Best new beers of 2015…Tempest Harvest IPA

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Beer of the Year | No Comments


So, the final beer in the five-part best-of list for 2015 is here – a perfect example of a brewery doing what they have come to do best, and then pushing it just that little bit further. It proves – once and again – how that blend of experience and experimentation result in some truly fantastic beers…

Harvest IPA: Mosaic Saison (6.7%)
Tempest Brewery, Tweedbank, Scottish Borders
(keg, bottle, September)

It’s one of those decisions brewers face – stick to what you know, or do best, or decide to pin back the ears and take on new styles in a totally different direction. As it works out, most breweries go for the latter with a hefty dose of the former, and it’s the ones that have built up experience with a core set of styles who usually nail the more unusual ones first time. Take Tempest – they have become one of the finest exponents of saison in the country at the moment, and yet one they released at the tail end of this Autumn was even better.

Their fruit-based saisons have been great, but the first in a new series of Belgian/IPA hybrids was truly special – and is a great example of what happens when that already fantastic baseline is tinkered with. In this case, that tinkering involved bucketloads of Mosaic hops – and the result was a fantastically juicy, citrus layered beer that straddled all kinds of beery worlds, but in perfect balance.

In writing this final post I’ve realised that every single one of my new British beers of the year is 6% or over – this isn’t really indicative of my drinking these days (I’m still drinking more of Jarl and Dead Pony Club than pretty much anything else), but maybe it’s a subtle reminder of how to become memorable, with so many fantastic beers out there. If nothing else, the Harvest IPA was without doubt the most notable ‘is this strong? You can’t taste it’ beer of 2015. As Gavin at Tempest always says…drinkable…

So, that’s it for the sixth running of the traditional end of year best-of list. For more details on how Tempest put together their Harvest IPA, check out their blog post here. There were some fantastic beers that didn’t quite make the list – it’s been another brilliant year for new British beers.

There’s one more blog post to go this year – next week it’s the big one. The BeerCast’s Brewery of the Year…

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