It's fourth birthday time at Shapeshifter, which means four new beers – and a host of collaborators. Starting off with the lightest of the four, Acid Raindrops Mango Edition puts Kensington Pride mangoes into their ever-evolving core range sour. The fruit provides the juiciness, while the Philly Sour yeast strain drops the pH to create an experience comparable to sucking the last juice from a mango seed. There's a certain earthiness, all while being fresh and juicy, with a sherbet twist joined by a decent acidic bite. Super refreshing and mangotastic.
Time Flies sees them reflecting on their beginnings: it was the very first beer senior brewer Carla and co-founder James brewed together. This represents a tweak on the original, showcasing their growth over the years. The label suggests piña colada vibes, and I agree – with a few other tropical fruits in the mix as well. There is a creaminess and soft, fluffy mouthfeel which allows the tropical fruit bowl to go to work: mango, pineapple, passionfruit and pulpy papaya are integrated in a sweet offering with barely a lick of bitterness.
We have written about Shapeshifter’s banging hop-driven beers before, but there is one that's a bit different: their Nordic IPA featuring a Norweigan kveik yeast strain. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained follows a similar path: a 7.4 percent ABV oat cream IPA featuring El Dorado, Sabro and BRU-1 hops. Expect big, juicy hop characters, a soft, fluffy body and next to no bitterness. The big difference here, however, is in the pronouned creamy, milky sweetness, swirling with tropical pineapple and a touch of trademark Sabro coconut and lime.
Which brings us to Party Bag: atribute to kids parties, reminiscing about the days when you'd load up on sugar at the party before receiving yet more sugar in a bag for the car ride home. A good party needs good friends, so Shapeshifter invited 13 others to join the celebration, each of whom brought one ingredient to the pastry stout. It's dessert in a can, with the full list of treats below.
The end result is nothing short of perplexing. The thought that came to my head after drinking was: “What the fuck did I just drink?” It's seriously a struggle to explain what happened between cracking that can and its completion. Sure, there was a starting base beer that took on a sweet chocolate stout but then there was a cacophony of crazy childhood loving lollies that had been added. But what stood out? I'm not even sure. With every sip, there was something new: a slightly tart raspberry lolly character, then I swear I was eating killer pythons or a mix between banana and pineapple lollies; definitely chocolate; it definitely ticked the box marked dessert.
Hang on. I've worked it out: an explosive, nostalgic party filled with fun and good times. Happy birthday, Shapeshifter!
The Party Bag Contributors
Banks: Killer Pythons Big Shed: Fantales Bowden: Sour Rainbow Straps Bracket: Clinkers Deeds: Raspberry Twists Fox Friday: Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Little Bang: Sour Peach Hearts Loophole: Orange Crunchy Milk Chocolate Balls Moon Dog: Fizzer Mountain Culture: Scottish Tablet Range: Milk Bottles, Teeth Lollies, Strawberry Clouds Shapeshifter: Rainbow Nerds Suburban: Pineapple Lollies Uraidla: Banana Lollies
Published October 10, 2023 2023-10-10 00:00:00