Fundamentals #128 — Azvex Hotel Tickets Pale Ale

The last time I was in Liverpool was on St Patrick's Day. In this city – known by some as the second capital of Ireland – it hits a little differently.

The (simplified, as this is a beer review, not a history lesson) reason for this is due to the city having deep Irish connections, as many people emigrated from the Emerald Isle in the 1900s and settled in the city. It means that when St Paddy’s Day comes around, you not only have plenty of locals getting on it and celebrating their roots, but a large number of people also travel over from Ireland for the day, such is the sheer gravitas of the craic on offer.

The reason I mention this is because it’s one way of demonstrating the city’s dedication to beer – not just in quantity, but also quality. I have for a long time referred to Liverpool as an “up and coming” beer city, but on recent reflection, I’ve concluded it’s actually a well-established beer city, offering drinkers a superb mix of old and new. From breweries like Neptune, Black Lodge and Carnival, to bars such as Dead Crafty and top pubs like The Grapes and The Ship and Mitre, there’s something on offer for every kind of beer drinker.

The scene is continually getting even better too. Azvex, established in 2020, is proof of that – as is this beer, Hotel Tickets. Hopped with Citra for lashings of pink grapefruit and lemon zest, and the lesser known (but equally tasty) Cashmere for softer notes reminiscent of honeydew melon, Hotel Tickets is a mellow sipper, as opposed to an overwhelming, in your face hit of hops. It’s delightfully soft and eloquently drinkable.

It also serves as a reminder that now is a great time to experience this fantastic beer city for yourself. A stop at the Azvex taproom should be your first port of call.

Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Sign up to our All Killer No Filler subscription box and you'll find incredible beers like this one every month, plus more great writing from Matthew and our food writer Claire Bullen.