Beer Of The Week – Brewdog Jack Hammer
Beer Of The Week – Brewdog Jack Hammer
Craft beer! Quite simply I love it! I'm not talking about uninteresting, cold, tasteless lager. Lets go to the other end of the spectrum; I’m talking beer, as it should be. Brewed with flavour and character. The sort of beer you taste, and straight away your senses are in overload! It sparks conversation and debate with your drinking buddies; what is this wonderful beer? Who brews it? Where is it from? What's the story behind it? You just don't get the same experience when drinking a 'lager top'!
You can find good craft beer all over the world. Just in London we have no less than 80 (approx.) craft brewers. Producing everything from light session beers, to full on smack you round the chops porters and stouts. More often than not craft beer has a high ABV, (Alcohol By Volume if you wondered!) generally around 6 or 7%. But also some real bruisers in excess of 10%. So, these aren't beers you would drink a lot of, they are to be savoured. Not dissimilar to wine. Beer does go exceedingly well with food too! Often beer is matched with certain food, and beer sommeliers are now on the scene. So there are similarities to how we enjoy wine.
But where can you find craft beer locally? Well, that's where I fit in! I've spent years searching out great brews; so I thought it would be fun each week to share my finds. Without further a do, let me introduce my new weekly blog for Leigh-on-sea.com; 'Beer of the Week'
Last Sunday I popped in to the Crooked Billet down in Old Leigh. As soon as I approached the bar, a can of Brewdog Jack Hammer was shoved in my face! The good chaps in the billet know I like my craft beer! This was a new one just in; Let's give it a go then!
Don't be put off by craft beer in small cans. Yeah ok, it’s not a new thing putting beer in cans, but some people may be put off by craft brewers canning their beers rather than bottling. I compare it to screw caps on wine bottles. A few years ago everybody turned their noses up at a screw cap. Now some very expensive and rare wine is bottled with a screw cap, it's perfectly acceptable. It's the same with a can. It's a perfect way to store beer and keep it fresh.
In case you are not familiar with Brewdog, these guys are the UK craft beer pioneers. They first started brewing back in 2007 up in Scotland. Their sole purpose? To save the people from dull beer, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Their beer is fantastic, and so too are their bars. They’ve opened up Brewdog bars all over the world, with some great ones in the UK. The word on the street is, Southend’s a Brewdog Bar target location! Watch this space! You heard it here first folks!
So anyway, back to this weeks sampling. I cracked open the can and poured. It had a fairly rich Amber colour, and already I could smell the very citrusy, almost grapefruit aroma of the hops. Brewdog brand 'Jack Hammer' as a ruthless India Pale Ale. I couldn't agree more. 7.2% no less, so treat it with respect. But those hops really make this beer what it is! Most craft IPA's are heavily hopped, some may describe them as overly hopped. I'm guessing a lot of 'purist' beer drinkers wouldn't like it, but I absolutely love it. It gives the beer a wonderful citrus flavour, and the high ABV just adds the fun! Aside from the beers kick ass hoppiness, it has a rich underlying caramel flavour from the malt. All in, this has got to be up there in my top 10 IPA’s, it really is a good’n
In my opinion, the Crooked Billet are leading the way in Craft beer down in Old Leigh. They have a few others that I have yet to try. Next time you’re in the Billet, lean over the bar and look in the far left fridge you'll see the cans and bottles of which I speak! Ask to have a look and take your pick. It's a great alternative to a pint of Carling darling!