From the Left Hand Brewing Company comes 400 pound monkey which is described as an English style IPA? Interesting as the first thing that hit me was Citrus/Grapefruit both in the aroma and taste. The thing is, the grapefruit type hops are usually American varieties like Cascade & Amarillo etc and these are not used in English IPA's so why it is marketed as an English IPA I do not know. Interestingly this beer does not use Cascade or any of the better known citrus hops. It uses Magnum, Boadicea and sovereign and having never worked with any of them I have no idea which one gives it the citrus feel. I think Magnum is a German hop and I am sure Sovereign is English. Anyway nit picking about if this should be called an English IPA or not, this was a tasty brew all the same. To me this was a pure American style IPA, perhaps not as bitter as many I have enjoyed over the years but very nice. I also found it a little boozy. At 6.7 % or so it is not too strong but no light weight either and I have had stronger IPA's that did not have as much of an obvious alcohol feel.
I look forward to trying more beers from Left hand.
Joe Elliot from Def Leopard joined forces with Dublin's Porterhouse Brewing Company not so long ago to produce a beer. Unfortunately he picked a bland lager style but don't let that put you off trying it. It is named Down N Outz after his music collaboration with The Quireboys, and Raw Glory. The beer itself is a pleasantly bitter Pilsner style lager. I quite liked it but I knew my wife would appreciate it more so I let her finish it off.
It is a pity that Joe Elliot could not actually pick his beer out of a number of other mass produced lagers. He must be living in Dublin so long that all the lagers have blended together.
One thing I would be worried about is the logo. It seems to resemble a certain Dutch mega-breweries logo. This is not the first time they have done something like this of course. Probably Lager and Weiserbuddy come to mind.
I like most Brewdog beers so I was looking forward to one I have not had before. 5am saint is an amber ale with an American IPA influence. The list of hops is impressive: Nelson Sauvin, Amarillo / Dry Hops: Simcoe, cascade, centennial. ahtanum & Nelson Sauvin. all of these hops lead to a beer that is far more bitter than expected and perhaps too bitter for some. There is little sweetness to balance the beer. I thought it was great, but I love bitter beers. I could down a few of these on a hot day but it also works in cold weather.