Way back before I started to write about beer I used to play guitar in a pretty cool band called Brontosaurus Chorus. It was a lot of fun, we were even quite good, and you can still listen to our recorded efforts on Spotify.
The best part about being in a band was playing live. For 30 minutes you could transport yourself away from the stage in the dingy venue you were playing, to a world of fuzzy guitar solos and cavernous reverb. The worst part was carrying your heavy gear to every gig and every rehearsal. Schlepping a guitar, amp and a bag full of pedals on London’s public transport system is a long way from the fun of actually playing them.
My guitar rarely leaves the house these days, but my backpack is often clinking with the sound of several beer bottles. The sudden increase in the popularity of the beer can has been a boon. In fact I often find myself choosing cans simply because I can fit more in my bag and they’re a hell of a lot lighter.
Signature Brew, who brew in Leyton, North-East London, are one of the latest breweries to switch their packaging over to cans. The aptly named Roadie is the perfect beer for this format: a session IPA light on alcohol but packed with flavour. What stood out for me about this beer is that, unlike many session IPAs, it isn’t dominated by bitter, unbalanced, citrus flavours. There’s plenty of sweetness that reminds me of the barley sugar sweets I used to suck as a kid. This is followed by plenty of the pithy lemon and grapefruit notes you usually find in a beer like this but the sweetness smooths out the peaks, making this a really enjoyable beer.
Cans are like the beer drinker's own personal roadie, making getting them from place to place that much easier. Next time you find yourself crushing a can of beer at a gig, spare a thought for the poor sods on stage that have to carry all their gear home later on.