Take 5 - new guest beers!

Take 5 - new guest beers!

It's not exactly in the same league as strapping on a pith helmet and reaching for a blank map of a continent, but trying new beers is still something of a journey; an adventure. Breweries from around the world have different thought processes, ethos's (ethii?) and outlooks – and, of course, use different ingredients. We wouldn't be as trite as to suggest you can travel the globe without leaving your drinking armchair, but new beers can certainly open your eyes to new flavours, and to new parts of the world. As such, we love getting in guest beers and giving you the chance to widen your horizons; here are five beers you can now find in our bars, on our website, and even direct from Bottledog. Bon voyage!

Anchor Saison (7.2%)

Plenty of people have started – and finished – journies in America's most colourful city; San Francisco. The end for those overlanding Westward, the beginning for others seafaring in the same direction. For those hanging around for any appreciable length of time, Frisco's most storied brewery is undoubtedly Anchor. Aside from the all-conquering Steam, its Saison is very definitely worth seeking out; Belgian of style, with three local ingredients (lemon, lemongrass and ginger), it straddles both worlds – sweet, lozengy and peppery, yet with a softly citric element backed up by that note of un-saisonic ginger. Topping out above 7%, it's sharp, refreshing and a definite 'x' marked on the beer map.

Brewfist/To Øl Space Frontier (6.5%)

Californian scrubland may have formed part one of history's most evocative frontiers, but as with all others, the American Frontier is trumped by that most final of all - Space. Following the desperate monkey-flinging one-upmanship of the early space race period, to get anywhere in the big black nowadays you really need to work together. In testament to this, Italian brewery Brewfist has collaborated with To Øl to produce Space Frontier, a 6.5% Citra and Mosaic hopped IPA. Grainy and earthy, it boosts up to a perfectly carbonated grapefruit hit, with a welcome tingle of grassy pine. Supremely easy to drink, it's an absolute cracker.

Siren 7 Seas IPA (6.0%)

Speaking of India Pale Ales, the long, convoluted mechanism of yesteryear employed to transport them on their journey to the subcontinent seems so antiquated, it's almost unbelievable now. Yet as seafaring has progressed, away from casks clippered thousands of nautical miles, so has the IPA; take Siren's out-of-the-ordinary 7 Seas – a black wheat India Pale Ale, brewed with seven different 'ultrahops'. Head Sirenista Ryan Witter-Merithew has come up with another instant classic, the dark and wheat malts providing the backbone, and a rising swell of citrus appearing in turn, complementing the roasty, chocolate foundation. Never dominant, the lemon and lime peel edges round the beer off beautifully.

Weihenstephaner/Sam Adams Infinium (10.0%)

Infinium might lack the extra 't' that would infer you could drink it for ever, but it's not far off, considering. An absolute colossus, this 10%er would straddle any harbour entrance you could think of. Created by a joining of Weihenstephaner and Samuel Adams, their combination of 'over 1000 years of brewery experience' has resulted in a hugely evocative, mouthfilling beer. Infinium brings a lot of sweet marzipan along – you could probably stick a glacé cherry on it – but also vanilla, hay and honey, yet with a welcoming dry finish. It looks and tastes every inch the celebration beer. The best feature; undoubtedly the carbonation levels, which flood every parched corner of your mouth simultaneously.

Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher (10.0%)

Nothing takes the wind out of the sails more than a disagreement, as Massachusetts' Clown Shoes Brewing know only too well. Following the release of its holy-water containing, second anniversary-celebrating imperial stout, Vampire Slayer, a Californian winery objected to Clown Shoes' chosen name, placing a not inconsiderable damper on things. Clown Shoes, however, simply steamed onwards by renaming the beer Undead Party Crasher. Huge and roasty, it's a smooth-sailing experience of coffee bean, dark chocolate and wood smoke, with a smashing lick of liquoricey booze on the finish. At 10%, it definitely walks the walk, fortifying those for the struggle against adversity; be they zombie or legal.

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Hyperion 21.06.2014 @ 10:37am
Right Im off to sample Infinium! Cheers
eliotrw 20.06.2014 @ 4:37pm
Sirens limoncello is great as well. Looking forward to undeadpartycrasher
Matt F 20.06.2014 @ 1:11pm
Sirens beers are immense. I highly recommend their 10 Finger Discount IPA. Its cedar aged and delicious.
NickP 20.06.2014 @ 12:45pm
Sounds great, may have to drop into Camden BD :) (One thing though - youll not endear yourself to many San Francisco natives by calling it Frisco; those Ive met *hate* it being called that ;) )
Brewgenie 20.06.2014 @ 12:14pm
Need to get more Italian beer in the UK! Looking forward to the launch of Florence bar as well :)
Kerry J 20.06.2014 @ 12:13pm
Loving Clown Shoes, great beers