Weird Beard, Something Something Dark Side, London (9%, £3.90)
Their beer isn’t Brewdog weird – there’s no rum-soaked otters’-nose barrel-aged IPAs here. The experimentation comes about more in just making beer that’s different.
Something Something Dark Side is not a black IPA – it’s too full bodied. Nor is it an imperial stout – it’s far too hoppy and aromatic for that. It’s just... somewhere in-between. It’s also lovely.
It pours black, very, very black indeed, with a thick mocha head. A miasma of raw hop cones, grapefruit, and mint-chocolate creeps out of the glass, gradually mellowing into a more level pine nose.
One taste and things get even more complex – orange and apricots give way to marjoram and a rich, almost-savoury gravy and fresh mint mid-section, before black pepper, dried ginger, and a substantial (though not too abrasive) bitterness closes proceedings.
Something Something Dark Side is rich, unctuous, and doesn’t sit comfortably within any one style, and it’s this sort of delightfully different beer that makes Weird Beard’s beer so enjoyable, even if it might not please everyone.
For those who don’t want to drink something this heavy, dark, and strong, their Camden Beard is also fantastic; a wonderfully refreshing hopfenweisse with an expansive aromatic quality that’s impossible to fault. Great stuff indeed.
Review by our head beer guru Michael Bates