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Loose Cannon Brewery, IPA

Until recently the family name of Laithwaite was synonymous with one drink. It wasn’t beer.

Step forward Will Laithwaite, son of wine supremo Tony and, as his rugby nickname suggests, a bit of a “loose cannon”.

Instead of following his dad’s well-trodden path through the vineyards of Europe, he opted to earn his stripes as a junior brewer at Marlow based Rebellion Brewery.

After completing a three year apprenticeship there, Will plucked up the courage to bring brewing back to his local town. Abingdon (about 30 minutes south of Oxford) has a 300-year-old brewing heritage that came to an abrupt halt in 1999 when Greene King bought up Morland Brewery and then swiftly closed it down.

Loose Cannon Brewery was founded in 2010 and despite distributing their beer via Laithwaites (it’s not what you know) the brewery has a distinctly local focus; it’s rare to find their beer outside a 20-mile radius of Abingdon.

‘Abingdon Bridge’ was their first brew and is a decent Best Bitter that’s always worth hunting down on cask if you’re in the area.

The IPA is part of a new range of slightly more adventurous brews in 330ml bottles, alongside a decent porter and Czech style pilsner.

It treads the line between a modern IPA with a nice hit of tropical fruit on the nose that disappears soon after opening (so get your snout in there quick) and a more traditional British IPA with prickly hedgerow fruit flavours and carbonation in the taste and mouthfeel. That all sits on top of a sweet toffee like base, making it pretty damn drinkable.

A beer like this could turn even the most ardent wine drinker over to the good stuff. Will is working on it.


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