Craft beer: Vocation might answer your prayers with Smash & Grab and Naughty & Nice

Vocation's Smash and Grab is crammed full of juicy, tropical flavours
Paul McConville

MANY people feel they have a calling in life – many of us are still listening. But if you're calling is to make great beer, then I suppose your brewery name should reflect that.

Vocation, based in Yorkshire, are just such a bunch of beer enthusiasts who have answered that call. They have a wide roster of beers, mostly in cans, all bursting with great flavours – thanks in no small part by the fact that they are unfiltered.

The double IPA market is a pretty packed one, but Vocation's Smash and Grab manages to stand out. This 8.5 per cent ale is crammed full of juicy, tropical flavours. It pours a murky, almost opaque light shade of amber and gives off strong aromas of papaya, mango and pineapple.

Those tropical notes follow into the taste, and there's also a bitter citrus finish. It has quite a sticky, jammy quality to it as well.

Naughty and Nice is a 7.5 per cent chocolate stout. Once poured, the head dissipates very quickly and eventually disappears completely. That may be a hint of the strength of this stout as the taste rarely nods at how strong it is. There is a bitter chocolate aroma and a slight smokiness in the flavour. The chocolate isn't overly sweet, and there are hints of burnt toast and treacle. The mouthfeel is quite thin for a stout, it has more of the feel of a dark ale about, but it is still a beer packed with flavour.

WANT to enjoy some fine craft beer and get a crash course in how to brew your own? Well, Sippy Fest, which takes place in Derry's Guildhall today will be right up your street.

In what has grown into the north west's top beer festival, Sippy Fest features over 50 beers from across Ireland, including brews from Derry breweries Walled City Brewery,

Northbound Brewery and Dopey Dick Brewing Company. It will also be showcasing some excellent local food and love music.

There will also be a presentation from the city's ‘brew school' the Walled City Brewery's Homebrew Academy where you can learn how to get started in home brewing.

Admission to Sippy Fest is just £5 and you can pay at the door.

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