Picture the scene: you’re wandering around a new city. The streets are unfamiliar and confusing. The temperature is blistering cold. Now, more than ever, you need a pub.
This isn’t just an urgent thirst, you understand. I’d foolishly booked myself a trip to New York City in the middle of January, when temperatures routinely dip below negative 10 Celsius at night. I long for the gentle, damp cold of England as my nose and ears burn in the icy wind. Without a beer blanket, I’ll soon become an icicle.
Brooklyn is a long way from London, but that hasn’t stopped me making this pilgrimage here. It also hasn’t stopped the brewers at my destination collaborating with breweries all up and down the UK. Their tie-ups with Northern Monk, in particular, have yielded impressive results. They’ve tantalised me long enough. I must drink the beer from its source.
The Evil Twin taproom is one of the most unashamedly millennial venues I’ve ever seen. Angular, gold barstools sit against a green stained wood bar; ferns drip langorously from baskets hanging overhead. It’s sickening. Given unlimited budget, my living room would look precisely the same.
Continental Breakfast – raspberry yogurt sour
One thing I’ll say for Evil Twin’s UK collaborations is that they’re normally pretty weird. Any suggestion that might be a result of collab overexcitement gets smashed here. They’re weird brewing on their own too.
I begin, like most days, with breakfast: in this instance, a breakfast sour. Infused with raspberries and Ethiopian coffee, Continental Breakfast looks broadly how you’d expect a raspberry and coffee beer to look. It’s a deep red-purple, utterly opaque with the tiniest of heads. It’s not at all dissimilar to the triple fruited gose for which we adore North Brewing.
The aroma is punchier than Floyd Mayweather.
Raspberry and blackberry smoothie leads on the nose, with more to follow on the palate. More sweet than sour, this beer is an impressive balance of powerful flavours. This is not what I’d typically expect when ordering a beer. But then again, most beers I order don’t count as one of my five a day.
The one thing missing is any hint of those Ethiopian coffee beans. I suppose they might be there in the background, adding some earthy notes to the mix, but it’s difficult to sense anything past the raspberry puree.
Running a Sub-4 Min Mile Is Impressive. Running a Sub-4 Min Mile Every Year Since 2003 Is Unbelievable – or Is It?
If there’s one thing to take away from this trip to Evil Twin, it’s that they’re not afraid to get weird with their beer names.
This beer, which we’ll call 4 Minute Mile for the sake of brevity (even RAS4MMIIRAS4MMEYS2IUOII is far too unwieldy) looks like mango juice or Tropicana. Fortunately, the aroma is reassuringly beer-like: fresh grapefruit bitterness, a little orange juice, and some green, grassy notes.
The bubbles have a mousse-like consistency, creating a thick but light mouthfeel. The palate is pleasantly light and bitter, bringing more grapefruit along with lemon and orange.
Despite the ridiculous name, this might well be one of the less unusual beers I try today. And it’s lovely.
Luxurious Luxury 6 (Veil collab)
Enough of these beers that taste like beer. We’re trying something weird again.
The Veil is another of those breweries about which I’ve heard much but tasted little. Presented with one of their beers – an imperial gose sprinkled with flakes of 24 carat gold – I can hardly say no.
LL6 is a dark, brownish orange in colour. It looks thick as hell, which normally would be a positive. Sadly, in this case it means whatever gold flakes may or may not be in the mix are rendered invisible. I might be able to pick out a couple of spots, but only if I squint a little.
The aroma is more satisfying than my gold hunt. There’s tonnes of mango in here, backed up by a little lime, bubblegum, and wheaty, bready sweetness. A pleasant, gentle sourness hits the tongue first, along with a surprisingly fizzy mouthfeel: there are no bubbles to be seen in this beer. Marshmallow sweetness and thickness, followed by a passion fruit seed dryness and bitterness accompany mango on the finish.
This is a weird beer. Weird, but excellent.