So last night it was that time of the month again – time to taste outrageous beer in good company in the form of Beer Without Fear. This onslaught to your senses is a monthly beer tasting in the Cellar Bar which aims to serve you the most bonkers, insane and intense beers from around the world in 6 tries. Two judges go head to head presenting 3 beer each and in the end the beer tasters vote for their favourite. Simple? Yes, unless you’re 6 beers down the road. Which you will be.
This month it was an epic battle between Sophie, a veteran of beer appreciation, who is the matriarch of the Cellar bar staff, and Ben, her partner in life, crime, beer and work I suppose too. These titans of beer went head to head on the 41st BWF (how the hell did we get to 41? I swear they just started).
Beer No 1: Weird Beard Brew Co. Pig Smasher 6.8%.
Marmeladey and sweet AF, probably due to the honey they added into the brew. They’ve used all American hops and even dry-hopped the beer at the end but the hops don’t come through from underneath the sweetness, unfortunately.
Beer No 2: Stone Brewing Berlin: Coffee IPA 7.5%.
It’s got a coffee aroma, but you only spot that after you’ve been told it’s there. Weird enough. Anyway, it’s got this underline sweetness but the hops bite through somewhat.
Beer No 3: Evil Twin Brewing Geyser Gose 5.5%
Our table was rather impressed with this one. It was all kinds of tart but at the same time, it was really refreshing and light. Just a blooming awesome beer really.
Beer No 4: Siren Craft Brew Maiden 2016 11.2%
This is almost like a barley wine and it kicks you on the gonads, big style. Holy hell. I’ve usually been a fan of the Maidens but Jesus wept this was outrageous. Maybe even too much so.
Beer No 5: Magic Rock Brewing Human Cannonball 9.2%
Right, spoiler alert: I blooming love this beer and it was my choice for the beer of the night. It’s hoppy AF but it’s also so superbly well balanced it’s insane. It’s juicy and tasty and just all kinds of awesome.
Beer No 6: Evil Twin Brewing Double Liquid Fudge 12%
This is officially the smoothest 12% beer I’ve ever had in my entire life, full stop. It’s moreish and sweet, and you know what? I’d have this instead of a pudding any day.
The snacks were pretty spectacular, too. The 30 participants, ravenous after so many beers, descended on the cheeses, meat cuts and bread like a pack of… well, ravenous beer drinkers but there was plenty for everyone. Nom nom nom.
And the winner? Well, for me it was the Human Cannonball but this time there actually was a draw – something that doesn’t happen too often. It was a tie between Geyser Gose and Human Cannonball and I can’t think of any two beers (or folks, to be fair) more worthy sharing the top spot.
Top job Sophie and Ben. My somewhat sore head thanks you.