England is through to the Euro’s semi finals. Wimbledon is down to the final 16. And the weather is finally starting to look pleasant. If you’re looking for a spot in a beer garden, you’re facing the perfect storm. Thanks to Vocation, we can face a Perfect Storm in the garden at home instead.
As much as I love the bustle of a pub garden, it’s difficult to record my thoughts on a beer surrounded by shirtless men emphatically pronouncing “ENG-GER-LAND” with three syllables. Instead, I’m home with another can from Vocation: Perfect Storm.
It’s a New England pale ale, brewed with Galaxy and Simcoe hops and wheat and oats alongside the malted barley. The can’s blurb promises us a boatload of hops, “dank and juicy with low bitterness”.
Then again, the label promises us a kraken, which is nowhere to be seen.
The aroma is absolutely gorgeous. Tangerine sweetness leads, followed by tart, dry grapefruit and the barest hint of biscuity malt. There’s juicy pineapple and perhaps a little papaya in the mix too, giving a real fruit salad on the nose.
On the palate it leads again with citrusy, orangey sweetness, before giving way to dry grapefruit rind. Pineapple hovers over the top, I think more an artefact of the aroma than anything on the palate. The mouthfeel is thick and pillowy, the finish cut all too short by the grapefruit driness but still delicious.
I’ve got lucky with this beer. If I’d bought it from a beer specialist I could be confident it had made its way from the brewery to my fridge never really exceeding 10 degrees Celsius. I’d be sure it was fresh, that it was cascading into my glass the way the brewers intended. But in this case, I bought this beer from a supermarket. Which means I’m lucky this particular batch of beers hadn’t been left in an overheated lorry overnight.
All this means is that your results may vary. If you buy this beer directly from the brewery or from a good beer shop, I predict you’re going to have a great time. If you pick it up from a supermarket you’re rolling the dice.