As a huge beer fan and contributor, a lot of my spare time evolves around social media. Countless times a day I can be found uploading to Instagram, checking Facebook, looking at Untappd, browsing online beer retailers and filling up baskets that most the time never get checked out, and apart from actually drinking the stuff, the internet is the best way to gain knowledge on all things hoppy. On one of the many fore-mentioned platforms it was Facebook that I found the brewery for this instalment of Brewed & Reviewed. During one of my check ins on one of the UK’s craft beer communities I kept seeing one name crop up time and time again. Lost Industry.
A new Sheffield based brewery who only started production last year but making an increasing impression for bold yet tasty beer. To be fair, there are plenty of members on the forum that are Sheffield/Nottingham based, also the guys behind the brewery are avid contributors to the forum. Either way they cropped up enough times to get my attention. Untappd was then my tool of choice to give me the low down on their range of beers, and although not many check-ins had found their way onto the app, there were enough opinions to prove that we have something really good on our hands. I’m all for giving up and comers some exposure, and with the mini-hype surrounding this brewery I implored the editor of Plus One Magazine to reach out and attempt to get me this article. Gladly, they accepted, and soon after six unique and individual beers graced my palms.
|Photo credit: Alfiebsmith|
So, just who are Lost Industry...? A self-proclaimed family of beer geeks with a passion for brewing the beers they want to drink. With years of home brewing experience, they decided to jump aboard the craft beer train and see where the journey would take them. Their current set-up sees a small 5BBL brewery making a plethora of unique styles and flavours and showing healthy disregard for the rules, brewing things that other breweries just aren’t thinking about. They once brewed a hopped up Japanese rice beer, releasing just 22 bottles – a snapshot of just how small they really are. They're also look ing forward by increasing their capacity to a modest 20BBL in the future with plans to expand distribution from their Sheffield and Nottingham safe havens with West Yorkshire and Manchester in mind. Like myself, they have a real love for hard-hitting and bold American beers but also take influence from the quality of some of the bigger British craft breweries along with the innovative likes of To Øl and Mikkeller. When I asked them what beer they would brew and with which dream brewery, they replied with Russian River and some form of a barrel aged wild ale.
Six very different beers are about to take the taste test, I just want to point out that when it comes to the usual 5-star rating system I am notoriously stingy, the highest I have ever rated a beer is 4.5 – I mean let’s face it, how often is perfection really met, so 5 star is surely just a far-fetched dream.
Columbus – American IPA – 6.8%
Normally I would drink these guys in ABV order but I thought it best to drink these by best before date. Obviously the fresher the better when it comes to beers, especially hoppier ones so we start with one of my favourite styles in the IPA. The colour on the pour is gloriously murky, I don’t know what it is about murkiness but it’s a real plus point for me nowadays. The head is nice and thick and long lasting. On the nose it’s like chopping up a whole punnet of strawberries, and also slightly musty. Onto the flavour and the strawberries continue but this time ladled with fresh cream. A backdrop of orangey citrus, mango and candied fruits further add to the juicy fruit experience. It has a nice crisp mouth feel with a little bitterness running through and a bit of a dry finish. The more the beer is consumed the more other flavours start to develop with black pepper and a little spicy note coming through and a hobnob biscuit malt aftertaste. A flying start – 4/5.
