Wiper & True

The Beer Lover’s Table: Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry and Wiper & True Amber Citra & Rye

I clearly remember the first time I tried Wiper and True’s Amber Ale. It was at Darjeeling Express in Soho – then a newly opened restaurant getting good buzz, now an upcoming star of Netflix’s Chef Table series – and it was served alongside a selection of some of the best curries I’ve ever eaten.

To give credit where it’s due, fellow HB&B columnist Matt Curtis was the one who ordered the beer. At the time, I didn’t particularly gravitate towards amber ales. But after having a sip, I was struck by how adeptly this one worked with the heavily spiced, boldly flavoured dishes that we ate that afternoon.

The notion that IPAs and other hop-centric beers should be served with spicy dishes is a strangely enduring piece of pairing advice. Unless you want a mouth full of flames, you’re actually much better off going with something cooling and malt-driven, something with enough sweetness to counteract the heat. This beer, for instance, which the brewery describes as “a full-bodied and sweet amber ale finished off with spicy, peppery rye malts”. It tastes irresistibly like caramel and is rich in the mouth, almost tongue-coating. This iteration is also hopped exclusively with Citra, which adds the subtlest, anchoring bitterness, as well as a light fruitiness.

With that Darjeeling Express meal in mind, I decided to pair Wiper and True’s Amber with a chickpea and sweet potato curry. Hearty, complex and perfumed with autumnal spices like cardamom and cinnamon, this dish is made for crisp nights. Serve it alongside rice or a flatbread of your choosing (I went with flaky parathas) and top with a few verdant sprigs of coriander.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry
Inspired by Serious Eats
Serves 4

For the spice mix
½ tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the curry
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bird’s-eye chilli, roughly chopped
1 lemon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 small sweet potatoes (approximately 370g)
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
Fine sea salt

To serve
Basmati rice or flatbread
Fresh coriander

1. First, make the spice mix. Add all the ingredients to a ramekin or small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.

2. To a food processor, add the ginger, garlic, chilli, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt. Process until finely minced, or the mixture begins to form a paste. You can also do this using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

3. To a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan, add the vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. As soon as they start to pop, add the onions and stir to coat. Add a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low – you don’t want the onions to scorch – and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the onions are very soft and beginning to caramelise.

4. While the onions are cooking, peel the sweet potatoes and dice into roughly ½-inch cubes. Set aside.

5. When the onions are soft and beginning to turn golden, turn the heat to high and add the ginger and garlic mixture. Cook for approximately 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the spice mix and cook for 30 seconds more, stirring constantly. Then, add the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, the sweet potatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring to evenly combine. Top with the water and stir to mix.

6. When the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are just fork-tender. Remove the lid and turn the heat to high. Cook for roughly five more minutes, stirring frequently, until any excess liquid has evaporated and the curry has thickened. Season to taste and squeeze over the remaining lemon half.

7. To serve, divide between plates and garnish with coriander. Serve alongside rice or flatbread.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and an all-around lover of tasty things. Follow her on Twitter at @clairembullen.

#HBBAdvent Beer 20: Wiper & True Plum Pudding Porter (Bristol)

Wiper & True says: Rich, dark malts brewed with the addition of dried fruits, cinnamon and lemon zest. Caramelised sugar and winter fruit flavours combine to a toasted finish

We say: We could rave about this beer because it's LUSH. But instead we'll simply direct you to Matt Curtis's Fundamentals review for this very site, as he says it best. Cheers!

Fundamentals #15: Wiper and True Plum Pudding Porter

Finally, it’s December. It’s time to do away with restraint and to banish sensibly measured portions. The season of indulgence is here. Stock your larders with mince pies and hefty slabs of stollen – not forgetting the brandy cream of course – and make sure there’s a few measures of pâté in the fridge just in case. It’s time to build up that all-important layer of winter blubber to make these colder months vaguely bearable. See you in January, toes.

It’s also the perfect time to break out some stronger, darker and more decadent beers. If you’re anything like me you’ll have a habit of accumulating imperial stouts and barleywines without even realising it, then forgetting about these and buying more. The great thing about many spiced Christmas beers is that they tend to age rather well, so forgetting them is not too much of a worry.

Bristol’s Wiper and True has been knocking it out of the park this year. From its Kaleidoscope Pale to its Milk Shake Milk Stout to its sublimely delicious Ambers. It’s no surprise then that its seasonal Plum Pudding Porter is a Christmas cracker.

The foundations of this beer are everything you’d expect in a great porter. There’s a hint of sweet tobacco smoke and leather on the nose, which are a precursor to notes of bitter dark chocolate that lead to a palate-cleansingly bitter finish. There’s more though - this is a Christmas beer after all, so indulgence is fundamental to its existence.

