Weird Beard Fade to Black

“Things not what they used to be
Missing one inside of me
Deathly lost this can’t be real
Can’t stand this hell I feel
Emptiness is filling me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn
I was me, but now he’s gone”

Fade to Black, Metallica a classic track by a massive band who started small and made it big, their double album Garage Inc a lament back to their early rehearsing and recording days.

Quite apt really for Weird Beard Brew Co, who despite wowing Londoners and a select few people lucky enough to get hold of their beers, as yet do not have a commercial brewing operation and as such are still in reality home/garage brewers.

I was one of those lucky few folk and was given this prototype bottle of Fade To Black at the Beer Bloggers Conference a few months ago by brewer Gregg Irwin (aka @dredpenguin on Twitter). I had intended to share this bottle hence the time passing, but in the interest of freshness only, gave up and cracked it open last night.

It’s a black IPA (or Cascadian Dark Ale) hopped with Apollo, Citra, Sorachi and Amarillo and after a lively fizz as you crack to cap pours like bubbling hot bitumen with a cappuccino frothy head.

On the nose there are aromas of toffee, red grapes and citrus fruit peel. On tasting the first thing that struck me was the really juicy body the beer had, really refreshing like liquid red and black fruit gums. As the flavour develops on the tongue you get bitter dark chocolate with liquorice and stewed plums, there’s a little coffee too underpinned by citrus grapefruit notes.

All in all a bloody good beer and definitely a brewery to watch as predicted by Tandleman after their meet the brewer session at The Rake in London back in May, where he made the bold claim and I quote “this could well be the Magic Rock of the South’. If that isn’t a great recommendation, I don’t know what is. Read more about that day and more of the Weird Beard range here.

The Weird Beard website is still under construction, but there is still a live blog feed here for details of what is going on. As a quick update from Gregg though, the lease for the new brewery premises is making good progress so hopefully an announcement on that front will be forthcoming soon. He also mentioned that the brewing team are working on new recipes as well as tweaking existing ones, with new labels to follow too. Great news for drinkers of good beer.

Thanks again to Gregg for the prototype bottle, best of luck to all involved in the new venture.