In August, Project Silver expands to cover an entire nation with the Project Silver UK Showcase starting on Saturday 25 August 2018. There are half a dozen breweries featured from Scotland and Wales but (as usually happens in everything from elections to football) mainly England. That controversial bit of Ireland misses out again this time.

I have spent six years living in the United Kingdom though I did not drink a lot of beer there. It sounds out of character so let me explain. The first five years and eleven months there were my first five years and eleven months of existence. The closest I got to beer as a child was falling over in a pub beer garden and cutting my leg on a broken beer bottle. So classy.

On my next visit I was a pimply 17 year old competing at the world secondary school debating championship. This was sadly about one month before I discovered the joy of beer on the balcony of the original Malthouse. Consequently, to my lasting shame, I drank a lot of Coca-Cola on that trip. To my never-ending pride, we won the debating tournament by beating Australia 7-0 in the final, and it should be noted that we had to argue in favour of the United Nations but still won irregardless. [1]

Last time I was in the United Kingdom it was for less than 24 hours but I did manage to visit several breweries and bars even though I got in at 2am after a sleepless 13 hour flight. It was a stopover on a press visit to Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic. The hotel did not serve alcohol and every single pre-booked taxi ride went wrong. However, there were some very fine beers and a quite marvellous Scotch Egg. [2]

The Project Silver UK Showcase features the Malthouse’s old friend BrewDog Brewery who I have affectionately referred to as “Scottish Lunatics”. They are irreverent even outlandish – and proudly so. There will be a number of new beers on tap.

BrewDog Clockwork Tangerine – Boasting one of the greatest beer names of all time, this is a session IPA (4.5%) which contains lashings of real tangerines. [3]

BrewDog Hazy Jane – This is an East Coast IPA bursting with notes of mango, plums and lime.

BrewDog Indie Pale Ale – Another surprisingly responsible ale from BrewDog at just 4.2%. A pared back and simple brew with a delicious balance of pear, citrus and caramel.

BrewDog Native Son – This is an 8.5% Double IPA which embraces the true BrewDog spirit of flavour and unbridled power. Fruity, viscous and bitter as one would hope. After all, BrewDog have made at least three of the world’s strongest beers.

BrewDog Elvis Juice – An American style IPA made with Munich malt, Centennial, Amarillo and Simcoe hops (including in the whirlpool), orange zest and grapefruit zest. The result is bready, pithy, zesty, upfront, peachy and, above all, bitter. I adore this beer.

BrewDog are working with Malthouse’s old friends Yeastie Boys in Europe, and will be opening a new brewery in Australia. Expect to see more from these chaps.

From the historic and picturesque Wern Industrial Estate in Rogerstone, Wales comes Tiny Rebel Brewery. I for one admire their approach to beer because it is not subtle. There are two beers on tap:

Tiny Rebel Imperial Puft – A stronger version of the Ghostbusters inspired Stay Puft porter made with marshmallows. Sweet and sticky, stonefruit and chocolate notes abound.

Tiny Rebel Orange Mocha – Made in collaboration with Fierce Brewery, this beer was inspired by Derek Zoolander’s coffee of choice. There are pronounced notes of coffee, orange, chocolate and Blue Steel.

Thornbridge is an acclaimed English brewery. Kelly #brewjesus Ryan from our sister bar Fork & Brewer used to brew there. While rightly famous for their excellent Jaipur IPA, there are some rare Thornbridge brews on tap at Malty.

Thornbridge Bear State – A West Coast IPA with notes of grapefruit and grass before a bitter finish. The name is a nod to the state symbol of California – the mighty bear.

Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland – A chocolate porter made with proper chocolate to celebrate Cocoa Wonderland’s 10th Anniversary. The aim was to produce a beer resembling a chocolate liqueur to tempt even the staunchest non-beer drinkers.

