As a fan of craft beer living on a small island like Jersey, unfortunately, means you don’t get many opportunities to taste new things, hence why I am subscribed to Beer52 (Use this link to try it yourself) Although the service is great it would be nice if locally there was also more choice.
Things are changing, however, in the last 12 months we have seen the likes of establishments such as JB’s providing a good selection of craft beers never before seen on the island, they even hosted the well-received BrewDog tasting event which C and I attended a few months back. Supermarkets are slowly catching up with M&S surprisingly trying out their own take on the craft beer movement and Waitrose, stocking a small but well-rounded selection.
More importantly, though Love Wine, a local independent wine merchant and one of its passionate team members Will Beresford, have decided to take the plunge into the unknown and stock craft beer. For a wine merchant to do that locally is a pretty big deal and one I applaud. Love Wine currently stock a large selection of BrewDog & Beavertown beers + a few extras which are great to see on the shelves and priced fairly. Last Saturday saw LoveWine taking a step further into the craft beer market by supporting and stocking Magic Rock Brewing.
I must admit I had not heard of Magic Rock previously but was curious, Love Wine offered a selection of 4 beers to try as part of the tasting options, they can all be purchased by the can or case I believe directly from Love Wine Jersey. I and C had the pleasure of Will guiding us through the options which were interesting to see how our pallets were complete opposites. We started with my least favourite, and C’s most favourite Salty Kiss 2/5. A traditional German style Gose and what I would best describe as a blonde beer.
Secondly, we had High Wire Grapefruit Pale Ale 3/5. Although not my highest rated beer I really liked the grapefruit taste mixed into the Pale Ale, the flavour really comes through which is not surprising as they use 100% natural grapefruit flavour. It was great to try something regular but with a twist.
Third up was what I call the staple High Wire West Coast Pale Ale 4/5. Full of flavour and hops which I always like and it left me feeling content, this was C’s least favourite which I just couldn’t understand.
Lastly was Dark Arts Surreal Stout 3/5. A disclaimer needed here as Stouts really are my least favourite beer and although I force myself to try every new flavour, my palate isn’t having any of it. Strangely enough, the Magic Rock Dark Arts did almost have me converted to the dark side. Just like the Highwire Grapefruit this stout packs flavour that include spicy hop notes and full flavours of chocolate, liquorice, blackberries and figs. Personally, I really noticed the roasted bitterness which reminded me of coffee. C wasn’t a fan either but I could be tempted to pair this up with food and give it another go and for those that do like stouts, this really does pack some punch.
All in all a satisfactory selection of craft beers now on offer from Love Wine including this new line up from Magic Rock. The packaging alone is sure to grab your attention and the quality of the beer will speak for itself once enjoyed. It’s great to see the range of craft beers expanding in Love Wine and having the convenience of being able to grab something different locally is reassuring and step in the right direction.