Ach, forget it. I'm Back!!! Not that I was really ever away so to speak, but there was a fairly sedate start to the year as something of a post-Christmas detox and a self-imposed abstinence from Beer was in place. So, there really has been very few things for me to create an article about, unless you want to be bored by what milkshakes or coffee I prefer. Which if you follow my Instagram you may be subject to now and again. Sorry.
But January (not Dryanuary as that's just lame) is over and long behind us now. I've been back on it, so to speak, and February looks like it is going to shape up nicely. Received my 1st Beer52 box in months yesterday - which contains a bunch of beers with an Amsterdam theme. Not sure if that means we are going to be treated to beers infused with cannabis and the tears of a thousand hookers. Who knows - stay tuned in the coming weeks as I'm sure I'll get stuck into those pretty soon.
February is also one of my favourite months as it is my birthday. Now I'm too old to really get overly excited about birthdays and what not, but it helps being right at the start of Feb to just put an end to the post-Christmas doom and gloom - bills bills bills. It is a nice way to perk the year back up. Ignoring the fact that this is in fact my final year of being in my 30s - as I'm sure the dread and fear will have consumed me the closer I get to it being this time next year.
So, one of my birthday gifts this year was Beer. And let's face it, free beer is just about the best beer. But the only way to top that is if you get it given to you as a present from one of your kids. Happy days. Along with a nice engraved tankard, I got a Beardo IPA by Robinsons Brewery. Robinsons, of course, is well known for producing the Iron Maiden range of beers, as well as other popular selections like Unicorn Black, Old Tom and Dizzy Blonde. So they have a fair arsenal of good beers to their name already, making me pretty keen on trying Beardo IPA which I have seen around the place, but never got my hands on until now.
First off, one of the things I really like about Robinsons is they, from the outside, don't appear to take themselves too seriously. There is a great slice of humour about the way they brand and market a lot of their stuff and I like that. There can be an often clinical approach taken by some brewers and it comes off as too severe or sharp. They are playful with it and that's all good with me. You only have to have a look at their seasonal section on their site and you'll find beers themed around Star Wars, The A-Team, James Bond, and Nightmare on Elm Street. What's not to like there. Just ticks all the boxes for me. Look, I know they aren't exactly a craft beer brewer. They are much bigger than that and have chains of pubs and a long history. But look, they go about things very much the right way. And that has to be applauded.
Beardo appeals to me for a number of reasons. For one, I have for the last couple of years, been trying to manipulate the face fuzz I am sporting, into something more recognisable as beard-like, than just unkempt and messy. Given that this has coincided with a more intense beer infatuation I've often had the hipster quips thrown in my direction by a couple of colleagues and even the good lady too. Heavily tattooed, beard-grooming, beer reviewing... Yeah, I get their point. Probably not helped by the fact I have not 1 but 2 beard combs and some wax featuring in the pictures attached. But Beardo is pretty cool in terms of the design on the bottle. They have the Bearded (hipster?) Character logo with hops making up some of the beard - reminds me a bit of the Beer Zombies character. Their blurb on the back though is pretty entertaining: - "Cultivating the finest facial furniture is a complex task. The discerning beard wearer observes a tipple of hoppy intensity to complement their efforts. Cut through the fuzz with hits of a fruity citrus zing. An IPA for serious Beardo's".
I've seen brewers do this before though. We all have. They have an impressive design and gimmick to lure people in but the product itself is actually not living up to the hype and a bit of a disappointment. Thankfully, that is NOT the case here. Beardo Delivers.
It pours a clean, bright golden colour and has a fairly delicate but sweet citrus aroma. It's got quite a full on hoppy body - a lot more intense and rich than a lot of IPAs I've had recently and it is helped along nicely by being on the stronger side at 6%. The aftertaste is slightly sour with a lemon/grapefruit like zip to it which is very pleasant. It was easy to drink, but I have to say I didn't wolf it down but more or less savoured it while it lasted. Very impressed indeed. Had me stroking my chin hair in appreciation, and pondering where it sits in the Robinsons roster. I think it is up there as one of my favourite 2 to be fair. Between that and the now defunct, I think, Trooper Red n' Black Porter.
So there we have it... A triumphant return to the site and a positive review to boot. 2018 bring it on. Let's see how the Amsterdam box turns out - any highlights or low points will duly be reported.