All over the country, there are breweries that seem to attract all the column inches, both of traditional press and the bloggerati. Facebook groups fizz and pop over this or that release and drool over the latest Salted herring IPA. And that’s fine. Anything that brings more people to flavoursome beer has got to be welcome. Hasn’t it?
But for every brewery basking in the sun, parasols in hand, there are countless breweries putting out simply banging beers in the shadows cast. Beers that are full of flavour and with no compromise on ingredients. Beers that sing the sweetest of songs to the tastebuds.
One such brewery is Squawk Brewing.
B being the fella who went out of his way to pick up a beer for me for #ISBF2014, Oli Turton is quite simply one of the nicest people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in this business full of decent sorts. The fact that he happens to have brewed some of my favourite Pale Ales of the last 18 months is just a bonus. As was his agreeing to brew a beer with me for East West Fest.
My favourite brewery of 2016 brewing a special beer for my favourite beer festival of 2016. That is Beer symmetry. Right there.
The pale ales produced by Oli are the “bread & butter” beers. Even without his ideal hop contracts last year, these beers reached such a level of excellence and consistency that they are the first beers I reach for on a bar. His recent Falconers Flight Pale Ale was a thing of hoppy beauty recently.
That “bread & butter” aspect was highlighted by 2 of the 3 FVs being occupied by a Pale and an IPA. Leaving one free for our beer.
A Big Sorachi Stout.
From the moment I tasted The Queen Is Not Dead – a beer I brewed with Revolutions (with its unfortunate pumpclip – polluted by my face), I have firmly believed that Sorachi goes SO well in a big Stout, imparting smooth Coconut flavours. The Jekyll to the Hyde frequently tasted in paler beers.
So that’s what we did. Big. Roasty. And full of Sorachi.
I won’t bore you with the technicalities of a brewday. If you have read about one….. Suffice to say, breaking up a huge amount of Sorachi by hand was an aromatic joy, one of the perks of the job.
I’ll leave it to you to find the beer for yourselves, it should be in Manchester within the month. But find it do. It promises to be an absolute dark beauty of a beer, somewhere between 6 & 7%.
And – unlike 2016 – given that Oli now has something resembling his preferred hop contract, watch out for more of the output from this particular Ardwick railway arch. 2017 promises to be the best year yet for Squawk.
Let’s do a beer for #ISBF4 Oli!