Craft Beer: Sweet tasting 10p Mix Up and Ur Da Sells Avon
TAPROOMS have been a regular feature of the beer scene for many years now, but the term recently popped up in mainstream news as part of the coverage of the alcohol licensing bill which made its way through Stormont.
Before that, most people probably thought that it referred to an area of a massive bathroom showroom or a dedicated part of a dance studio.
Spearheading the campaign for the removal of many of the hoops breweries had to jump through to even stage a taproom was William Mayne of Bullhouse Brewery.
While many boxes were ticked in terms of the scrapping of red tape and number of taprooms a brewery could have, there is still much work to do.
However, as these occasions hopefully become more widespread, there will be more chances for local beer lovers to feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store.
Of course, the candy stores of my youth were referred to as sweetie shops – one area of life which was largely unaffected by American cultural imperialism. One of the most cost-effective ways to try a range of sweets was to hand over a shiny silver coin in exchange for a 10p mix-up.
Bullhouse’s own take on the sweet-shop staple comes in the form of a New England IPA called 10p Mix Up. The first thing you’ll notice about this 6.5 per cent IPA is that it has the look of a milkshake IPA.
It pours a murky light amber colour, almost like thick pure orange juice, but there’s no lactose in this beer, making it vegan friendly.
What it is packed full of is sweet and juicy tropical flavours. It has a hint of that resiny dankness you find with an NE IPA, but those fruity flavours dominate and there’s an almost candy-like sweetness to hit, a hat-tip to the beer’s name no doubt.
Bullhouse very much have a way with names and another recent offering is no exception. Ur Da Sells Avon is a pale ale which clocks in at a deceptive 6.6 per cent. It pours a light amber colour and although not as murky as 10p Mix Up, boasts a fair bit of haze.
There’s a refreshing citrus backbone to the whole thing while the stone fruit flavours balance out the bitterness nicely. It has quite a sessionable feel to it, although the abv may suggest otherwise.