Members bottle share: Dead Crafty, Liverpool
Friday 25 May 2018
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Here at Dead Crafty Beer Company in Liverpool, Ben ‘Big Tasty’ Jackson is taking ten Beer52 members that showed up on a moment’s notice through eight great beers. The Dale Street bar isn’t unfamiliar to most of the faces sitting around the table. If you’re a craft beer drinker in Liverpool, you know Dead Crafty.
Ben opens with a 5.1% barrel aged golden ale from Signature Brewing called Live Up! The general consensus around the table is that none of us would choose a golden ale if we had other options, but the barrel ageing of this beer has removed some of the cloying sweetness that is typical of a golden ale, which makes this particular ale mellow enough to garner a nod of approval around the table.
Next up is a 3.3% Vermont Session IPA named Schenenschopper from Hedonis Ambachtsbier. This was a divisive beer that although is packed with flavour and as sessionable as you can get, some of our bottle drinkers questioned the malt bill of this particular beer while others mentioned it was something they’d like to drink from all day during one of England’s three sunny days per year.
Northern Monk Brew Co and Alefarm Brewing’s collaboration Patrons Project 7.03 Saesoner Blueberry Wild Ale was another beer that drew dividing lines down the table. At 8.2%, things were about to become a bit fuzzy for the group. While some of our drinkers thought it tasted like weak, sparkling wine, others surmised that the fruitiness and high ABV was contradictory and interesting enough that they’d like an entire can of it to themselves. The big reveal of the label peeling open was, as always, a big hit.
Stone Brewing’s Tangerine Express is the next beer that Ben brings out and it is impossible for any of us at the table to dislike. Loads of bitter, pithy tangerine and hops made this 6.7% IPA one of the favourites of the evening with no one pointing out a single flaw and then slowly moving the conversation to other favorites from Stone.
Our fifth beer of the evening was quickly agreed to be the weirdest beer of the evening. Evil Twin Brewing and Omnipollo’s Coffeenade is a 7% coffee and lemonade IPA. As the evening gets hazier and hazier, no one can quite remember who the first person to point out a smell of cannellini beans was, but about half of the group agreed with that assessment. Brendan, an 18 year old new to the world of craft beer, thinks the lemon is the most notable flavour, while others think the coffee is the predominate taste.
Camden Town Brewery’s Beer 2017 is poured next and this 10.2% barrel aged imperial pilsner doesn’t fail to impress the group. Aged in white burgundy and brandy barrels, this beer has a thick, boozy taste that gives it a viscosity of sorts and reminds several drinkers of sipping a cognac.
As the ABVs hover around double digits, the crowd is chattier and chattier about what we’ve had so far tonight, the rankings of the selections and how it’s impossible to describe some beer to non-beer drinkers and make it sound delicious. Ben brings out Beerbliotek’s Eternal Dankness, an Imperial IPA at 9.5% that is super resin-y, rich, and obviously dank. For some of our drinkers, this beer is a little bit too over-the-top, but for others, this imperial is just what the doctor ordered.
Last but by no means least is one of Ben’s own beers. Top Rope Brewing’s Barrel Aged Koko Kolada is an 8.7% Imperial Pina Colada porter from Top Rope Brewing and Fierce Beer. This gigantic, boozy beast tastes like the rum barrels that it’s been stored in for the last six months as well as sweet pineapple, making this the perfect beer on which to end this evening.
Before my departure, I ask everyone if they received an email from Beer52 just this afternoon for the bottle tasting event. The answer is affirmative across the board. Ten former strangers were able to drop what they were doing, make it into Dead Crafty, and have intelligent, meaningful conversations about an insane variety of beers.
That’s one hell of a community.
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