If you wanted a microcosm of the craft beer industry right now in just two beers and one brewery, you could do worse than tuck into this pairing from Hargreaves Hill. In the red corner is Knock Off Lager, the first release in what they're calling their Crushable Series. It opens with fair whiff of sulphur and a colour so pale, thanks in part to the use of rice and corn in the grain bill, it serves as notice this is as stripped back a beer as you’ll find from the Lilydale brewers. What's been left in is lightly sweet cereal and the faintest hint of lime from a tiny late addition of Citra. Essentially, there's nothing to get in the way of what it is: a summery crusher, should summer ever come.
In the blue corner is Pursuit Of Hoppiness No.10.2, a coda to a series of high octane, hoppy releases that we thought was done and dusted for the time being with No.10. It's No.10 – loaded with 30 grams per litre of Citro and Amarillo Cryo hops – but this time with the addition of passionfruit, orange and guava, added to the point there's a density to the fruit aromas you can almost visualise them like beer synaesthesia. It’s a trope to say a big beer like this hides its booze – and this doesn’t completely as you can taste the alcohol a little – but there is a serious smothering of sweet, juicy blood orange-esque juice and a stickier, ripe tropical slurry. Despite the full nature of the liquid it manages to finish with a surprising and welcome clip rather than lingering in the manner that makes drinking some big beers in big cans of its ilk a little like a marathon.
Published November 12, 2021 2021-11-12 00:00:00