East London

#HBBAdvent Beer 16: Howling Hops IPA NZ Special (East London)

Howling Hops says: Packed with Riwaka, Motueka and Kohatu hops from New Zealand.

We say: Webster's dictionary describes New Zealand as: "The jewel in the Australasian crown." This is the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa of IPAs (Google her, she's qual), the kind of beer you'd like to drink when you're out clubbing with the new Kiwi Prime Minister.

In a dystopian world over-run by New England haze, one beer stands up and says "To hell with you, 2017 - I am fresh, and I am bitter." A sentiment that gains increasing momentum as 2017 nears its end. - Lewis

Matthew Curtis's No More Heroes XIX – Pressure Drop Bosko IPA

Of late, I’ve really enjoyed talking about the crossover points between other culinary cultures, such as wine, cider and coffee and how they intersect with beer. The last 10 minutes of my recent Good Beer Hunting podcast interview with my friend Chris Hall of Brew by Numbers is an example of this. It’s not just between culinary cultures that these crossover points exist though. Beer merges with art, music, politics and much, much more. The wider we can make these points, the better we can support beer – the more people that enjoy great beer, the better beer gets.

Hop Burns & Black is a living example of this, with its hot sauce and vinyl offering adding something more to the value of the beer stocked on the shelves. Another recent example is the Tate Modern gallery, who are working with breweries such as Fourpure. The Bermondsey based brewery have created Switch House Pale Ale to celebrate the recent opening of the modern art gallery’s Switch House extension, widening the gate between art and beer.

Hackney’s Pressure Drop has always embraced a connection with art and this is reflected in the excellent design featured on its labels. Tribute is paid to one of my favourite artists, David Hockney, on the label for Pale Fire. Alligator Tugboat celebrates the work of East London graffiti artist Sweet Toof and today’s beer, Bosko IPA, has a label designed in tribute to the American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.

Bosko is a great example of a British brewed American style IPA. It’s got a ton of sweet malt character that lends body and support to container loads of juicy and tropical American hops. A bitter finish laden with notes of grapefruit and pine tidies up this beer’s lingering sweetness. Bosko is a tasty East London riff on the modern, West Coast American style IPA – and somehow the great design that graces the bottle makes this even more of a complete package. If it also manages to help open the breach between the worlds of art and beer, then we’re all winners.

Music Paring: Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere
I’ve managed to get almost to the end of this article without mentioning the deep pile of political turmoil the UK landed itself in last week. In honesty I’ve not the energy left to discuss it any further so instead I’ll leave that to the wonderful David Byrne and the fantastic Talking Heads. All together now: “Well we know where we're goin'…”

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter @totalcurtis. And you can get Pressure Drop Bosko delivered to your door via our online shop.