Yes, I know that the last beer I reviewed was also an Afro Caribbean brew. And yes, I know that a session IPA is pretty much a well-hopped pale ale. But I am, with a bunch of beery mates, heading off on an epic road trip tomorrow and reviewing this beer is a nice segue into telling you about it.
So let’s start with the beer. Whether you love or loathe the term “Session IPA”, the beer lives up to its claim. It is in fact so sessionable that it’s difficult to review. Three times I have meant to take notes but have found myself finishing the can before I remember to write anything down.
This time though, I did scrawl a few thoughts. The beer doesn’t have a huge nose, but there is some orange rind deep in the bottom of the glass (or can, if you’re not pouring it out). It’s fairly light bodied and flavour-wise there’s citrus and lychee and the merest hint of lightly toasted bread. There is actually a surprising amount going on – an array of subtle flavour notes that you could sit around and dissect, or you could just sip the damn beer as it was designed to be sipped swigged.
The beer is a collab between Afro Caribbean and Parliament Brewery, the brewing arm of beer ingredient supply company BevPlus. Fifteen cases of the 4.5% ABV brew are coming with us as we drive from Cape Town to Clarens for the annual Clarens Craft Beer Festival. Along the way we are co-hosting a couple of small events, and if you’re in the area, we’d love for you to come along. The first event takes place on February 19th from 5-7pm at The Blind Pig in Wilderness. Come and chat to the brewers (and drinkers), taste the road trip SIPA and just generally share some beer love. Free hugs will be available. The following evening we’ll be doing the same thing at Richmond Hill Brewing Company in PE, again from 5-7pm.
And then we drive north to Clarens itself where, on Thursday 21st, we will be hosting a third ‘Meet the Roadtrippers’ evening at Clarens Brewery (5-6pm). The road trip beer will also be on tap at the Clarens Craft Beer Fest alongside ACBC’s special festival brew, Disco Hop Party (DDH IPA) and four other beers including Happy Rocketship, a collab IPL with Urban Brewing Co.
Come and find us in Wilderness, PE or Clarens – we’d love to meet you and share some beer chat over a cold one. We will also be stopping in Richmond, NC, on the journey home for one last tasting (venue TBC).
You can follow along on social media – look for #ClarensRoadtrip and find us at Garden Route breweries, surfing and sipping in JBay, checking out PE’s beer scene and popping in to have a look at the hop harvest in George. And it all culminates in Clarens, where one of the country’s best beer fests takes place on February 22nd and 23rd. See you there?
Are you going to be at any of the places along the route? Tell us in the comments section and hopefully we’ll see you along the way!