Craft beer has embedded itself in British drinking culture in the last few years, with new micro-breweries regularly popping up and even large manufacturers trying their hand at some unique flavours.
In Sheffield, Sean Clarke’s Beer Central opened less than two years ago in the Moor Markets and has become a destination for beer lovers.
This month Sean’s set to sell his 100,000th beverage and to celebrate we asked him for his top five craft beer picks, a selection available for sale at specialist stores around the UK.
Founders – Centennial IPA
With six World Beer Cup medals under their belt, the Founders Breweing Co. have never been stronger. The American company was the result of two men, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, with one dream – to make crafted beer that they could enjoy. Some years ago, the duo decided to quit their jobs and risk everything to realise their ambitions. Luckily, the move paid off and we now have tasty IPA’s from them all year around. Centennial IPA is just one example of their many canned ales.
Sean says: “This is a classic 7.2% US IPA from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Centennial is juicy and citrus (loads of grapefruit flavours) with a great malt balance hinting at a bit of sweetness.”
Beavertown – Gamma Ray
This London-based brewery has been making canned beers since way back in December 2011. The company gets its quirky brand name from the old word for the De Beauvoir area. From delectable black IPA’s to stunningly smokey porters, these guys are experts in crafting ales. This American pale ale is well worth a quick sup.
Sean says: “Brewed down in London, this beer is a 5.4% American Pale Ale crammed full of US hops. Stunning can artwork goes well with such a full on flavour.”
Wild Beer Co – Fresh
This ‘wildly’ different brewery creates drinks with a truly modern twist. Whether you’d like a little coffee in your porter or lemon in your ale, they can (and will) make it happen. If you’re looking for a zesty drink, you may just have found it.
Sean says: “This is a lovely, zingy 5.5% pale ale from Somerset that uses different hops for different brews. The one thing you’re totally guaranteed, the hops used are always the very freshest available.”
BrewDog – Dead Pony
This Scottish craft beer company have a whole lot to live up to (if you believe the hype). Way back in 2007, this place just had two members of staff. Well, actually, it was the two founders of BrewDog, Martin Dickie and James Watt. Eight years later and the company is recognised all around the UK as one of the finest and most unique breweries around. Dead Pony is one of their most popular drinks – a simple pale ale.
Sean says: “Brewed by Scottish punks BrewDog in Aberdeenshire, this is a long time fav pale ale. Only 3.8% but full of West Coast hoppy flavour and a real classic”.
Rooster’s – Baby Faced Assassin
Finally, we come to the oldest and most well-known of all the beers on this list. The Rooster’s Brewing Co. has been going since we were all wee nippers (in 1993). With signature hoppy drinks and tasty real ales, there’s something to suit every taste. You just must try their excellent IPA.
Sean says: “This is a 6.1% single hop India Pale Ale brewed in North Yorkshire. It uses the US hop, Citra and is full of juicy, lip smacking flavours.”