The best American beer in the UK?

I've just tasted the best draught American beer that you can buy in the UK.

If it were the product of a West Coast brewpub, said establishment would enter into brewing folklore and be rammed whenever this beer was tapped.

If it were bottled once-yearly, fans would drive all night to queue all morning for the chance of buying a case.

It's riven with sticky, dirty citric hops. Not polished and effortless and fragrant hops. Big, fat, in-your-face, on your gums and down your throat hops. An aroma and flavour that sticks in you like actual resin would.

It's an American Pale in style. It's overflowing with American hops. But it's brewed in Derbyshire. Now, strictly speaking, you may say that it's not actually an American beer. But I'd say it is American in attitude, approach and execution.

It's not going to get the wider recognition that it deserves. Brewed infrequently, distributed narrowly, it's a here-today-gone-later-today beer. Which is just the way I like it. As good as any limited-release US hop bomb, without the hype and overwrought expectation...

Reader, I drank it. A quiet lunchtime I had: my pint and I, the landlord and the chef, were alone present. When I got back from the pub, I went into the chatrooms of the internet, where an old pal was surfing, and I said -

"Mr X, I have drank That American Style beer this morning."

Mr X said only -

"Have you, Scoop? Well, for sure!"

(and before anyone asks; no, it wasn't from Thornbridge. We do have other great breweries in the county, you know).


  1. I'm licking the computer screen reading that so bloody tell us what it was!!

  2. I would say Dark Star American Pale Ale but that is the wrong county I guess.

  3. Nope, you got me. Burton Bridge's IPA is a hop-bomb (and a damn fine tasty one too) but i'm not sure what hops are in it?

  4. Amber in Ripley? Not on many people's radar yet but they make tremendous beer.

  5. Something from Leatherbritches?

  6. Amber is close; their Double IPA puts many to shame and reports suggest it's getting better with age.

    Leatherbritches haven't rocked my world with a hoppy beer for as long as I can remember.

    And Whim Armadillo? What makes you say that, you anonymous lurker?!?

  7. because i was in a rush, didn't get to try it and have been regretting it ever since! Whim brew some mighty fine beers hartington bitter is bloody good and seem like the most likely...not including Thornbridge of course! JK

  8. Whim Armadillo it was indeed. An absolute barnstorming, relentlessly-hoppy glass of gorgeousness.

    JK - drop me an email as you and I need to have a little chat...