If you know me, you already know I’m a craft beer lover. If you have only tasted industrial brands before and decided you did not like the drink… try once more. I was just like you before. But craft beer is all about… passion, finesse, experimenting and micro-batching, you see. And it really, really makes a difference. For this week’s Hoppy Hour (see what I did there?), let me introduce Brewers & Union, who work with small Bavarian and Belgian brewers and for whom time matters. If you ask one of the Beer Giants, most likely; tick tock, tick tock, everything has to go quick, return on investment, you see. But B&U believe you need to let a beer develop its flavours slowly and allow up to 16 weeks if that’s best for the beverage. Because they intend to drink it, not just put the label on the bottle. And they do intend to be proud of it too. They even provide food pairing recommendations.
I loved… the decent-sized bottles, 500ml, ideal to share. The very graphic, eye catching design. Especially the Sunday one, to which I am instinctively drawn. It sounds like a reward. A really nice range. If you have a gift to make why not go for 7 bottles, one for each day of the week?
Now, what to drink? Well, start with the Steph Weiss – smooth, vanilla, a real white Bavarian beer. The Beast of The Deep is more on honey and biscuits, a pleasant creaminess. IPA fan? Go straight for the Handwerk (revitalising, roasted apricot, citrus, honey) or the Sunday (which should be synonym of YAY! Orange, tangerine, toffee). If you have always fancied a dark one but find stouts too hoppy and bitter, try the Brewers & Union – really well balanced, cacao and grilled notes but not overwhelming, a light elegance to it. If you’re a Guinness only kind of person, though, skip this one. A last one, for the road? The unfiltered Bern Stein, a beautiful golden blonde which reminds me of toasted brioche…