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Belt’s Beer Garden: London Calling

Two brews from London - Brew By Numbers 05|29 & Beavertown Lupuloid

neon3

My stash of beers from the United Kingdom is quickly depleting but, before it’s gone, I have two more beers from the largest city in the UK - London.

First up, a brewery I quickly fell in love with after just one sip of their beer...

The beer I initially tried at Brew By Numbers was so good I decided that I had to buy a mixed six-pack of their stuff.

Brew by Numbers, or BBNo., has been around in London for a few years now (starting back in 2012). From what I’ve found, they have very limited distribution and heading to the brewery is your best bet of getting their beers.

BBNo. offers a variety of styles, with new beers coming out all the time. Each beer has a specific number; the first number represents the style (IPAs start with 05, saisons are 01, stouts are 08, ect.) and the second number represents the other ingredients/hop used. So, for example, 21|05 is their pale ale with Citra hops while 21|16 is a pale ale made with coffee

Today I have 05|29 – an India Pale Ale brewed with Mosaic and Huell Melon hops. The 330 mL (12-ounce) bottle packs a solid 6.2% ABV. The mix-and-match six pack of bottles was £13 (or roughly $18) which breaks down to about $3 per bottle. Mine was bottled on March 5th, 2018, just a few weeks before I picked it up.

It poured a bright golden straw color with a touch of haze and about a finger of white head building up. The foam doesn’t stick around long and, after just a few brief moments, all that remains was a dusting across the top and a small accumulation around the edge of my glass.

On the nose, 05|29 was incredibly tropical with huge notes of mango, pineapple, and, of course, melon. There was a light biscuity malt backing and just a dash of hoppy bitterness that could also be picked up in the aroma. I couldn’t wait to dive in.

The sip started with just a mild fizz of carbonation before a swell of flavors flooded across my tongue.

Just as the smell had foretold, the taste was an incredible blend of tropical fruits and sweet malt. Melon led the way with juicy notes of honeydew and cantaloupe before other tropical fruits like pineapple, peach, and mango joined in in near perfect harmony.

Midway through, the hops imparted a bitter sting that the sweeter bready malts attempted to cut into but couldn’t quite diminish. After that hop bite, the citrus flavors made one more push with the melon and pineapple surging across my taste buds with a citrus sweetness before the flavors disappeared for good.

Lingering behind was a sticky, resinous hop profile with hints of fruit and a fair amount of dryness. After a few consecutive sips the beer had dried out my mouth enough to the point that I needed a swig of water to continue.

This brew was essentially a liquid fruit salad that’ll get you buzzed. It was so sessionable, so easy to drink that, before I had even finished writing this review, my glass was empty and I was sitting here wishing for more.

From my small time in the UK, BBNo. quickly established themselves as one of my favorite breweries over there. They create delicious, sessionable brews that you can drink all day and still want more.

This IPA with Mosaic and Huell Melon was no different. So tasty with huge, juicy tropical fruit flavors and just a dash of bitterness/dryness at the end. Get it while you can.

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Next up, is Beavertown Brewery and one of their staple brews.

Beavertown Brewery, located in northeastern London (8 miles north of BBNo.), began back in 2011 with just three beers (all of which are still made today). Since that time, Beavertown has continued to grow into one of London’s better-known breweries.

Today they have six core beers (five variations of pales/IPAs and a smoked porter), a slew of specialty beers, collaborations, and other one offs – like their Beavertown Says series (which are made by individual members of their team) and their Tempus (a barrel-aged series).

You can find their beers throughout the UK/Ireland. And, after seeing how many IPAs they had in their portfolio, I decided I needed to try a few of their brews.

So today I have for you their newest core beer – Lupuloid, which is actually the first ever straight-up IPA they made (before they had only done pale ales, sessions, ryes, and black IPAs).

Lupuloid is made with Citra, Columbus, Ekuanot, and Mosaic hops, six types of malt, and packs a solid punch with its 6.7% ABV and 55 IBU. Each can was a reasonable £1.99 (or just around $2.80).

The beer poured a hazy but bright orangey/straw color with just under three fingers of dense head topping the liquid below. The somewhat sticky, slightly off-white foam stayed for a while before finally fizzling down into a tiny accrual around the edge of my glass.

Lupuloid emitted a very juicy tropical aroma with pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and orange being the main offerings. Behind the fruit was a resinous piney hop smell that gave the impression that there’d be some bitterness in the taste. And, finally, there were notes of biscuit and toasted malt.

The taste begins with a sharp tingle of carbonation before the flavors really kicked in. And, up front, it wasn’t the fruit but rather some earthy hops that gave off some pine, nut, and grassy flavors.

After the initial run of hoppy notes, a resinous hop-oil flavor washed over my taste buds and imparted some of those citrus notes, like mango and grapefruit and just the tiniest dash of melon, in a huge burst of flavor.

Following that final push, the flavors began to fade…and fade fast.

The viscous hoppiness almost immediately dried out my tongue and left me needing a swig of water after every other sip or so. Also caught on my tongue after the beer had gone, was a lingering bitter twinge that seemed to be amplified by the dry feeling that remained.

Lupuloid was a very solid, West Coast-style IPA. The hops take the lead and hit you with multiple flavors (including those big fruity notes at the end) and a strong bitterness in the final moments.

If you’re a lover of West Coast IPAs…this is one you’ll enjoy!