Left Hand Brewing
The news that Longmont, Colorado's Left Hand Brewing was coming over to the UK has filled me with untold delight, having experienced the brilliant beers fresh from the brewery on my trip back in May. Over the coming weeks they are holding numerous launch events around the country, with initially six beers being made available to the lucky, lucky craft beer drinkers this side of the pond. These guys are one of my favourite breweries around Denver, the consistently excellent range of beers across a diverse range of styles means that we are in for a real treat.
From their paler ales, the Sawtooth Ale is a delicious ESB that is smooth and malty, with a lengthy but enjoyable bitterness. Funnily enough, I preferred it here to when I initially drunk it in Longmont, the flavour being more rounded and balanced. Meanwhile their IPA 400 Pound Monkey is a great example of the style; a big hoppy aroma leads to a wealth of grapefruit coming through a rich biscuity base, whilst there is a only a subtle bitter edge. This certainly goes down as one of my favourite American IPAs for its sheer easiness, yet managing to maintain an interesting taste throughout.
At the darker end of the spectrum, the Black Jack Porter has a lightness to it more typical of American porters, making it very drinkable as long as the liquorice hints don't put you off. Their signature offering is the utterly scrummy Milk Stout, available as both normal pour and on Nitro. With the latter, the beer is aerated with nitrogen rather than CO2 to create an incredibly silky pint that slips down dangerously easily. The problem is that I think you lose some of the more chocolaty tones in the Nitro that are so delightful in the normal pour, making the normal my particular preference – but this particular debate has only just begun over here!
Of course my personal associations with Left Hand Brewing are wrapped up in some great (if slightly hazy...) memories, but I am genuinely overjoyed that they are available here. Will we get to see the likes of their oaked barleywine Widdershins or the hugely sessionable Good Juju in time? I do hope so (my wish list runs far beyond those!), but until then there is still plenty to get excited about from one of Colorado's longest running and finest breweries.
For the full lowdown on the brewery and their beers visit lefthandbrewing.com, and follow their UK Twitter at @LeftHandUK.