Heed the Siren’s call
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 09:36

Malthouse is hosting an impromptu mini tap takeover this weekend (8 and 9 September 2017). The Featured Brewery is the highly decorated Siren Craft Beer from Berkshire. Actually, it is hard to know exactly how “impromptu” this tap takeover really is given the beers had to come all the way from the United Kingdom and there is already a Facebook event page. Still, the beers are well worth checking out on their own merits.

Siren was founded in 2012 by Darron Anley. As a home brewer, Darron had developed the recipes for Under Current, Soundwave, Liquid Mistress and Broken Dream. These beers were to become the base of the Core Range – always in production. Beyond that, Siren’s imagination has soared far and wide, including a love of barrel aging and a possible world first insect beer. [1]

To provide some context, Siren Craft Brew has 301 beers listed on RateBeer alone. In fairness, RateBeer does rate them highly, very highly indeed. In 2015 Siren was named Best Brewery in England by Ratebeer.com. In 2014 Siren was named Best New Brewery in England and 2nd Best Brewery in the World by Ratebeer.com. In 2013 Siren was named 2nd Best New Brewery in the World by RateBeer.com. That is an incredible record up against the very best in the world. Not bad for a small team from Finchampstead. [2]

Here are the beers which will be available on tap:

Siren Broken Dream (6%) – This is a self-described “breakfast stout” and one of their flagship beers. It scores an incredible 98% on RateBeer. A complex beer, there are integrated notes of smoke, coffee, caramel and chocolate. Oats are used to produce a thick, velvety beer which is relatively sweet but always clean.


Siren Soundwave (5.6%) – Brewed in the beloved West Coast IPA style, Soundwave is tremendously hoppy. RateBeer considers it simply tremendous with a stellar 97% result. The beer bursts with tropical fruit, grapefruit and mangos. There are also hints of pine and grass in the clear golden liquid, before a long and bitter finish. Predictably, it is the first on my list.


Siren Viennese Whirlpool (5%) – This is an assertive but approachable West Coast Vienna Pale Ale hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and EX431 [3]. The dominant flavours are tangerine, orange zest and a smidgen of grapefruit, all laid over a solid caramel body. The finish is firm but not overpoweringly bitter.


Siren White Tips (4.7%) – Brewed as part of Siren Craft Brew’s seasonal IPA series, this is a combination of a Wit Beer and an IPA – a Wheat Belgian IPA, if you will. White Tips showcases both styles in a single glass. The wheat beer brings in orange peel, spiciness, and that ever so distinct wheat beer yeast whiff. The IPA plays its part with a big dose of grassy hops which come in late but are most welcome.


Siren Yu Lu Loose Leaf Pale Ale (3.6%) – The latest edition to the core range is Yu Lu, a session pale ale brewed with tea and lemon zest. I have my suspicions that this was ordered by Malthouse simply to enrage me. If so, it has succeeded. Yes, there is another tea beer on tap. I hope this will not become “A Thing.”

Yu Lu is brewed with Earl Grey Tea and fresh lemon zest. There is also a surprising amount of hops which produce a medium, refreshing bitterness. As the ingredients suggest, the big flavours are lemon zest and dry Earl Grey tea, but there is also a pleasant orange undernote as well. Unsurprisingly, this beer would likely be last on my list but I expect it to be extremely popular.

The beer list I was given to work with had Siren Liquid Swords but I have been unable to find any information on the beer. I did however find out quite a lot about the album “Liquid Swords.” It was the second solo studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, released on November 7 1995, by Geffen Records. Amazingly, there is a connection of sorts to Siren with one reviewer writing the album was:

“a siren call to all MC’s and listeners alike; while the lyrical finesse on display may seem tangible to you, it’s not, it will slip through your fingers like water, cutting you with each razor sharp line, so much so you won’t even know when, how or where the lyrical swords swung and hit.”

Of course, the beer was actually Siren Liquid Mistress (5.6%), a red West Coast IPA and one of the foundation brews. There is a robust biscuit malt base supporting notes of cocoa, orange, chocolate, vanilla, grapefruit and pine needles. I particularly also liked the sound of the Siren Liquid Monstrous, an 8.2% Imperial IPA. Sadly, it was a very limited release in 2015 and therefore virtually guaranteed not to have smuggled itself to Malthouse. [4]

So, head into Malthouse, swing some cash over the bar and hit up the highly regarded Siren range. Stocks are strictly limited and once a beer is gone it is truly gone. It is a long way to Finchampstead...


Next time, we drink to the Wall Street Journal. This once venerated news outlet has managed to compare Labour’s Jacinda Ardern to President Donald Trump. It is hard to tell which one would be more horrified by this odd comparison. [5]


[1] Thankfully the so-called “insect beer” is not available at Malthouse... or indeed anywhere at the moment.

[2] Despite only having three pubs, the Sunday Times rated Finchampstead “one of the most desirable places to live in Britain.”

[3] A new hop so experimental it either has not got a proper name yet, or the person doing the new hop names has basically given up.

[4] If the monstrous beer even still exists – which I highly doubt.

[5] Apparently it is all about immigration policy rather than gender politics and progressive policies.


Cheers


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

DrinksBiz Magazine


Links


Siren Craft Brew - www.sirencraftbrew.com/

Siren Tap Takeover Facebook - www.facebook.com/events/118100835587035/

Malthouse Facebook - www.facebook.com/pages/Malthouse/7084276173

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting

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