Magic Rock Brewing looks like it should have its own comic strip or collection of superhero costumes. Based in Huddersfield, but inspired by US craft beers, the company wished to create "exciting characterful beer” and that is exactly what they have done, complete with brightly coloured can designs adorned with little creatures. It’s no mean feat to achieve the title of ‘2nd best new brewery in the world’ on the independent ratings site RateBeer and even better to reach those heady heights shortly after launching in 2012. Safe to say the business expanded and developed rapidly and now delivers its promise of bold flavours.
‘Cannonball’ (7.4% ABV) claims massive hops and tropical fruit notes and it delivers that and more. Aroma of fruit salad sweeties, colour a hazy yellow, this is a big hitter and has proved popular with the beer critics. I am certainly intrigued to try its ‘bigger older brother’ ‘Un-human Cannonball’ at an almighty 12%ABV. Fearless explorers can go ahead and report back on that one.
Taking the tingle to the next level is the bold, fruit-infused ‘High Wire Grapefruit Pale Ale’. It has all the characteristic zest but with a smooth quality that makes it pleasantly drinkable and refreshing. Despite not contributing to your five a day, if you like sharp flavours it would serve as a solid introductory drink for those not familiar with fruity beer.
‘Salty Kiss’ is a German Gose style offering, a beer that has added salt, but this particular flavour is all about the Gooseberry. A somewhat neglected soft fruit, it brings just the right amount of sour to the table and ingeniously Magic Rock have added Sea Buckthorn to the mix. The orange super-berry found in such abundance along our Scottish shores gives this beer an edge, its tangy aftertaste lingering just long enough.
As Bite readers I’m sure will agree, we don’t have time for bland and I’m pleased to say Magic Rock Brewing is one brand for those who like to take their tastebuds on a trip they will remember.
Drink while listening to: ‘Circus Games’ - The Skids
Pair with: A chilled Salty Kiss would be a fine choice to drink with a BBQ in the sun, some charred chicken and spice to meet its match.
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