Additions of dried fruit, cinnamon and lemon zest complete the recipe, adding notes of stewed figs, winter spice and hints of lemon in the bitter finish to the already heady mélange of flavours. Drink immediately and pair with a mince pie or two, or stash it away for next year - as I said earlier, spiced beers always have a habit of evolving and improving with a little age on them.

Whenever you choose to open it though, you can be certain that it will enhance your Christmas spirit a hundredfold.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis as UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up a bottle of Wiper and True Plum Pudding Porter in store or online.

New stuff in store: 11 December

Deck the halls... with shedloads of beer. Here's what's in your Christmas stocking this week.

  • Glorious new 750ml sharing bottles, including Anspach & Hobday's White Coffee Milk Stout, Wiper & True's Winter Ale Abbey Rye and Vocation's Naughty & Nice Chocolate Stout (also now in can too).
  • We went a bit overboard on Bristol breweries this week, knowing how much you love them. From Arbor, we've got their Grifter APA, Breakfast Stout and Basta Rosse, a red ale brewed with Italian brewery Mezzo Passo. We also see the triumphant return of their Yakima Valley IPA, one of the most-requested beers we've ever had. From Wiper & True, we've got Amber Simcoe Steam, Small Beer #13 and Sorachi Ace IPA in addition to the 750ml Winter Ale Abbey Rye. Be quick, these won't hang around.
  • On a South-East London stylee, we've got Partizan's delicious 300th Brew, Don Biere de Garde, as well as Late Knights' roasty Penge Porter and the return of the ultimate shirk, rest and play beverage, Deserter IPA.
  • Also from within the M25, say hello to Big Smoke Brew Co's sublime Underworld Milk Stout and the return of Weird Beard's Duke Of Dank Red IPA. (The clue is in the name.) A little further out, Siren's Pompelmocelo is a delightfully tart grapefruit IPA that will definitely put a pucker in your pint.
  • Brewdog has launched its annual Prototype series, where you get to have your say on which beers should make it onto their core line-up. We've got two this week: Milk Stout (see a theme here?) and Black IPA
  • One final Christmas beer joins the ranks: Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, a hoppy, sprucey, malty amber ale.
  • And finally - because: Star Wars - we've re-upped on Northern Monk's It's A Trap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New stuff in store: 12 November

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. We'd argue there has never been a better selection of beer in the shop. Possibly even the country. Fighting talk? Check out our new arrivals for yourselves (on top of all the awesomeness already on the shelves)...

  • Magic Rock cans. They're here, at the time of writing. Whether they'll still be here by the end of the day... We're expecting more soon but in the meantime, stocks are ridiculously small so get your skates on and slide on down to ours. Limit of one can per type (Salty Kiss, High Wire Grapefruit, Cannonball) per customer, first come, first served.
  • Beavertown Heavy Water returns! Stocks of this 9% sour cherry and sea salt imperial stout are also sadly limited so be quick. If you miss out on this, keep an eye out for when we put the Beavertown/Other Half Brewing collab, Duel of the Fates IPA, on flagon-fill...
  • New Siren klaxon! (Is that a tautology?) Two super Siren seasonals return this week - the 2015 Caribbean Chocolate Cake, a "tropical stout with cacao nibs, cypress wood and lactose", and Ryesing Tides, a rye IPA bursting with tropical fruits and berries. If your mouth isn't watering right now, then you're dead inside.
  • Our first Christmas beer hits the shelves and it's a corker - Weird Beard's Black Christmas is a cranberry Christmas stout, subtly roasty, slightly tart and with some gorgeous coconut and vanilla notes from the Sorachi Ace hops. We bought up the last four cases of this from the brewery so that you can share the love (or reward yourself).
  • More Christmas beers due in on Friday from Brewdog (Hoppy Christmas) and Mikkeller (Hoppy Lovin' Xmas). Good to see some creative thinking going on with those beer names.
  • Two new cans from one of our all-time favourite breweries, Moor! Smokey Horyzon is another rye seasonal making its return right now, and we know it's going to taste amazing in Moor's exceptionally-produced can-conditioned cans. Dark Alliance, a hoppy 4.7% coffee stout originally brewed with those other Bristol superstars, Arbor, also makes its debut in cans. NB: someone at Moor really likes Star Wars.
  • Want milk stouts? We've got two of the best - Wild Beer Millionaire salted caramel milk stout and Wiper & True Milkshake.
  • Fourpure Southern Latitude joins its Northern cousin on the can shelves. Compare and contrast its juicy summery sunshine with the rich wintry rye of its Scandavian-inspired counterpart, Northern Latitude.
  • London Beer Lab's Simcoe & Rye IPA comes in to replace its much-loved Mosaic IPA. A change of hops is as good as a holiday - you're going to like this one. A lot.
  • We welcome London Brewing Company to HB&B for the first time. Their gloriously Art Deco cans of Upright Session IPA taste as good as they look.
  • Last but not least, Pressure Drop's Freimann's Dunkelweisse, a lovely smoky wheat beer, returns at the perfect time for pairing up with autumnal dishes. It's a great foodie beer, this. Great with cheese too - right, Ned Palmer?

