If you’re looking for an India Pale Ale for #IPADay 2013, why not look to what the North East has to offer. Andrew Mitchell and Michael Brown suggest some of the best.
Much like Nigel Tufnell’s amp in This is Spinal Tap, we’re of a mind that IPAs should be turned up to eleven and thankfully some of North East England’s breweries are doing just that:
Tyne Bank Double IPA (7%)
The subtle exterior of the 330ml bottle gives nowt away about this big lad from Newcastle’s Tyne Bank Brewery. However the aroma of sweet caramel and booming orange and grapefruit lets you know this is about as far from Deuchars IPA as you can get. Full bodied with bold citrus, pith
and pine flavours, this is as resinous as it is raucous. There’s a big kick of booze to show you it means business too. Lovely.
Anarchy Brew Co Quiet Riot (6.6%), Knuckle Dragger (8.3%)
Most brewery’s are content to bring one big flavoured IPA to the table, but these Morpeth based maniacs have come with two.
Quiet Riot is a South Pacific Style IPA but forget Rogers and Hammerstein, this is straight up Rogers and Rammstein. The totally tropic beast serves up a boozy fruit salad of aromas and tastes. Sweet oranges and passionfruit slip down slightly too easily, thanks to it having an oilier body than the Rock in Fast Five. Summer in a glass.
Knuckle Dragger was named after Newcastle’s very own and very loud band We Are Knuckle Dragger and the beer is as big kicking as their back catalogue. Richly fragranced with a mountain of stewed fruits and more with pine than the all of the American National Parks combined, Knuckle Dragger never once lets on abouts its might in the alcohol stakes. Instead your palate is taken on a hazy rollercoaster ride, which will spoil you for most other beers. Epic.
But if you’re not a hop monster you could also check out “more traditional” offerings:
Mordue IPA (5.1%)
Slightly hazy orange in colour, with a scent of grapefruit and other citrus fruits, North Shields-based Mordue’s IPA is a delightful combination of sharp fruit, biscuit, and citrus hop flavours, with a dry bitter finish. Lovely on cask or in a bottle, and packs a great punch of refreshing flavour if you can find it on keg.
Cullercoats Brewery Rocket Brigade IPA (5.5%)
Toffee and fruit, with maybe even a bit of marzipan chucked in, draws you in like a kid to a candy apple, then its all buttery, slightly spiced caramel flavour. Rocket Brigade – named for the former group of Cullercoats lifesavers – will never satisfy the hopheads, but if you’re after an IPA you can drink a few pints of, it’s easily quaffable.
But brewers aren’t resting on their laurels – so here’s a North East IPA to look forward to.
Anarchy Brew Co Warhead (10%)
Warhead may not be commercially available just yet but let this whet your appetite. This is a 10%, 100 Minute IPA. The bottle serves as the delivery system from a lethal payload of hops. Dank, devilish and downright delicious, Warhead will challenge even the most hardy hop lover
when it explodes onto the market. It is quite simply incredible.
Tried a North East IPA we’ve not included? Or have an opinion on the beers above? Let us know in the comment section below.