I went out for drinks in Oxford with some friends the other night…and I say “drinks” rather than “drink”: living where I do means that there’s zero public transport and with young sleeping children at home, there’s no chance of Eve popping out and picking me up either. So the offer of a lift home was gratefully accepted.
A quick glance through The Jericho Tavern’s chillers revealed some craft cans – ideal, and a pretty much non-bargain at nearly four-and-a-half-quid a pop. I went for Beavertown Neck Oil as it was clearly labelled “Session IPA”, and this was indeed a “session”.
Poured into the glass it came a light hazy and lemony yellow. It looked nice, it looked pretty and there was yeast in the can – something I still can’t get used to with craft cans and is always a welcome surprise.
The aroma was full of achingly-fresh hoppiness, it smelt good, it smelt fresh – like a hop sack. My notes say “suffused”, which pretty-much sums it up nicely.
The body was very light indeed, but crisp, tasty and just a little seltzery and minerally; the bitterness was just about perfect and the hops sang their way through every mouthful.
The over-all theme was one of extraordinary freshness…I wish I could make beers this fresh-tasting at home, but I bet it involves purging bottles and kegs with CO2 and hop-rockets and all that jazz. I will one day, just you wait…
I could sink a lot of this tackle…and if I had one tiny, smidge of a complaint, I’d say that I’d like a shade more malt sweetness and body – the yeast seems to have slaughtered the, no-doubt, gorgeously fermentable wort.
Maybe go a degree or two higher on the mash or add some very, very light crystal, or the lightest possible Munich might do it without affecting the colour too much…but other than that, this is very much a go-to summer session beer.
Buy it when you see it!