Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Holgate Brewing
Word around the campfire has that genesis for the founding of Holgate Brewing can be traced back to the founders’ trips to the old and new world, which inspired them to commence brewing beers in both traditional British and North American fashion. Having started as a small home endeavour, operations organically evolved and eventually grew via a brewpub to a full-sized brewery that not only keeps producing its well-established classic core range but enriches its offerings with seasonal, experimental and barrel-aged brews that are refined in what has become recognized as one of the more technologically advanced sites and took Holgate to new heights.
Being a dedicated hophead, what seems to have become Holgate’s annual tribute to Star Wars just in time for the 4th of July, has entered and firmly established itself in my IPA top 5: While the name “empirial” Millennium Falcon might have you think that it is a brew rooted in novelty territory, it is a big beer in every sense of the word. However, the way the flavour nuances are calibrated could not be more sophisticated as it hits the sweet spot between the coordinates of caramelly maltiness, juicy sweetness reminiscent of citrus fruits that is accentuated by the relatively high ABV of 9% and a bitterness of 100+ IBU that keeps things on an even keel. A beautiful beer that is being refined further year after year and reigns supreme in a galaxy of its own.
Another experimental brew that showcases Holgate’s variety is its Brewhouse Empress 2020. In a world where finding a section dedicated to a range of pastry stouts at the beer dealership of your choice, the concept of an imperial mocha porter does not surprise anymore. However, hardly any of the brews from the category that I have tried made me go back for seconds.
The Brewhouse Empress is a voluptuous and lustful diva amongst beers that has seen various incarnations since its inception in 2011: For a start, it has been brewed with coffee and the denseness of the beer is pervaded by syrupy highlights, dominating dark chocolate and mocha flavours as well as nuances of vanilla and hints of core fruits and it not only sounds like it could be a dedicated course of a meal – it is, and desserty one at that. With the bitterness having been dialled back to 50 IBU and a bullish alcohol content of 10% ABV, the focus is firmly set on bold mocha flavours that make it an ideal hoppy malt beverage to have in front of a campfire during a cold winter evening.
Holgate Brewing is one to watch and should be on the radar of any beer enthusiast.
image from company website