Monday, 23 February 2015

February Beer52 Review And Music Pairing

This month as we delve into February's Beer52 box of goodies we'rel taken on a beer fueled journey across England, Belgium, Spain and Wales. Some delicious golden and blonde ales are nestled nicely  alongside IPA's, Chocolate ales and more. In return for Beer52's generosity we'll take you along on our trip and give you a quick rundown of the beer, it's brewery location, the taste, strength and so on.

We also do a spot of music matching for a bit of fun so each bottle of beer is drank with a song in mind and playing in the background. A tedious link or word play association takes us down a musical path that inevitably reaches a glorious end an a fitting song dug out from somewhere in our musical memory banks...

If you'd like to see what we had to say about January's box of beery delights and the music we hand picked to each drink click here. We've also got a little more in depth feature on Beer52 here for you to take a look at, how to join, the fantastic service provided and so on.

So until next month, here's our rundown of February's Beer52 beers and their matched musical pairings...

Beer: 'Old Tom' Chocolate
Brewery: Robinsons (Stockport, England)
Style: Old English Ale
ABV: 6.0%
Song Pairing: Space feat Cerys Matthews 'The Ballad Of Tome Jones'

The Beer...
Robinson's legendary English ale with a twist. Lovingly packaged into a traditional looking old style bottle.  There isn't a huge chocolate hit if you like your Winter ale with lashings of taste. Quite smooth really with hints rather than overpowering notes of chocolate. Reddy brown in colour and off white head. Not bowled over by this one but slips down nicely nonetheless. 

The Song...
The Old Tom isn't the silver fox Tom Jones, but we're going with him for the sake of this matching and the hit featuring his name by Liverpudlian nineties chaps Space, and featuring Catatonia's Cerys Matthews - 'The Ballad Of Tom Jones'


Beer: Gentse Strop
Brewery: Roman Brewery (Belgium)
Style: Belgian Ale
ABV: 6.9%
Song Pairing: Bush 'Swallowed'

The Beer...
A classic Belgian style ale here. Thick, explosive foamy head which lingers throughout the drink. Pours a hazy golden colour and invites the drinker in without hesitation. Not overly hoppy, smooth and dry with hints of fruit, maybe some slight spice. Very nice.

The Song...
Strop backwards spells the word 'Ports'. In the North of England among many others you'll find the shipping port of Hull. In the eighties, the band The Housemartins famously came from here and made their debut album with London 0, Hull 4. Housemartins are part of the Swallow family in the bird world which leads us to 'Swallowed' by the fabulous Bush.


Beer: Rubia
Brewery: La Loca Juana (Spain)
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 4.5%
Song Pairing: Black Keys 'Things Ain't Like They Used To Be'

The Beer...
Slightly disappointed with this one out of the month's eight beers. It looks like a perfect pour, light, golden and a frothy white head. The taste though is quite yeasty, lacking in hop flavours and generally nothing of worthy note to want to try again.

The Song...
La Loca Juana translates to 'Joanna The Mad'. The old Joanna is a bit of rhyming slang for a piano. On a piano there are keys, black and white. Which leads us to The Black Keys 'Things Ain't What They Used To Be'.


Beer: Hophead
Brewery: Dark Star (West Sussex, England)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 3.8%
Song Pairing: Manic Street Preachers 'Faster'

The Beer...
This light straw coloured beer pours crystal clear and looks every bit the perfect picture. Everything is gentle and subtle from the hop aromas to the bitterness. It delivers a finely balanced taste to die for and is quite the creation. 

The Song...
The name Dark Star resembles a close match to Indie dance mob of the nineties 'Dubstar' who are back together and releasing a new album soon. One of Dubstar's hits was called 'Not So Manic Now'. Manic or Manics is a shortened name given to the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers. Taken from 'Holy Bible' possibly their best album in my opinion is 'Faster'.


Beer: Krut Gold
Brewery: Krut (Spain)
Style: Golden/Blond Ale
ABV: 6.0%
Song Pairing: Lead Belly 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?'

The Beer...
Pours a hazy deep golden colour with lovely big white foamy head. Quite thick with a sweet hit of hops. Fruity and spicy and dry. Packs quite a punch this one.

The Song...
Rearrange the word 'Krut' to get Kurt. As in Cobain, of Nirvana fame. Kurt Cobain's many influences ranged from Pixies to The Meat Puppets to Lead Belly. Which brings us to their cover and the blues man's cover of a traditional American folk song 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?'. Listen to both! (Nirvana) (Lead Belly)


Beer: Ilkley Pale
Brewery: Ilkley (Yorkshire, England)
Style: Golden/Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.2%
Song Pairing: Stevie Wonder ' Higher Ground'

The Beer...
Not being biased as we're a stones throw from Ilkley, but this is a delicious crisp, clear, golden ale that is highly sessionable. Citrusy and flowery hops are just the right amount if more hoppy beers arent your thing and this bottle is widely available in supermarkets. An easy, very enjoyable beer this.
The Song...
'On Ilkla Moor Baht 'At' is a traditional English folk song meaning Upon Ilkley Moor without your hat. Men Without Hats were a successful Canadian band with hits in the eighties such as 'Safety Dance'. Another Canadian band of the time were The Barenaked Ladies. Album covers featuring bare/naked ladies are plentiful. Including Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Mothers Milk' on which you'll find the classic covered song by Stevie Wonder 'Higher Ground'. Apt for this Ilkley brew!


Beer: Brigid Fire
Brewery: Celt Experience (Caerphilly, Wales)
Style: Smoked Rye IPA
ABV: 6.2%
Song Pairing: Super Furry Animals 'Golden Retriever' 

The Beer...
The Celt Experience have very distinguishable and stylish bottles and labelling which look highly appealing. Brigid Fire pours a hazy orange with very little head. The alcohol strength is apparent and the hoppy, bitter fruits come through well. Not entirely sure on the smokey part. This is the second time I've had this, the first left me a bit cold but second time around I find it rather appealing.

The Song...
Quite simply had to feature The Super Furries and couldn't have been matched to anyone other than The Celt Experience Brewery as they had a hand in making a beer with the brewers. A collaboration that produced the beer named 'Fuzzy' So we'll give you Super Furry Animals and 'Golden Retriever'.


Beer: La Indiana
Brewery: Art Cervesers (Spain)
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.2%
Song Pairing: Arctic Monkeys ' Feels Like We Only Go Backwards'

The Beer...
Quite a dark, hazy brown colour coming out the bottle with a lovely white head and lace. Big hop notes with some hint of chocolate. Very mourish indeed and slips down beautifully for a full bodied IPA. Another!

The Song...
Rearrange Art Cervesers to get 'Cart Reverses'. If in reverse you could be said to be going backwards which leads us nicely to Tame Impala's 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards'.

And so to our chosen top three of the month this the #beer52olympics