Beer of the Week

Five Things About … the Hobo Brewing range

1) Sampling the range of beers from Hobo Brewing, it’s hard not to think something’s gone wrong somewhere along the line. Maybe it was in the recipe creation, maybe the sourcing of the ingredients, maybe it’s the brewing process or the canning, or the storage,  but at least two of their beers just don’t seem right.

2) Hobo Brewing is a brand of Vok Beverages, the group that also has Fox Hat and Vale Brewing, as well as a number of cider and spirits. So it seems like this is a brand started up by the company to get a share of the craft beer market. Unlike some, I’ve got no great dramas with that – as long as the beers are good.

3) And this is where we have a problem. For starters, three of the four beers I had were way overcarbonated. The head started bubbling out of the cans and down the side as soon as they were opened. The fourth had a lot of foam too but I’m giving that one the benefit of the doubt as it was a wheat beer, which can have a bigger head. Looking at social media, I’m far from the only one to voice this concern either.

4) More worrying was their APA, which I found deeply, deeply unpalatable. For an American pale ale, I didn’t get much of any hop aroma or flavour. What I did get was a massive, over-the-top ginger-biscuit malt hit as well as an odd almost-chemical tang. And I’m not exaggerating here. It was so overwhelming that I had to give up reviewing any other beers, because that unpleasant flavour coated my tongue so much I wasn’t able to taste anything else. It was a drainpour for me – and for others too according to social media.

5) The mid-IPA (whatever the hell that’s supposed to be) tasted like a watered-down version of the APA. The pale doesn’t have that off-putting flavour; in fact the flavour is quite slight overall. The only beer I liked was the Session Ale, which is the wheat beer – even though the carbonation meant it took forever to pour it into a glass. It’s alright, with some banana/clove notes but it’s a long way from being “complex” as the can claims. In fact the flavour descriptions on all the cans make me wonder if whoever wrote them has actually tasted the beer.

Free or paid for?: An unsolicited four-pack sampler arrived in the mail. 

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