Craft Beer: Nod to rap sounds like a sweet antidote to the post-festive blues

Stop, Collaborate & Listen from Beer Hut and Bullhouse Brewing Co
Paul McConville

BEER Hut’s recent IPA Mixtape, and souped-up big brother, Boombox got me thinking recently about guilty pleasures. Sure, you can all remember the classic tunes you used to tape off the radio (or burn onto a CD if you were a bit younger) but there were also a few songs you loved but didn’t want to shout about it.

For me, one of them was Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby. To be fair, I wasn’t too shy about singing along at the time but as I got older and supposedly wiser (and Dr Dre taught us all what rap was really about) I kept my love for this tune on the down-low, as they say.

Now I couldn’t care less. Guilty pleasures don’t exist when you’re in your 40s, you just have stuff you like and stuff you don’t. Among the stuff I like is the new collaboration between Beer Hut and Bullhouse Brewing Co. Quite how these guys found the time to get together is amazing in itself as they appear to be two of the hardest-working breweries around. However, local beer drinkers are glad they did, as what they produced gave a knowing nod to Mr V Ice.

Stop, Collaborate & Listen is a breakfast stout brewed with cacao nibs. It weighs in at 8 per cent abv and has a lovely, thick oily pour. It may be a breakfast stout, but it’s as black as the night. It fires off lovely aromas of espresso and dark chocolate and you get those flavours on the palate too, along with a sweet hint of bourbon and a smooth woody, vanilla finish. It may have been a mild Christmas, but January can be a cold, unforgiving month so lift your post-festive blues with a can of this.

January is now also a bit of an evangelical time for the craft beer world. Tryanuary is now upon us in which those who aren’t swearing off the booze for life (well 31 days anyway) are encouraged to try something different, that is some beer from their local brewery, or even something further a field.

If you want to keep up to date with any Tryanuary-related events, check out their Twitter and Facebook pages. The Tryanuary NI social media platforms are once again helmed by Roy Willighan of the Quare Swally beer blog, so you'll be in good hands.

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