Howling Hops, IPA no.2
Pete Holt loves beer. Which is handy because he just happens to be the director of the company that owns the Southampton Arms and The Cock Tavern. The latter of which just happens to be the birthplace of this week’s brewery, Howling Hops.
It seems that just about every nook and cranny in Hackney is now being repurposed as a brewery (it isn’t but what’s a bit of hyperbole between friends?). This would explain why Howling Hops started in the basement of the Cock Tavern on Mare Street in 2011. The space was reputed to be so small that you had to be under 5’9” to be able to fit in there.
In the intervening years over 100 different beers have emerged from the cellar-born brewery. And now the brewery has too, relocated to a new site a couple of miles away in nearby Hackney Wick taking former Cock Tavern manager, Tim O’Rourke, with them as their head brewer at the UK’s first dedicated “tank bar”.
Daddy... what’s a tank bar?
Well, rather than serving beer from cask, keg, bottle or can the tank bar serves its beer directly from the tanks in the brewery. Beer geeks rejoice. This is as fresh as it gets.
In the case of Howling Hops this consists of ten massive shiny tanks serving ten different beers behind the long bar. It looks bloody amazing and resembles something like a German-style beer hall crossed with a rather cool looking cafeteria. Albeit a cafeteria where “a big fuck-off tray of meat” is on the menu (to share) and where you can take a growler of your favoured beer home with you. If it all sounds a bit, well, hipster then that’s because it is. But we mean that in a good way. This place is ace.
This week’s beer was chosen by our Tom. In fact, it’s the first beer that he’s sourced all by himself since he started here. So we thought we’d let him tell you about that.
“I first tried a Howling Hops beer at home with my dad. I’d picked up a bottle of the Pale Ale No.1 from a local bottle shop. I remember the label standing out (a tried and tested method for choosing new beers) so I contacted them to find out more.
I then met Karen from Howling Hops at Craft Beer Rising and got to sample more of their range. All in the name of research. All the beers were good but the IPA No.2 really stood out.
I’m a big fan of Hoppy IPAs, especially this one as it has some of my favourite hops in. The Mosaic and Amarillo provide a great fruity nose to this beer, plus the Columbus and Simcoe hops give it that lingering bitterness. I think that they work really well together. It's a bit pokey (6.9%) but I was sure that our subscribers could take it. It’s the full package. It looks good, smells fab and tastes great.
Oh and if we haven’t already mentioned it, Howling Hops have an amazing bar which is definitely worth checking out”
Thanks Tom! Now it’s over to you. Tell us what you think on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and by email.