Dry January is brilliant and everything… but craft beer is better. Celebrate:MK editor and craft beer enthusiast Jon Boyle picks his top 10 pale ales for you to try in 2019
Now that I no longer live with a girl, my fridge is being used for its proper purpose… so I was thoroughly prepared for this groundbreaking piece of investigative journalism.
Unfortunately, I drank so many craft beers that I forgot all the results. But fear not as I re-bought all the beers and drank them all again for you.
Here are the results, ranked in order of how hoppy they made me…
1) CLWB TROPICANA
If there is a nicer beer on this planet, I am yet to try it. This tropical IPA from Welsh brewery Tiny Rebel is a must for all residents of MK because if you close your eyes and take a sip, it feels like you are on a tropical beach and not actually 90 miles away from Southend.
This 5.5% beer is packed full of American hops, peach, passionfruit, pineapple and mango flavours and it’s so good that I just got distracted and ordered a crate of 24 from tinyrebel.co.uk while writing this.
Try a can at Brewhouse and Kitchen at The Theatre District.
2) HEATHEN IPA
Northern Monk have created a little 7.2% slice of heaven with this juicy, Citra-overloaded beer. They usually have it in the takeaway fridges at the Brewdog bar at The Hub.
3) MINNOW APA
The can is about the most boring thing I have ever seen in my life but wow, this 5% APA is actually the new Gamma Ray. Find it in the Brewdog takeaway fridges.
4) YEASTIE BOYS DIGITAL IPA
Yeastie Boys is becoming a seriously popular brewery and this is my favourite one from them. A tasty 5.7% New Zealand-hopped beer with a bitter finish. It’s cheap too at £1.80 in Tesco.
5) BEAVERTOWN GAMMA RAY
The only reason this 5.4% APA is not in my top 2 is because I’ve drunk so much of it that I taste it in my sleep. On tap at Woburn Ale House and in cans at Waitrose.
6) ELVIS JUICE
New pups Tiny Rebel and Beavertown are my current favourite breweries but there is no denying the bite of the old dog Brewdog.
If you like Punk IPA, the logical next step is to pour away all remaining cans and go and buy this 6.5% grapefruit-infused IPA instead.
7) LAGUNITAS IPA
I feel like I’m boring you with beers you already know now but this has to be in my top 10. It’s a well rounded 6.2% IPA that doesn’t get sickly, so I always keep a bottle ready to reset my palate during an evening on the fruity pale ales – kind of like an unhealthy half-time break. Try it on tap at Craft and Cleaver.
8) TRAILS AND WAYS
This 5.4% New England pale ale from Neon Raptor excites me as it has the rawness of a home-brew. It tastes amazing but contains floaty bits (the official terminology).
Every time I drink this 4.2% Vermont style IPA I hear Sean Paul’s voice in my head saying ‘Dutty, yeah’, which is a good thing, of course. This beer from Welsh wizards Tiny Rebel is called Dutty for a reason. It’s unfiltered, hazy and murky – just how I like my Jamaican dancehall music.
10) BEAVERTOWN NECK OIL
This lovely, light 4.3% session IPA not only lubricates my neck, but my soul too. Buy it for £2.20 a can in Waitrose to ensure your neck isn’t dry this January.