This TripTick’s theme is cans, big ‘uns too! The proper beer canned market is growing, and I’m more than happy to see these tallboy cans popping up from breweries outside of America too. As it happens I picked up these three from Tallboys Beer Market in Leeds, finally living up to the name!
Mike Hess Solis Occasus - IPA 7.5%
I’m always a little sceptical when it comes to American IPA’s, having travelled so far to get here, who knows how faded the hops will be. I decided to grab this anyway as the can itself was interesting, thankfully the contents were good too! The entire top of this can comes away with the pull tab, meaning no glass is needed, so I drank it the way the brewer intended.
There’s a little orange and grapefruit in the aroma, nothing crazy, but this has travelled some distance from San Diego to Leeds. The body is light and sweet, set against oily orange & pineapple, with pine and mild spicy bitterness building as I made my way through the can. This may not be the youngest can going, but was still very enjoyable, a fine example of a west coast IPA.
To Øl Gose To Hollywood - Gose with Oranges 3.8%
To Øl are one of my favourite breweries, they never fail to impress, and this gigantic can of Gose keeps the streak going. It’s relatively easy drinking at 3.8%, and sits on the calmer end of the sour spectrum. This makes for a refreshing beer, with thin and juicy orange notes set against a mild sourness, complimented by pithy orange and a touch of salt in the after-taste.
I generally prefer a little more kick from my sours, but this is very well executed, definitely one to try if you're starting to dip your toe in the sour end of the beer pool. This is missing many of the unbalanced flavours that tend to come with this style, but then again unbalanced isn’t a bad thing, which leads me to the final beer of this review!
To Øl Sur Amarillo - Sour Mashed IPA 7.5%
This beer is very, very different from most cans out there right now, combining sour and hoppy into a gloriously big can. Sour mashing uses bacteria (good ones!) to produce sourness before the beer is boiled and fermented, meaning it can be ready to drink as quickly as any traditional IPA. The sourness these little critters produce is certainly more of an acquired taste, but To Øl have pulled off the technique perfectly, making for a very quaffable brew.
As per the style, there is an almost yoghurty sourness in the aroma and taste, giving way to bags of amarillo hoppy goodness; dank pithy grapefruit, orange, and a solid satisfying bitterness. This isn’t an overly overly sour beer either, but is certainly less balanced than the Gose. I really love this clash of sour/hoppy/bitter, and to get all this in a can this size only adds to the experience, a truly amazing beer.
Whilst it’s definitely more important how a beer tastes than it looks, these big cans and the design really add to the whole experience for me, here’s to more big cans!