Tag Archive: Art Brew


Art Brew: Monkey IPA (England: IPA: 6.4% ABV)

Visual: lightly bronzed amber with a lightly brown tinged head that leaves soapy sud trails.

Nose: Orange, lime wheat and hop bitterness. Light toffeeness, chocolate malt drinks and a touch of cinnamon. Passion fruit.

Body: Bitterness, slick and syrup textured. Fresh lemon, pineapple. Lots of citrus. Slight custard and syrup sweet.

Finish: Lots of hop bitterness, wheat and popcorn. Pineapple and orange.

Conclusion: IPA’s are wonderful things. There is a huge range of sub styles that fall under the heading, from the early heavy hop and alcohol bombshells, the middle of the road styling of late 90s, to the huge citrus American attacks.  This one plays with the fresh citrus style mentioned before, but rather than tying it to a very fresh and fresh bubbling body, this goes with the thicker texture I’d associate with the English and real ale style and pushes up the lemon freshness.

That thickness makes the hoppiness very sticky, and ties the bitterness long into the finish.  A trick that annoys me heavily when used with imperial stouts but seems to work fantastically with IPAs.

A good pint, refreshing, yet forcibly bitter to the end. Not an uber stylish take on the beer, and not as Artful as the breweries name indicates, but they can still be proud of this IPA as a long lasting mix of IPA styles.

Background: The “spanked” version of this beer was one of the earliest tasting notes I did, so it’s a bit of fun going back and doing the base beer version of it.  Art Brew is a local brewery (well comparatively) and linked to out local watering hole.  The staff of the pub are a great crew which always makes for a better tasting note atmosphere, even if they are piss taking bastards some days (which I mean in a good way) (In case they are reading this, yes I am talking abut the La Chouffe incident(s)).

Art Brew: Hip Hop: Centennial (England: Golden Ale: 4.3% ABV)

Visual: Pale clear grain amber with a thin reign of off white froth.

Nose: Lots of sweet pineapple crumble and custard. Light lemon meringue and hops dusted over it. Sweet but slightly sharp, Smooth.

Body: Very smooth, light creamy bitterness. Pineapple smoothies, vanilla. Slight sharp lemon and jelly.

Finish: Pineapple, then slow growing dry bitterness. Light hops, malt and lime. Custard

Conclusion: A return to the single hop range, and we find with this one example of where those wonderful pineapple flavours that are evident in so many of my favourite beers come from.

With the single hop beers, I feel I am critiquing the hop as much as the beer, and this example is no exception.

It’s a very lovely beer as is, with the most obvious elements being pineapple, vanilla and custard.  Lots of flavour that I enjoy seeing rounding out a good IPA or golden ale.  It’s a solid beer, not as wide range as the cascade hop version, but definitely demonstrating a hop of varied uses

Works well by itself, and will work well in combination, so worth an explore.  A solid base of a good beer.

Background:  Hip Hop is a single hop line of beers, using the same base recipe but with the hops changed.   Having had a few of the range I do always enjoy comparing the hops to gain a better background to the beers.   Art Brew are a small brewery that turn out the “I beer” which I deeply enjoy and so far have turned out a reasonable range of other beers.

Art Brew: Hip Hop: Cascade (England: Golden Ale: 4.3% ABV)

Visual: Honeyed amber with a light off white bubbled head.

Nose: Citrus, wheat and hops. Pineapple and grapefruit, lemon fresh with light toffee.

Body: Sour grapes, white wine and grapefruit. Bitter and wheat filled hop back. Toffee and custard sweetness.

Finish: Bitter and rising charcoal mixed with a hint of liquorice and treacle.  Ground coffee and good hops, quite floral and perfumed.

Conclusion: Now this is a hop with some legs to it, lots of the grapefruit and citrus.  It brings a lot of the flavours I associate with the American style IPAs, with a touch of sweetness in-between the forceful and full boded expression.

As always single hop beers are great fun for working out which hop is responsible for which part of your favourite beers flavours and textures, and for that I always recommend trying a few.

This beer is a fine beer in itself, a heavy pint of flavour in yer glass.

Great hop, well made, good beer.

Art Brew: I Beer (England: Golden Ale: 4.0% ABV)

Visual: Clear yellow gold with a light bubbled head.

Nose: Crisp, vanilla, light hops. Lemon and orange. Very smooth, cream, honey. Light spice and toffee.

Body: Smooth, cream, toffee. Smooth hops, slight grassiness. Honey, more vanilla. Jaffa cake centres.

Finish: Hops, light charring. Wheat chaff. Bitterness finally. Malt.

Conclusion: Art brew have had a good rep with me for a while, and this beer is the main reason.

An exceptional session beer, low enough ABV, plentiful flavour, smooth and light with enough hops at the back to kick.

