Tag Archives: Stormbird

136. Beavertown Bloody ‘Ell

The keen-eyed reader will be a little surprised to see this beer pop up, since it isn’t actually in The Book. In fact this is our first substitution for a discontinued beer.

This one replaces Nethergate Augustinian Ale. Now, Nethergate do still brew a beer by that name, but it isn’t the beer featured in The Book, a 5.2% bottled beer spiced with coriander, which was typically only available in the US.

That leaves us needing to fill a gap in the slightly catch-all Beers made with Fruit, Spices, Herbs and Seeds category. I think this will fit the bill nicely.

Beavertown Bloody 'Ell at Stormbird, Camberwell

Right off the bat, I’ll admit to being a huge fan of London’s Beavertown, so there was no hesitation in picking this one, especially when it appeared in the fridges at the ever-magnificent Stormbird. You may remember Stormbird from several previous posts.

Beavertown are one of the success stories of the flourishing modern London beer scene, and brew some terrifyingly good beers. Bloody ‘Ell is an occasional, special edition type beer brewed with the addition of a metric truckload of blood oranges.

A thumping great 7.2% American-style IPA, Bloody ‘Ell comes as fresh as can be in its tactile, garish little can, decorated with Beavertown’s distinctive signature Nick Dwyer artwork.

As a natural, dare I say “real” beer, Bloody ‘Ell is not artificially clarified, and so pours the now almost traditional “London Murky” golden colour so typical of IPAs from the new wave of London breweries. There’s a great big waft of citrus, as much from the giant American hops—Amarillo and Citra—as the blood orange.

The citrus obviously carries through to the flavour, though interestingly enough, I’m not convinced I would have identified the orange specifically without prompting.

That’s kind of a compliment: the huge juicy hops and the blood orange combine so effortlessly that nothing seems out of place, and the orange becomes more of a subtle addition rather than giving the impression you’re drinking a fruit beer.

Either way, it all works beautifully. Mouthwatering and hopelessly moreish, Bloody ‘Ell is an instant classic. It’s just a shame that the quantities produced are naturally constrained by a limited supply of the oranges themselves.

Good stuff. I’ll take two more cans home with me, thanks Stormbird.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Beavertown, Tottenham Hale, London N17
Style: Beers made with Fruit, Spices, Herbs and Seeds
Strength: 7.2% ABV
Found at: Stormbird, Camberwell Church Street, London SE5
Serving: 330ml can

131. Rooster’s Yankee

It’s difficult to overstate the influence that Sean Franklin, founder of North Yorkshire-based Rooster’s, has had within the British brewing world over the years.

Sean is credited with pioneering the use of hops in creating the fundamental, distinct character of individual beers, rather than merely as a preservative which conveniently happened to contribute a bit of aroma and bitterness.

A former professional wine boffin, Sean famously described hops as “the grapes of brewing”. That’s absolutely true, and it’s a lesson that has enthusiastically been taken to heart by the new wave of British and American brewers (I’m doing my best to avoid using the word “craft”) for whom hops are the lifeblood.

Yankee may be Rooster’s most famous beer, but you really don’t see enough of it down south. Yet in a move that will delight fans of seriously fresh beer, Rooster’s have recently begun canning several of their brews, and the handsome little chaps have been cheerfully popping up in the fridges of discerning pubs and bars.

Rooster's Yankee at Stormbird, London SE5

Which—as if Threehundredbeers needed an excuse—brings us back to the ever-magnificent Stormbird in Camberwell, that Aladdin’s Cave of beery awesomeness where we enjoyed the classic Rochefort 10 a mere 50 or so beers ago.

Yankee is classified in The Book as a Best Bitter. Whether or not the recipe has developed over the years I couldn’t say, but it would unquestionably be seen as an American-style Pale Ale these days. Just look at the colour, for a start.

The aroma is floral and delicate, but full of citrus and tropical fruit: lychees, grapefruit, mango, that sort of thing.

There’s yet more grapefruit in the flavour, courtesy of the Cascade hops, and a pleasingly huge bitterness that’s well balanced by juicy sweetness from the malts.

It’s a classic, obviously, and a relatively light body makes Yankee hopelessly drinkable. It should probably come in a bigger can, quite frankly, but at Stormbird’s reasonable prices we can afford to take a couple more home with us.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Rooster’s, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England
Style: Best Bitters
Strength: 4.3% ABV
Found at: Stormbird, Camberwell Church Street, London SE5
Serving: 330ml can

80. Rochefort 10

This time next week I’ll be in Brussels sampling some of the world’s most famous beers. Tonight though, I’m in a rainy, resolutely ungentrified Camberwell, London at the ever-magnificent Stormbird, one of my very favourite pubs in the world.

I’m reluctant to tell you about Stormbird, because it’s the sort of place you want to keep to yourself, but it truly is wonderful: an Aladdin’s cave for the beer lover, with a mouth-watering and ever changing tap lineup, lovely staff and a civilised, if somewhat youngish, clientele.

It’s time to get some Belgian beer-related practice in, and also to round off the three Rochefort beers we need by putting ourselves on the outside of this 11.3% ABV monster of a Trappist ale, served, you’ll note, in the correct glassware.


Without question, that’s a fine-looking beer right there. Rochefort 10 is a rich, deep brown colour with a remarkably dense tan helmet of foam that doesn’t dissipate until the last drop is drunk.

I didn’t detect a huge amount of aroma, at least compared to the eye-wateringly fresh keg Thornbridge Halcyon I’d enjoyed mere moments before. What there is though is distinctly Belgian, and reminiscent of a Dubbel, though a little lighter.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, and the flavour is all christmas pudding packed with dried fruits, berries, caramel and booze. That said, the 11.3% payload is well integrated, and while this is a very decadent beer, it’s oh so drinkable, and a lot more subtle than the sledgehammer of flavour and intoxication that was Samichlaus, our previous double-figures leviathan.

Splendid stuff. This would make a great after-dinner beer, to be savoured slowly and swilled around the glass in your favourite armchair. And thankfully, that’s one less ridiculously strong Belgian beer that I need to find next week.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, Rochefort, Belgium
Style: Trappist Beers
Strength: 11.3% ABV
Found at: Stormbird, Camberwell Church Street, London SE5
Serving: 330ml Bottle