The new My Brewery Tap 52 US Beer club  arrived on my doorstep last week and I started digging into that. One of the early highlights has been New English’s Dragoon American Red Ale . I usually have a rather low expectations for amber ales as I see them often as American’s answer to a Best Bitter, less taxing than a big hopped-up pale ale and with much more sweetness. Well this one went in another direction; punching at 6.9% this is nor ordinary Amber Ale and many did it deliver a big hop onslaught.
While in San Diego there seemed a bit of excitement surrounding Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout  and why not…what’s not to love? It’s bulging at the seams with sweet peanut butter and vanilla flavours. Not many flavoured stouts actually taste that strongly of its intended additional ingredient but this does, its really does. It never becomes too sickly sweet and is an extremely well balanced beer.
Not a third American beer I hear you cry…yes sorry it is and it’s a real winner. Stone’s 18th Anniversary IPA  is billed as a “golden?brown” India pale ale. I’m a big fan of Stone’s output in general but this worked really well and pulled off a tasty new angle on such a well-worn beer style. Amber with a reddish-brown hue in its appearance lets you know this is no ordinary IPA but who would have thought that the addition of a bit of brown malt would make such a difference. As you’d expect this is a really juicy hop-fest of an IPA but it’s the malt bill that shines through and contributes wonderful flavours of coffee and caramel. Such a great beer and just different enough to make you notice.
Last week saw the latest collaboration brew created by BrewDog, this time its with “the oldest brewery in the world” Weihenstephan. The beer in question is India Pale Weizen , a blend of IPA and hefeweizen n styles the each brewery are well known for. Personally I think they nailed it by producing a beer that contained the sweet wheat notes and banana of a hefeweizen along with a masterful hop blast.