Such a goddamn line-up. Who's your daddy?

New stuff in store, 9 October

Every week (ish) we write this post, yet we never fail to get indescribably excited by the things we list within. This week is no exception. Hold on to your hats...

  • Beavertown heralds the return of their annual pumpkin beer, Stingy Jack. It's stingy by name but also by nature - we've got extremely limited stocks of this, so it's a one-can limit, alas. One can! We know. Sorry about that.
  • Five Points London Smoke is back on the shelf - we love this beer. It's a great food match or just enjoy its smoky goodness on its own. We've also restocked on Five Points Pale cans - get in quick.
  • Two newbies are in from Weird Beard - their Tsujigiri Yuzu IPA was such a hit on flagon-fill that we've brought it back in bottles, as well as the new India Brown Ale, No More Bright Ideas.
  • We're delighted to have two new lines from Buxton (though before you get your hopes up, sadly they're not the elusive Yellow Belly Sundae or the Rainbow collab with Arizona Wilderness...) No complaints with what we have managed to get our hands on though - the always-amazing Axe Edge English IPA and Wyoming Sheep Ranch DIPA. Boom!
  • Two more new Wiper & True beers extend the range on shelf to no fewer than six brews from this excellent Bristol brewery. Amber Ale: In The Pines is a richly malty red with a distinct piney finish; Family Tree is an IPA that's rating off the scale, bringing together the earthiness of Nugget hops with the pine burst that is Simcoe and Mosaic, a mix of both.
  • Two new ones from the brewery we fall more in love with every week, Arbor. Choose from the easy-drinking American amber ale Red Henry or flagon-fill favourite Beech Blonde, in addition to the other Arbors already on shelf - Oz Bomb, Why Kick A Moo Cow and Yakima Baby.
  • And we've saved the best for last - the best flagon-fill line-up we've seen in ages. Seriously, go check it out. Wylam Jakehead IPA is back. We've got a new Burning Sky - Saison Provision Reserve aged on gooseberries. Tuatara Sauvinova has been flying off the shelves in 330ml bottle - don't miss it in large-format. And we've still got two Yeastie Boys kegs in the cellar - the brewery we love so much we bought (shares in) the company. Fill yer boots!

New stuff in store: 9 July

This week's blog post is brought to you by the letter B, which stands for BAGNUMS and BLUBUS.

What the heck are bagnums? They're 1.5-litre bags of wonderful wine from Burgundy of course, made by our friends at Le Grappin. Perfect for festivals, parties, BBQs or smuggling into hot and sunny sporting events. Although you didn't hear that from us.

And yes, we've got the hugely anticipated Wild Beer and Beavertown collab Blubus Maximus. The sequel to last year's raspberry ripper Rubus Maximus, Blubus is a riotous creation of spelt, buckwheat, bay leaves, wild yeast and "a **** ton of blueberries". This WILL sell out - be quick.

We've also got what was one of our favourite light beers last summer, Wild Beer's collab with Fyne Ales, Cool As A Cucumber. Beer and cucumber - together at last. Could there be anything more refreshing?

On a hyperlocal front, we've got Clarkshaws' lovely new Coldharbour Hell Yeah Lager and their brewery co-op mates London Beer Lab's Tip Top Citra Pale and Mosaic IPA.

From Moor, there's a glorious new hefeweizen, Claudia, and the Marmalade on Rye Imperial IPA from Scottish favourites Tempest, plus a new pale, Kiwi Lilt, and IPA, White Cloud, from Bristol's Wiper & True.

Finally on the cider and perry front, there are two new ones from Newton Court in Herefordshire: the Gasping Goose medium cider (which some of you may have enjoyed on flagon-fill, and the delightful Panting Partridge perry.

Oh, and we're now on to our second batch of our HBB1 Hopped & Burning Hot Sauce. Our fastest selling hot sauce ever!

Sweet and lowdown

We were chatting with one of our customers on Twitter yesterday about his need to find great lower-ABV (<4%) beers, and the sheer range of great-tasting low or no-alcohol beers out there made us think it would be a great topic for a blog post. Voila!.

