One of the main barometers that gives me a good indication of the quality of the pub I’m drinking in is whether there’s a solid range of canned beers on show in its fridges. Canned beer has well and truly boomed in the past year here in the UK, with breweries like Roosters, Brewdog, and Fourpure really starting to focus their efforts towards producing quality products to rival that of their US brethren. While there is still something so bloody exciting about seeing a pint can of Sierra Nevada Torpedo in a pub’s fridge, there’s something perhaps even better about seeing home-grown products stacked alongside it.
Beavertown Brewery have become synonymous with canned beer in Britain – helped in part by the fact that said cans are perhaps the most delicious looking as well as tasting.
Definitely a testament to Beavertown taking the UK beer market by storm of late is that, it seems like there’s more and more places these days that have their cans on display in establishments you definitely wouldn’t have seen stocking anything but cans of Red Stripe this time last year.
Beavertown been producing unfathomably good beer since 2011 and have continually had to increase capacity to keep up with the huge demand from both here and abroad.
Working for Mitchells and Butlers I’ve found myself drinking an awful lot of Neck Oil and Gamma Ray in recent months, due to both being involved in the seasonal rotation of draught beers in all Castle pubs up and down the country. Their core range are beers you could never tire or drinking and their Alpha series consistently sees them pushing the envelope with their flavours – from the Earl Phantom, an earl grey hopped Berliner Weisse, to their Power of the Voodoo triple IPA in collaboration with Boneyard Beer from Oregan.
A limited number of their latest canned creations were on offer at their tap takeover at Cotteridge Wines and Spirits earlier in the month, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the best beer shop in the UK. I was lucky enough to nab myself a ticket through our resident MAB beer Sommelier Richard Yarnell and the kind folks at Cotteridge.
Unveiling their Lemon Phantom, a lemon infused Berliner Weisse, and the Yuzilla Phantom, a Yuzu and dried lime Berliner Weisse – both of which did not last very long at all – head honcho Logan Plant and the Beavertown boys came with an ample supply of the brewery’s favourite beers to appease the punters in the shop’s backroom and newly converted outside area, including their No.11 pale ale that they’d brewed in collaboration with Cotteridge.
The amount of people who turned out for this event on a Tuesday night in the backwaters of the city is a good indicator of how highly thought of Beavertown are. They are undoubtedly the darlings of UK craft beer at present and with quality liquids, housed in attractive vessels and a charismatic leader in Logan at the helm, it’s difficult to see their momentum slowing any time soon.
A lot of familiar faces from the Birmingham beer scene, drank quickly to sample as much of the fresh beer as possible and, like me, went on to spend probably more money than they should have in the shop on their way home.
As well as trying my first ever can of Pizza Port IPA, I also discovered that Cloudwater, despite everything I’ve tried so far being top notch, can indeed make a bad beer. I’m not sure if I should take solace in the fact that their Old Garde collaboration with Burning Sky tastes like my last homebrew or not…