London's beer scene has improved beyond recognition. It doesn't seem five minutes ago that our only option was a tepid pint of Mangy Squirrel. Now, the capital makes some of the world's finest brews. The next step? Collaborating WITH the world. Obviously.
Bermondsey Beer Mile Brewery, Fourpure, has teamed up with six breweries from six continents to showcase how provenance, innovation — and a decent bit of storytelling — can illuminate people's idea of what beer is today.
Working with pioneering brewers from as far-flung as Japan, Brazil and Australia, here's the Continental Collaboration they came up with:
Coastline gooseberry & vanilla sour (Africa)
Brewed with Devil's Peak, South Africa
London's got more coastline than you might credit it for (depending on what you classify as coastline). Take a few cans of this tantalisingly sour beer to the banks of Hampstead Ponds or Ruislip lido, and let the sweet vanilla and tart gooseberry notes wash over you. A refreshingly different kind of hoppiness, created with Cape Town's most inspired modern brewery.
Temple: satsuma and seaweed gose (Asia)
Brewed with Kyoto Brewing, Japan
That's right, we said seaweed and satsuma. Just like London, Japan is always seeking to push the boundaries, in pursuit of something fresh, something special. Brewed with konbu seaweed, satsuma peel, flaked rice and sea salt, Temple is an extremely light and dry sour beer with prominent salt, citrus character and subtle umami. And we all know that umami means you'll be coming back for more...
Nugget: session pale ale (Australia)
One to crack open on a sultry summer afternoon at Lord's or the Oval. Fourpure and their pals Down Under, Two Birds, plumped for all-Aussie hops and yeast, using Galaxy, Vic Secret, Ella and Australian Cascade. The result? A clean, refreshing pale ale, that you can sip all the way through a five-day England-Australia test.
Homage: dry hopped farmhouse saison (Europe)
Brewed with Brasserie de la Senne, Belgium
There might not be many farmhouses left in London, so allow this traditional-style saison to transport you to rural Belgium. Homage offers earthy and spicy hops, a piquant yeast character and is dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc from Germany for interesting passionfruit and grape overtones. Trust us, the city melts away after a couple of these.
Nor Cal West Coast IPA (North America)
Brewed with Bear Republic, USA
Londoners are cray cray for their uber-hoppy West Coast IPAs. So Bear Republic — a brewery set in the picturesque tree-lined streets of Healdsburg, California — were a shoo-in for this collab. They've been brewing bold, full-flavoured IPAs for over 20 years. Fourpure has won awards for this kind of beer style too. A match made in hop heaven.
Nightfall: coconut & chocolate imperial stout (South America)
Brewed with Sunset Brewery, Brazil
London invented the imperial stout, shipping it over to Russia — and a thirsty Catherine the Great — in gallons. The heady, treacly beer style has seen many incarnations since then — few of them as daring and hedonistic as this collab with the award-winning Sunset Brewery. Made with roasted cocoa nibs and coconut, here is a taste of Brazil via London. And Russia.
Taste all six of these well-travelled beers, straight from the tap, at Fourpure's Homecoming Party on 8 July.
The Fourpure tap room is open Tuesday-Sunday.