Sometimes a bit of old timeyness is just what the doctor ordered. Siren have lovingly crafted this homage to a style that been neglected for many a year. Barley wine is style dating back to 16th century England, brewed as a alternative to wine with the accompanying strength. This iteration by Siren has been brought up to date with a sojourn in bourbon barrels which, much like a weekend at the spa has done wonders for its complexion and character. Brewed in traditional English style, pouring a rich mahogany (leather-bound books anyone?), the aroma is sweet, almost sherry-esque, with a light bourbon tinge and the flavour delivers almost unanimously, with a bit of dried fruit and Christmas cake stealing in to round it off. This is a beer to sup in the dark of winter while reminiscing about the glory days with old friends.
Siren Craft Brew don’t do boring. Even among the core range, usually reserved for the more ‘commercial’ beers, includes a 6% breakfast stout, a red IPA and Calypso, a Berliner-style sour beer. (What a wonderful beery world we live in). But this is a brewery that doesn’t know how to stop – there’s a huge range of seasonal, experimental and collaborative beers, the best of which we’re lucky enough to stock.
Yet, underpinning the whole operation is the ethos that beer should be exciting and enjoyed in the same way as fine wines, yet balanced and drinkable. It has been a remarkable journey since founder Darron Anley started the brewery in 2012, and we can’t wait to see where it will go next.