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!