A few weeks ago I got a WhatsApp from Murray Middleton. Murray, you might recall, used to be the brewer at the helm of Cape Town’s Metal Lane Brewery. Sadly, the brewery is no more but happily, Murray has launched a new contract brand, Jump Brewing. The WhatsApp message in question was telling me about the brand’s latest release, Extra Hoppy Lager. Murray said he’d send me some to taste, “but only four”.
Imagine my surprise when later that day a motorbike courier rocked up bearing a case of Extra Hoppy Lager. “I guess when he said only four, he meant four six packs,” I thought. Rather a strange way to talk, but then Murray could be described as rather a strange person. I was about to close my door when the courier came back up the path with another case. Then another. And another. At this point I thought something was amiss – four complimentary cases from a start-up brand, just to taste and potentially review the beer? Seemed a little excessive!
Turns out there had been a bit of a mix-up. Murray is running the operation from Amsterdam and although he’d asked his woman-on-the-ground to send over four cans, she accidentally sent four cases. I liked her straight away. Anyway, Murray said he’s arrange to get the rest collected but I suggested that I chill and sip a can first as I might want to buy some of it. Long story short, there was never a need for the courier to come back and collect the unwanted beer, for there was no unwanted beer.
Why was that, I hear you ask… Well, simply, it’s bloody good beer. Brewed at Devil’s Peak, the beer benefitted from a bit of extra conditioning as it was in the tanks during the most recent alcohol ban. Finally something good to come from lockdown! It lives up to its name on aroma, with green mango and fresh peach leaping out at you and a pleasant weedy dankness sitting underneath. It also of course lives up as a lager – it’s crisp, it’s refreshing and luckily for Murray and his motorcycle courier, it is moreish enough to order by the case.
This is the second beer in the Jump Brewing range, the first being an equally tasty NEIPA released late last year. The idea is to bring out four or five once-off, very limited batch beers throughout the year. You can order from Jump Brewing’s website, and I hear that a few cases are making their way up country to go on sale on BestCraftBeer. The batch is selling out fairly fast, so if you want to taste it, I’d recommend ordering pretty quickly. And perhaps ordering more than you think you’ll need – you’re bound to get through it, trust me.