A pint that shows that session beers don’t have to be boring, the bitter ends makes each smooth sweet gulp a new refreshing moment, and you appreciate it all the more Just enough harsh and just enough sweet.

A subtle patch work of interactions and delights, less an assault (though it has its strong flavours) but more a cobweb of intricacies and flavour.

Just right in every way.

Art Brew: O’Kanes Wit (England: Belgium Style White: 4.7% ABV)

Visual: Opaque cloudy orange yellow with a medium sheer white bubbly head.

Nose: Lemon, wheat, orange.

Body: Lemon, wheat. Caramel. Golden syrup. White wine. Vanilla and grapefruit.

Finish: Light wheat. Orange, lemon, somewhat sour. Grapes.

Conclusion: A pretty bog standard Belgium style wit. Refreshing and citrus marked with a wine like finish but none of the Belgium polish. Or so it seems initially. It feels like it has all the right elements but no song and dance to it.

So why did I say initially?

because half way through you start getting vanilla and grapefruit developing in a call to the new craft beer style, adding a nice sharp and sweet body to get your attention back.

Not perfect, but it does a nice mix of Belgium and craft.

Art Brew: (Hip Hop) Green Bullet (England: Golden Ale: 4.3% ABV)

Visual: Light yellow grain clear with a small bubbled head.

Nose: Light lemon fresh and sharp, jiff and orange.

Body: Lemon cheesecake, slightly sharp. Sweet. Jaffa cake centre and sponge. Lots of citrus and slightly sour.

Finish: Slight bitter, malt and hops. Malted drink, quite a bit of dry zesty hops. Sour, ground lemon peel. Very sharp.

Conclusion: Bit of a wake up call, citrus and a touch of hops. Slightly sour. Nothing fancy but refreshing. The hops at the end is overdone for a summer refresher. A decent spark but not one to have often, a touch rough and ready rather than a fully rounded experience.

Art Brew: MMX (England: Barley Wine:8.4%)

Visual: Slightly burnished hazy red with a small bubbled head.

Nose: Slight syrup, quite light.

Body: Treacle, cherries. Thick cream. Thick cloying texture. Lots of sweet condensed cream. Chives. Bitter slick. Orange. Fruitcake, red wine and liquorice.

Finish: Dry bitter chocolate, slight charred elements.

Conclusion: A formidable thick bodied ale, rich sweet and creamy and good bitter touches. A nice sippable, slow drinking ale. Wonderfully rounded and complex. Not a winter warmer as one would expect but more a smooth rich relaxing beer.

One for long lazy days, or whilst getting ready for a kip.

Art Brew Tempest Stout (England: Stout: 4.6% ABV)

Visual: Opaque red brown with a dashing of brown froth.

Nose; Very strong and noticeable at five paces. Vanilla cream, slight honey, custard cream biscuits.

Body: Thin front, then wheat style, port wine, a nice bitter edge, some citrus on the very edge.

Finish: Dry, bitter in light doses. Bread crust and bitter leaves. Nettles. A dusting of coffee granules at the end.

Conclusion: A different set of strokes to the traditional stout with port like notes invited in. Not perfect nor the best stout but a wonderful experiment that could do with a few more iterations attempted of the type.

Its like an attempt to mix an Innis and Gunn rum cask with a lighter example of a stout- it doesn’t quite match the heights that image brings up, a slightly thicker body would however be excellent and make a smashing beer.

As it is it’s a wonderful experimental installation to admire and enjoy, but not one to put upon a pedestal.

Art Brew: Renaissance: (England: Bitter: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Burnished red, light bubbles form an off white head.

Nose: Lights hops, vanilla.

Body: Solid; Deep bitter core in a midst of a lighter body. Slight strawberry.

Finish: Lots of burnt wood, charcoal, slight sugar.

Conclusion: A bit of a disappointment. Art Brew normally turns out good quality ales but this Renaissance casts little enlightenment into the world of beer and sets no bar for the rebirth of style. It’s fairly standard bitter ale. Not unpleasant but without much to recommend it.

Art Brew: Art Brut with Coffee (England: Bitter : 4.4% ABV)

Visual: Muddy cloudy brown grit with slight hints of red orange shining through. Light brown head. Overall calls to mind a slight bought of diarrhea

(Alternative suggests put forwards by fellow drinkers: Fish tank sediment, river with trolley sticking out)

Nose: Light hop; Malty chocolate. Crème and sharp lemon stab at the end

Body: Slight sharpness. Sweet like icing. Sharp mix of sour and strawberries. Grapefruit.

Finish: Milky coffee. Gritty, clinging powder and oak. Finally an unexpected sharp kick.

Conclusion: The coffee doesn’t come out much until the end. A sharp beer with a slight mutated feel to the flavour which adds a dry element. The competing flavours don’t mix perfectly but make for a satisfying experience.

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