Thornbridge Tart – Made with passionfruit and blueberries, this tart and tasty beer is sour, fruity and refreshing. There is absolutely no evidence it was named after Kelly Ryan…

Siren Brewery is a brewery based in – I kid you not – Finchampstead, England. It is a rock star on RateBeer having picked up awards for best new brewery in England (2014) and best brewery in England (2015). That is impressive at a time when Thornbridge exists. Their beers are decidedly creative and Malthouse has five. Here are the details:

Siren Calypso – A Berliner Weisse but not just any Berliner Weisse. By my count Siren does around 40 versions of this brew including multiple combinations of hops, and often additional fruit ingredients such as cucumber, pineapple and/or blackberries. Check with your charming bar staff for the exact recipe of these particular kegs.

Siren Home from Home – Siren do a lot of collaborative brews. Seriously, they have almost 400 beers listed on RateBeer. This one was a trans-Atlantic pale ale with Reuben’s Brewery from Seattle. Given it was Seattle they just had to throw in some Ethiopian organic coffee alongside the American and British malts and hops. This may be a perfect brew for Wellington given our love of coffee…

Siren Pompelmecello – While I cannot begin to explain the name the beer is a Grapefruit IPA. It includes grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest and hops with grapefruit characters. Normally, I hate fruit beers but a well made grapefruit IPA is my one weakness in this category, My Achilles Heel if you will…

Siren Undercurrent – One of the foundation range, this unpasteurised American Pale Ale is full bodied and fruity. There are notes of peaches, caramel and grapefruit in the glass.

Siren Yu Lu – This a loose leaf IPA which is code for tea beer, There are notes of tropical fruit, Earl Grey tea, herbs and grapefruit in this popular beer, My thoughts on tea beers are a matter of public record. [4]

Magic Rock Salty Kiss – From just outside Sheffield, this is a not so traditional German style Gose sour beer, flavoured with fruit, sea buckthorn (a fruit bearing shrub that ironically does not like coastal areas) and sea salt. The resulting beer is tart, lightly sour, fruity and refreshing with a defined saltiness.

Weird Beard is a smallish West London brewery set up by home brewers with “epic beards” to make “experimental, no holds barred beers” which are usually “in your face hop focused beers”. They promise “no crap, no gimmicks and never knowingly under-hopped.”  There are seven on offer at Malty for the Showcase:

Weird Beard Out of Office – This is an extra pale coffee infused ale. The coffee is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans and the hops are a blend of Mosaic, Chinook and Amarillo.

Weird Beard Safe Stout – A big stout packed full of chokeberries. They are a real thing – a tart astringent fruit which adds new layers to this silky dark ale.

Weird Beard Sour Slave – A dry hopped session sour. The variety of hops used changes regularly.

Weird Beard 5 O’Clock – Apparently this is the “Desperate Dan” of the IPA world. That vintage British comic book reference will be lost on most readers over here but drinkers will find it hard to ignore a 7.3% IPA made with lashings of Summit, Apollo, Citra and Columbus hops.

Weird Beard Black Pearle – This is a pirate themed coffee infused milk stout. In a hilarious typo the brewers urged customers to “plait your bear” when I am pretty sure they meant “plait your beard”. Given the brewery is Weird Beard, my Irony-o-Meter is overloaded. However, it would be interesting to see what would happen if you attempted to plait a bear without its express written consent…

Weird Beard Dark Hopfler – Their low alcohol stout with notes of coffee and milk chocolate. The brewers are honest and admit it is the second runnings of their imperial stout.

Weird Beard Mariana Trench – A big APA made, appropriately enough, with New Zealand Pacific Gem hops (alongside US Citra). There are notes of passionfruit, grapefruit and mango before a long bitter finish.

Next time we drink to Ciaran, for he is awesome.

[1] I’d never known so much about the benefits of the UN Law of the Sea until preparing for this debate. Fortunately our opponents were far less well informed on said Law of Sea.

[2] Others at my pub table had scotch fillet or halibut mains, but all were envious of the perfect Scotch Egg – mince, crumbs and egg working in harmony next to a fresh pint.

[3] I can confirm from personal experience that Clockwork Orange – the inspiration for this beer name – is probably the worst first date film of all time.

[4] Opposed.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


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