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#Collabfest2018 part 8: @BrewDogClaphamJ

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Our final bar visit of Collabfest - limited, of course, by the requirement to see our last few LFF films either side of it. As we're at the BFI for most of today, we've taken the train Sarf of the river to see what Clapham Junction have left that we haven't drunk already. The answer, irritatingly, is five beers: hence the extended flight pictured, requiring a switch from 4:3 to 16:9. Here we go:

29. Milton Keynes / Blackened Sun: Malfiore (Oatmeal Black Saison, 6.0%)
The blackness (okay, toasted malt) gives it a level of interest above a usual saison. I've mentioned earlier that I'm not a big fan of black IPAs, but I'm quite liking this. The BBG likes how the oatmeal is giving it a bit more mouthfeel, too.

30. Oxford / Tap Social Movement: In The Gateau (Black Forest Gateau Stout, 5.5%)
Terrible pun (though it reminds me of Radio Active's bit where Elvis sings a song about a boy's love for a lizard, Tim The Gecko). Very few of the flavours coming though initially - to me it feels like they're cancelling each other out. There's a little more to it once it's warmed up a bit, but it needs a lot more of everything to be as decadent as they think it is. Also, it's a very odd shade of brown, like someone put a cake in a blender.

31. North Street Leeds / Ridgeside: Spilt Milk (Vegan Milkshake Pale, 5.8%)
Fucking Vegan Beer, as Michael Legge would say/sing. (If I could easily set up links in these posts, I'd point you at the YouTube video for The Last Days, a song written from the POV of his dying dog.) Anyway, this is pretty great: the vanilla and oats give this a properly decadent feel (unlike the previous one), with the latter presumably doing the job that a big tub of lactose would normally do for this style. A lot stronger than you'd initially think, and dangerously gluggable. (The BBG has just Googled the Ridgeside brewery's founder, Simon Bolderson, and is now a bit emotional.)

32. Firenze / Piccolo Birrificio Clandestino: Something Purple (Blackcurrant Berliner, 4.5%)
Ooh! Fruity! Nesquik (almost as much as the actual milkshake beer we had earlier, although The BBG isn't so convinced)! Plus a decent degree of sourness to balance it out.

33. Tallinn / Puhaste: Black Swan (Coffee and Chocolate Sour, 4.5%)
We use our final Collabfest 2018 beer to toast Aimar from the BrewDog Tallinn bar, who looked after us tremendously when we visited there a few months ago, but passed away not too long afterwards. He steered us towards a couple of great dark local beers on our late night visits, and I think he'd have approved of this one. I don't believe 'coffee' and 'sour' are two tastes I've considered as matching, though The BBG points out that as there are actual sour coffees out there it isn't that ridiculous an idea. Plus a little bit of saltiness in there too, as it's a gose.

So, 33 beers out of 52 (well, technically out of 49, as three of them were made by overseas bars and never made it into the UK). For me, it's hard to pick a single overall favourite: I think that Black Swan, Silver Beech and I Tira-Miss-U each have the right balance of being utterly unique while also being drinkable as hell. The BBG would go for Hylliedog, 97 On Ratebeer and Spilt Milk, though she would like it known that it took her ages to whittle a shortlist of ten down to those three. Your own mileage, of course, may vary.

Will Collabfest 2019 clash with LFF 2019? God, I hope not. We'll probably see you back here next year, either way.

21st Oct 2018, 16:08