We like beer, funnily enough, and we were delighted to be invited to the ‘Craft Beer Rising’ festival last month at The Truman Brewery in London for a spot of “researching”‘. Largely inhabited by microbreweries up and down the country, we were lucky enough to try some of the best craft beers the UK has to offer.

Following a slight hitch with the Greater Anglia rail services (ahem)… we were soon charging our way round the various stalls with our glasses in tow.

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The enthusiasm of some of the breweries being represented was utterly infectious and it was great to see some familiar faces with the likes of Camden Hells, Redwell and Brewdog all gathering deserved attention.

On the train home, we contemplated a couple of our favourite new finds:

FIREBRAND BREWING CO:
This Cornwall brewery is still relatively small and slightly mysterious – by that we mean, their website is under construction which, sadly in this day and age, translates as ‘mysterious’. But their beer is truly exceptional. Specifically, the ‘Double Rye PA’ is a singular and unforgettable flavour. Sweet, rich, malty and dark red, it goes down an absolute treat. It was served through a ‘Randalizer’ which is, simply put, a vessel which contains a dense quantity of hops. On the way through the Randalizer, the beer picks up extracted oils from the hops giving and creates an extra boost of flavour when it finally arrive in the glass.

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ILKLEY BREWERY:
An award winning brewery from Yorkshire, they know how to impress. Their Siberia Rhubard Saison – yes, it is as good as it sounds – is co created by noted critic, author and all around expert of everything beer, Melissa Cole. It’s a toasted malty flavour with fruity, yeasty and floral notes. Everything about it is utterly charming and coming in at a good 5.9% abv, it’s a warming tipple too. One of the most refreshing drops we’ve tasted in a while and well worth tracking down if we don’t get it in before!

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