Home > Beer, Uncategorized > Canny Bevvies: BrewDog Punk IPA, Maui Big Swell IPA, Caldera IPA

Canny Bevvies: BrewDog Punk IPA, Maui Big Swell IPA, Caldera IPA

Although tinned craft beer has been something of a hot topic recently, it’s not been that easy to get hold of them. But it turned out that, after waiting ages, three turned up in my fridge at once: BrewDog new Punk IPA (from the website); Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA (also from the BrewDog website); and Caldera IPA (from Beer Ritz). 

BrewDog Punk IPA (5.6%)

This is the new Punk, more Green Day than The Clash.  I wasn’t that impressed the first time I opened these cans, but that may well have been because I did so in less than ideal tasting conditions: the cans were warmer than they should have been, having just lifted them out of the post, and I’d just tried not one but four 75 IBU beers, in BrewDog’s IPA Is Dead range.

However, cold from the fridge and enjoyed at home in a tulip glass, it was a different matter altogether.  Upon cracking open the brew(dog)ski, you immediately get a lovely sweet waft of mango.  I noticed this the first time I tried it but now I also found the old, mouthwatering, grapefruit bitterness mixed in with the new fruity sweetness, which added up to a really nice finish; perhaps not as long as it used to be, but still very good.  So yes, I take it back: new Punk in cans is definitely worth picking up.

Maui Big Swell IPA (6.2%)

A sweet, appley Cidona smell upon opening the can: again the aroma is fantastic and the can (or at least the way you open it) seems to help this.  A sweeping fresh tropical fruity taste with a light grapefruity bitterness.  Kate and I decided that there was pine and apple in the taste, and indeed some pineapple too.

Whilst still very light and refreshing overall, compared to the BrewDog the slightly higher ABV results in a heavier mouthfeel, but that’s only really noticeable after a few gulps.  Again a really nice beer and nothing to suggest the can has done anything other than keep the beer very fresh and hoppy.

Caldera IPA (6.1%)

Noticeably more amber than the fuzzy yellow-orange of the previous two, Caldera had a rich sweet piney aroma.  This carries through into a lovely instant piney bitterness and a long finish.  The mouthfeel is thicker and more viscous again than the Maui.  It’s everything you want from a strong American IPA.

All three of the beers were excellent and certainly worth buying again.  Canning did seem to suit – or at worst doesn’t seem to detract from – the freshness, bitterness and hoppiness, without any sort of “tinny” taste, that I associate with the usual tinned lager or bitter.

Whilst the Punk IPA is the junior of the three in terms of serious bitterness and ABV, it’s also likely to be more easily available and around half the price of the others to UK cansumers.  I’m looking forward to trying it against the keg and maybe the bottled version of the same new recipe Punk IPA.  I’m also anticipating having more use for my Aussie can-sleeve, from the Talwood Hotel, Queensland!

Find more reviews of canned BrewDog Punk IPA on The Beer Monkey; of the Maui Big Swell IPA on Hopzine and The Beer Monkey; and of Caldera IPA on The Ormskirk Baron.

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  1. February 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Excellent triple review on the ‘canned sensation’ and thanks for the link to my blog!

  2. February 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for the link Nick.

    I enjoyed all three but Maui Big Swell was my favourite. I loved the big fruity flavours. The new version of Punk is so much more commercially viable and easy drinking than the old one (my video review should appear this week). The Caldera is fine, I’m not jumping up and down in excitement nor have I got much to complain about.
    The next on your list should be Oskar Blues beers, on of the pioneers of canned beers. I’ve had Dales Pale Ale (a cracker) and Ten Fidy a big Imperial Stout in a can. I’d love to try more 21A and Ska cans too. Craft beer in a can, I’m on board!

  3. February 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I like the new punk a lot. Am yet to try it in a can though. As you mention I think my tastebuds have now been exposed to the IPA is dead range and in comparison punk might never taste as good again… Must admit I’m dying to try the maui coconut porter in a can. Believe it or not it also featured in one of the wetherspoons ale festivals where they get a foreign brewery over to england and let them recreate a chosen beer in a uk brewery… but I never managed to find it anywhere! would have been a massive treat to try it on cask.

    • February 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      I’ve tried both the Maui Coconut Porter in the can (pretty good) and the one they brewed in some UK brewery for the Spooniesfest and it was pretty awful.

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