With a whopping 700 beers to try this year, it’s hard to know where to start. I was able to attend the Friday trade session so here’s a round up of 10 of the best beers at Craft Beer Rising 2017.
I’ve not tried every beer at the festival (of course), but we were able to try quite a few by drinking small samples while walking round the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. You won’t be able to try everything at the festival either and while you may disagree with my choices here’s what caught my eye this year to get you started.
Before we start I’ve not included the new Unfiltered Pride from Fuller’s which is a new beer. I like the branding but there was something about the beer on keg I couldn’t get on with – a little over carbonated for my taste and a slightly off flavour.
Yeastie Boys – Big Mouth
- Session IPA
- There are a lot of strong beers at CBR17 but why not start with this clean, crisp and refreshing IPA from the New Zealand brewery. It’s the brewery’s first UK-only beer.
Wild Beer/Magic Rock – Men Who Stare at Oats
- New England IPA
- This is Wild’s first collaboration with Magic Rock and is an interesting one to try. It took me a while to get my head round, but an unusual bretted brew with oats and lupulin powder is worth a sip.
Harbour Brewing – Raspberry and Vanilla Berliner Weiss
- Weiss beer
- I love wheat beers but still getting to know sours so this is a nice bridging beer. It’s nicely balanced in terms of sweet and sour with a nice level of tartness and fruit. If you like the sound of ice cream beer then give it a shot.
Twisted Barrel Ale – It’s Aliiive
- Double IPA
- There’s a lot of hype around Cloudwater’s DIPAs but the brewery isn’t at the festival. I was really impressed by this hazy and thick West Coast style Imperial IPA, hopped with Chinook, Citra, Equinox and Mosaic hops. It went down very nicely.
Goose Island – Bourbon County Stout 2016
- Imperial Stout
- If you’re into strong dark beers then you’ve got to head downstairs to Goose Island’s bar and get your lips around some BSC. This beer is so thick, rich and velvety with intense flavours of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel.
Founders – Kentucky Breakfast Stout
- Imperial Stout
- If you like the Goose BSC then head to Founders stand and get yourself some KBS – in fact face them off against each other. Aged in bourbon barrels, this beer has stronger coffee flavours and is also lovely and smooth.
BrewDog/Cloudwater – New England IPA
- New England IPA
- If you are looking for Cloudwater beer at CBR then this can’t be missed. The collaboration with BrewDog was one of my favourite beers at the show. It’s gorgeously fruity, strong and has a silky feel thanks to the addition of oats.
Harvey’s – Black Stout
- If the above stouts are a bit strong for you then check out Harvey’s new beer (and the awesome new branding). This is a more traditional English stout with a balanced flavour and those familiar Fuggle and Golding hops.
Fourpure – Spice Rack
- Spiced West Coast IPA
- Back to the IPAs and this festival special is one I could drink all day. I don’t have all the details but to me tastes like a spiced version of Shape Shifter with hints of things like ginger and coriander.
Adnams – Earl grey lager
- Another festival special is the Southwold brewery’s lager flavoured with Earl Grey Tea. I’m not a big lager drinker but this cask beer is something quite different. A big hit of Bergamot makes it quite intense but it’s still smooth drinking. Grab a botttle of Both Barrels while you’re there and if you like this Earl Grey style check out Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta and Fourpure Tea Time.
Have a great time at Craft Beer Rising and let me know what your top beers were in the comments below and on Twitter. Also check out some other suggestions for the festival via our friends at Beeson on Beer.
As it was so hard to whittle this down to just 10, also go check out Brew by Numbers, Fierce Beer, Harviestoun and the Camden Town Brewery ‘Your Beer Here‘ competition winning Rhubarb IPA.
Read next: Craft Beer events calendar UK 2017.