtle affair.
And therein lies the flaw of what is an almost brilliant beer – Too many hops.
And I NEVER thought I’d find myself saying that.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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