Those of you who know me will know that I often get accosted by all manner of people who announce apropos of nothing that they have made a beer. "I've done a beer" they blurt, breathless with excitement, "it's made of cabbages and MDF!". I'm not sure if that's what they really say, but I've usually tuned out by that point. Such is the prevalence of craft beer now, trying to find the good stuff has become a dark art. If the moon is just right, sometimes you win. And this time I feel like I've won...
Top Rope Brewing's Neil accosted me on a wet Tuesday outside an industrial unit. Pleasantries out of the way ("A beer you say?") Neil landed the first punch with talk of wrestling. "We're wrestling fans, you see! So we made wrestling themed beers!". There was no denying this man's enthusiasm. So I tried some and I have to admit I was instantly floored. This stuff is good. No, better than good. This stuff is superb.
I probably started in the wrong place, but the Papa Mango instantly took my attention and being like a bear at a honey party, I tore it open and poured it out. The colour of the stuff was a deep blazing yellow, and the tropical slap in the face that followed on the nose was the stuff fruit beer legends are made of. I sipped, then glugged, then wanted more. This is neither sweet nor sour, yet perfectly mangoey (yes it's a word!) and just stupidly refreshing! Remember those Opal Fruit adverts from the 80s which left you expecting to be drowned in a paddling pool of mouth-watering flavour? It's like that, but better, and you don't need water wings.
Next up came the Vanilla Monsoon, a beast of a stout that takes no hostages. There is something of the espresso martini about the way it looks, but don't be fooled. This is no debonair gentleman in a dinner suit, this is a storm and its wearing a singlet and face paint. The dark clouds roll heavily into the glass and you can almost feel the stuff settling with a rumble. The vanilla is present like distant lightning, it's there and it's powerful but it's not the centre of attention. The star of the show here is the incredible liquid texture, which is sublime and like drinking silk. This is a damn fine bit of brewing.
Needless to say we took on the whole range and it is well worth exploring if you want some really interesting beers that have been brewed with mad amounts of enthusiasm for the craft. Tope Rope Beer's Ben and Neil started making this in Ben's parents kitchen in Liverpool in 2015 and less than a year later they won 3 out of 5 categories in the Liverpool Brewdog homebrew competition. By 2018 they had purchased a brewery in North Wales, where they continue to grow their business and their following. We're thrilled to have them on board!
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