Sorachi Chilli - IPA – 6%
I’m pleased to inform you we have another murky offering here. A bit of a head on this one but it goes pretty much as soon as the glass has been filled. It’s an interesting one this, I’ve never really enjoyed a chilli beer, mainly because my tolerance to spice is pretty low for a full grown man so I usually find them difficult to finish. This however is a little less heavy-handed with the chilli and suites me down to the ground, those who have a higher threshold however can try Lost Industry’s Sorachi Extra Chilli IPA. I may not be a big chilli fan but I most certainly am a Sorachi Ace fan and what’s interesting about the way it’s been used here is that it’s developed a beautiful blue raspberry bubble-gum flavour, one I’ve not encountered from Sorachi hops before but really adds another depth of flavour. You get a big whiff of Sorachi on the nose too, as well the usual pine of an IPA, I could sniff this beer all day (OK I’m starting to sound a bit weird now). The chilli slightly chars the throat but then the cold liquid of the beer itself offers a thirst quenching yet tasty flavour that in turn acts to help put out any throat burn. Another winner 3.75/5
Pineapple Yoghurt Sour – 4%
I’d like to know whose face has been morphed into a pineapple on the label! It’s a creamy Greek style yoghurt aroma to start. On the pour it exits the bottle an almost translucent lemonade-like colour but magically ends up in the glass murky. I think I’ve found Lost Industry’s calling card! After the pour there’s another quick-fire retreat from the head. The taste – it’s different I’ll give them that. This is my first ever yoghurt sour so it took a little time to get used to. One of the biggest tastes is the malt base which offers big hits of praline and hazelnuts – something I wasn’t expecting. The pineapple is restricted and almost tastes like the little brown bits that are cut away have been left on, leaving an almost tree bark style taste. I’d say this leans more towards tart on the sour/tart spectrum and at a good level, no face gurning going on here. 3.5/5
Mojito Sour Test Batch – 6.1%
This is brewed in conjunction with their Sheffield neighbours Steel City Brewing and I think what we have here is something rather special. When in contact with Lost Industry about the beers that were going to be sent to us here at Plus One Magazine this was the first on my list. I’ve seen this a few times on social media and it’s always been spoken about in the highest regard. The label itself is really appealing with bright, bold, eye-catching colours – it just screams out ‘pick me!’ on any beer shops shelf. Onto the drinking experience now and there’s a shock in store on the pour, no murkiness! It pours pretty clear but yellows out in the glass. The smell is what I’d expect a Mojito to smell like having never ordered one in a bar before but it’s all mint and salt. The sour flavour leaves the jaw twitching at the sides and the salt dries out the mouth but then fills with saliva to give you a proper full on experience for a first sip. It’s salty, it’s minty, it’s got Caribbean rum and It’s weird! But, it’s really, really good! Like no other beer I’ve ever had. Who needs to go splashing the cash and waiting ages for a cocktail to be made when they can crack this open at a fraction of the price. I’ve gone and ordered another one of these for an international beer trade, I know they’ll love it, maybe it can be the start of Lost Industry going global! I also hear that test batch number two is on its way and I will certainly be hunting it down. Great work. 4.5/5
Lost Lizzie – Lime Infused IPA – 6.1%
This is another beer brewed in partnership with another brewery, this time it’s The Devonshire Cat. This beer smells like a bottle of Corona with a wedge of lime, reminds me of the days before I found craft beer where this was the pinnacle of beer. How foolish I was! The calling card returns for Lost Lizzie with another murky body of liquid. The beer itself is a real thirst quencher that’s for sure. One for a hot day in the sun, not sat inside because it’s peeing it down with rain as it was when I drank it. The lime makes the beer very sharp, it goes up the nose a little and creates an illusion of bitterness that I don’t think is actually there from any form of hop, just pure lime. The hops used here are very grassy in taste – like a freshly cut lawn. Lost Lizzie is a very well balanced and easy going beer. The lime does make it a bit of a lip smacker, especially the more you drink. You’d probably only want the one bottle at a time otherwise it would be bit too much. The hops start to wake up as the beer warms which after half the bottle finally provides actual hop bitterness in a wave that reaches the throat and lingers a while. 3.75/5
Biscosity – Biscotti Coffee Baltic Porter – 6.5%
We round up this six pack of lovelies with a Porter, and it’s been a while since I drank a porter. The body looks a little thin on the pour which also produces nothing in terms of any head. The smell is largely all coffee and for a while that’s the only taste you get, but there is a smoky smell in the background too. The biscotti stays hidden at first but it does reveal itself to add a sweet and almond taste to the mix. The coffee beans offer a bitter edge and the beer itself is finely carbonated to give a really fizzy mouth feel. Chocolate truffles, the sort you seem to find around Christmas time gives it some richness and a bit of a zing. Biscosity is like going to a coffee shop and ordering an Americano with two sugars and adding your choice of syrup shot. 3.5/5
I’ve enjoyed each and every beer on offer, all have their own qualities and the Mojito Sour was a clear revelation. The guys at Lost Industry just love beer, and you can see it in the beer itself, the colours, the aromas and they’ve nailed it with the flavours. Sure, in places you could say it was a little rough around the edges, but in my opinion they’ve got something. Something they can certainly build on and something I can see growing at a faster rate than even they seem to expect themselves. What they need to do now is get themselves out there. They need to attract festival invites, source more distributors. I like their branding, but I think they will need up the ante with future releases. One thing I did notice was that each label seemed to be of different texture and material depending on the beer. They picked up dirt seemingly from nowhere and in the case of Lost Lizzie it even stuck to my hand. These things are easily solved and realistically achievable and I thoroughly hope to see even more from them in the future. Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll get to sip on that barrel aged wild ale/Russian River collab, here’s hoping anyway!
|Photo credit: Alfiebsmith|
Words: David Dickinson (Beer_Baron_Lincoln)
Photography: Alfie Brownson-Smith
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|Many thanks to Jimmy at Lost Industry for providing Plus One Magazine with their beers for us to review.|