We started getting a lot of requests for low/no alcohol beers from people in the final days of 2014 as they prepared to put down the pint glass for Dry January. (The fact most of them were back on to the 8% DIPAs by mid-Jan is naturally of no consequence here.) We duly expanded our range, assuming it'd be a January thing but we continue to see huge demand.

For some, such as our Twitter friend,  it's medical reasons; others are expectant mums after a refreshing drop, runners in training for a marathon, or folk who want to sink a few and still remember how to get home. But you don't need a reason to go low. Here are some of our favourite beers from the smaller end of the scale. 

 

  • The Kernel Table Beer, 3.2% - The ABV of this classic varies slightly according to the recipe but always hovers around the 3% mark. It's a much-lauded, truly outstanding beer that almost beggars belief as to how they continuously pack so much flavour into such a small beer. One of our best-selling beers and deservedly so.
  • Wiper & True Small Beer #10, 2.6% - We love this great Bristol brewery, and try to ensure we always have one of their Small Beers on shelf. Currently we're showcasing #10 - a hop-packed pale ale with citrus, papaya and floral notes.
  • Siren Craft Brew Half Mast Quarter IPA, 2.8% - Last summer, before we had a shop, when we still had a social life, we drank this glorious seasonal from the moment we discovered it until the day we drank it dry. Our "I can't believe it's not 6%" beer. It is possibly the perfect summer drink - lashings of grapefruit and mango in a beer so refreshing you could drink it all day, and at just 2.8% you probably could. (In moderation, natch.)
  • Gipsy Hill Beatnik Pale Ale, 3.8% - We couldn't not mention Beatnik in this line-up. This "iconoclastically fruity" drop is our best-selling beer on flagon-fill and a fantastic proof point of Gipsy Hill's mission to create sessionable beers that don't skimp on flavour.
  • Weird Beard Black Perle Coffee Milk Stout, 3.8% - Another great beer proudly belying its <4% status. Massive amounts of flavour in this extremely drinkable light stout. A beer to be enjoyed with breakfast, lunch, dessert or any time really.
  • & Union Der Graf Von Bavaria, 0.4% - OK, so this probably won't be the best beer you've ever drunk, but we'll wager it's one of the best alcohol-free beers you'll try. The makers of this Bavarian wheat beer claim that its isotonic properties also make it the perfect sports drink, something we can't corroborate as we don't do any sports. Regardless, it's an extremely worthy contender for what should go in your basket "when you care but you can't drink beer". 

Apologies to the other wonderful low-ABV beers out there we didn't have room to mention. We've got many more in store - ask us to point them out to you next time you're in.

New stuff in store: 16 April

Another motherlode of the good stuff. Drums, please:

  • Brand new to our shelves is the excellent One Mile End brewery, based beneath Mile End Road at the White Hart Brew Pub in Whitechapel. This brewery is getting kudos from all quarters and we know you're going to love these beautifully crafted beers: Salvation Pale Ale, Snakecharmer IPA and Hospital Porter.
  • Moor, Moor, Moor! SoHop, NorHop, BritHop... all your hops are belong to us. Grab all three of these spectacular ultra pale ales and vote for your favourite.
  • Ahead of our Anspach & Hobday brewer showcase on the 29th, we've stocked up on their new Pale Ale plus got a re-up of their excellent Table Porter. Expect more special treats on the night...
  • Firm flagon-fill favourites Gipsy Hill add another string to their sessionable, full flavoured bow with the Yuzu Japanese Pale Ale, a zesty number brewed with Kent Brewery.
  • We loved Siren's quarter-IPA, Half Mast, last year - this tasty 2.9%-er packs a flavoursome punch for such a low ABV beverage. Get it while it's cold!
  • Also on the session front, Weird Beard's Little Things That Kill is your ideal summer ale. Hopped and dry-hopped with Centennial and Nelson Sauvin (from Jen's hometown), with an addition of Cascade, we predict this will fly out the door if these sultry temperatures continue.
  • If, like us, you love the refreshing cidery tartness of Wild Beer's Somerset Wild and Ninkasi beers, then you'll adore Zintuki - a skilful blend of both. We put this to a taste test on Wednesday over lunch outside the shop in the sunshine and can confirm it's perfect summer drinking. Hey, it's a hard job, but someone has to do it...
  • Wiper & True's beautiful branding is an accurate indicator of the sophisticated contents inside in the bottles, the result of which is that we can never keep this Bristol brewery's beer on the shelf for long. Two new additions this week: Blossom Amber Ale and Southern Cross Pale Ale.
  • Lastly, Founders All Day IPA. Our best-selling US beer now in cans!

There are probably some we've missed off - best to come in store and see for yourself. And don't forget to check our flagon-fill page for all the deliciousness coming up on draught too - only the best for you...