Thursday, 11 December 2014

Left Hand Brewing 400 Pound Monkey

Left Hand Brewing 400 Pound Monkey
Style: English IPA
Alcohol Content: 6.9%
From: Longmont, CO, USA
Purchased From: Corbetts Real Ale, Dorking, Surrey

Ever wondered what a 400 pound monkey looks like? Read on to reveal all

Left Hand began in December 1990 with a home-brewing kit founder Dick Doore received from his brother. According to Dick, "it was all downhill from there." By 1993, Dick had teamed up with college buddy Eric Wallace and they resolved to start a brewery.

On September 21, 1993, they incorporated as Indian Peaks Brewing Company, and purchased a former meat-packing plant next to the St. Vrain River outside downtown Longmont, Colorado. A few weeks after beginning production, it was discovered that the name Indian Peaks was already in use by another Brewery, so the name was changed to Left Hand, in honor of Chief Niwot (the Arapahoe word for "left hand") whose tribe wintered in the local area. Left Hand's doors opened for business on January 22, 1994. Their first batch of beer was Sawtooth Ale, which has since become their most popular brew. In October of that year, Left Hand took home two medals at the Great American Beer Festival, a Gold Medal in the bitter category for Sawtooth Ale, and a Bronze Medal in the Robust Porter category for Black Jack Porter.

In recent years, the brewery is prospering and growing like never before! Beginning with over 30% growth in 2010, Left Hand is breaking barrelage records each year, even making the Brewers Association’s Top 50 Craft Breweries list in 2012. What started as a humble brew house extension in 2008, has turned into a 5 year $9 million expansion, as the brewery sprints to keep up with thirsty fans.

400 Pound Monkey
Cheeky Monkey!

Colour: Pours a light, copper colour that's not too dissimilar to the colour of a good Czech Pilsner. There is a very small amount of foam present in glass which then lingers for the duration of the beer.

Aroma: As soon as you pop the cap you will think you have walked into a bakery. Wholemeal bread rises like a bakers dozen to great your nostrils. This sensation soon dies down to reveal delicate notes of elderflower and sweet caramel. Lovely stuff!

Body: Medium bodied with just a slight tickle of carbonation. Very easy to drink that reminds me of one of my favourite pub pints; St Austell's Tribute.

Taste: Everything about this beer is subtle. All the flavour blend perfectly to produce a very inoffensive beer that would not be out of place in many in many UK pubs. Notes of sweet wholemeal bread dominate. The use of Magnum hops help to provide a slight citrus edge which helps to cut through the sweetness. The high alcohol content is very well hidden by the underlying sweetness of this beer. Absolutely glorious! After drinking so many heavily hopped IPA's recently, this beer makes a welcome change to the norm. Definitely a beer worth revisiting again and again!

400 Pound Monkey

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