It almost felt like the day would never come. But it’s finally here. The event that’s had beer geeks from the UK, and beyond, looking on with wide-eyed dreams of fresh unicorn beers and the chance to catch a glimpse of the undisputed handsomest man in beer, Logan Plant. This is of course, the Beavertown Extravaganza.
There’s a million blogs someone could do on this event. And I’ll start off by saying that this list could have been titled “50 beers you should be very excited about trying at the Beavertown Extravaganza.” But for the sake of not getting repetitive strain from typing, I’ve narrowed it down to just a mere tenth of that. Which considering the depth of beers on offer was not an easy task, let me tell you.
5. Magic Rock – Bearded Lady Salted Caramel
How do you make one of the best imperial stouts in the UK even better? Add salted caramel of course. Tussling for the title of ‘UK Imperial Stout Supremo’ with another beer on the list, the big, bold Bearded Lady has seen a few iterations, including Coconut and Chocolate Orange twists, but this one is likely to be the best spin on the style yet. Salted caramel adds so much to a stout – as anyone who’s sampled Wild Beer Co’s offerings will attest. And if this lives up to its hirsute ancestors (which knowing Magic Rock, it definitely will) expect the Untappd ratings to skyrocket.
4. Side Project – Fuzzy #2
Now time for something a little bit more spontaneous. This list can’t be all imperial stouts y’know. Well, it could. But that would be a cop out. Side Project, are considered one of the best sour beer-producing breweries outside of Belgium. And the second run of their oft-lauded Fuzzy has been aged in French Oak and racked on white peaches in a similar manner to its predecessor. And if what beer drinkers across the pond are telling us is true, its forerunner was truly spectacular. Expect this to be no different.
3. Modern Times – Countermagic
The haze craze shows no sign of stopping. So what better way to pledge your allegiance to the cause than by picking up a pour from one of The Land of Hope and Glory’s most exciting breweries. Although the beer aficionado will tell you they were into them way before this – Modern Times burst onto the UK scene in 2016, and beautifully crafted beers such as Lomaland, Fortunate Islands and Blazing World have thankfully been the staples of bottle shops ever since. In Countermagic, we get this outstanding brewery’s version of the hoppy haze bomb for the first time in the UK. If previous form is anything to go by, this is going to be oh so dank, oh so juicy and oh so delicious. Give me free pours and give me dank.
2. Trillium – DDH Fort Point Pale
And let’s not forget about pale ales. There are a few options that could’ve taken this spot. Three Floyd’s – Zombie Dust. Bellwood’s – Jutsu. Boneyard’s – Bone-A-Fide. But Massachusetts’ finest, Trillium, are one of the (if not the) marquee names at this star-studded event. The recent warm-up gig at the Beavertown tap room showed us UK-based beer fans exactly why. And at the Extravaganza, we’re going to have, what is considered by many, one of the best pales in the world – Double Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale – on tap. In the UK. Fresh. You’d have likely called me crazy if I’d told you a few years ago that’s what you’d be drinking this weekend.
1. Buxton and Omnipollo – Yellow Belly Sundae
And finally, one of the most sought-after, and perhaps infamous, craft beers in the world. The result of the 2014 Rainbow Challenge collab between Swedish Willy Wonkas, Omnipollo and British bulldogs, Buxton – the 11% Peanut Butter and Biscuit Imperial Stout is bound to go fast. And for good reason. If you ask someone who’s already tried it, they’ll rant and rave about the roasty richness and deluge of decadent flavours this beer possesses. And no matter what superlatives they’re putting out there, they’re probably still underselling how good this beer is. So be ready for a visit to Stand 17. You won’t be the only one!
What excites me most about this list is that I’ve named 5 wonder beers here. And this is the tip of the iceberg at the Beavertown Extravaganza. Here’s hoping for this festival to become an annual event so more and more people get the chance to try these amazing breweries at their peak.