Beavertown 8 Ball Rye IPA 6.2% abv.
Craft beer in a can, surely not? In the UK we have an image problem with canned beers. We associate them with stacks of cheap lager piled high in the local convenience store. Conventional wisdom states that craft beer is a thing of beauty and needs to be sold in a brown glass bottle with an attractive label. However, things are different in the USA where consumers are more used to buying upmarket beers in tins rather than bottles.
Beavertown Brewery, who are based in Tottenham Hale, are one of a new generation of brewers who are influenced by trends in American beer. Their 8 Ball Rye is a homage to American craft IPA’s. This beer is made with no less than 5 types of malt (including rye) and 4 types of hops: Columbus (US), Citra (US), Galaxy (Australia) and Pacific Gem (New Zealand). These are some of the “hoppiest” hops a brewer can source and give the ale a massive citrus aroma and flavour. The beer has a delightful dark orange colour and a citrus, grassy, fruity aroma. The taste is more complex than some American style IPAs due to the addition of rye. There is still a massive grapefruit tang to this beer. It is unfiltered and unpasteurised.
The can is illustrated with an apocalyptic cartoon which makes the can more appealing. The 8 Ball name comes from the fact that pool balls were used in the brewing process to weigh down sacks of hops to ensure the beer had that extra hoppy taste.
It is time to put aside our prejudices about canned beers and try this splendid US style brew- a flavoursome beer which would go well with many foods, particularly Asian cuisine. It’s brewed by Jen Merrick, one of the few female brewers in the UK and she has recently been voted Brewer of the Year 2015 by the British Guild of Beer Writers. Beavertown also produce a range of US style extreme beers such as Black IPA, Smoked Porter, India Brown Ale and Imperial IPA. All come in the distinctly illustrated cans and well worth trying if you like something different from the usual bitter/lager/Guinness still offered by many pubs.
I think this beer needs to be drunk to the accompaniment of American cartoon music. The name Beavertown reminded me of the great Beavis and Butthead cartoons which used to be on TV in the 1990’s. Wikipedia describes Beavis and Butthead as “two socially incompetent, rock-loving teenage wannabe delinquents”. Well, that sounds like a description of someone we would get along with. So raise a can of 8 Ball to your lips and sing along with Beavis and Butthead in their unlikely 1994 collaboration with Cher “I got you Babe”.