Having recently received a bottle of Roosters Brewing Co. Baby-Faced Assassin India Pale Ale I was of course interested in drinking it, but also keen to learn a little bit more about how it made it to my house.
In the last couple of years I have become a homebrewer as well as someone who seeks out new places to buy beer so that I can try as many as I can. These two past times crossed paths when I started buying my beer from Beer Ritz and sharing the odd Tweet with other beer fans as I drank them. Through Twitter and then beer blogs I learnt that Tom Fozzard, working at Beer Ritz at the time and now of Roosters Brewing Co., is a keen homebrewer. I’d read about one of his bathroom-brews via Real Ale Reviews and got to read more about the brewer through Beer Reviews – ‘Meet the Brewer’. The brew was Baby-Faced Assassin (BFA) IPA, but I didn’t get the chance to try the beer at that time. Fast forward only a matter of months and the news breaks that brothers Tom and Oliver Fozzard are to take over the reigns at the Roosters Brewery from Sean & Alison Franklin.
Baby-Faced Assassin was conceived as a home-brew recipe in the back office of Beer Ritz in Headingley, Leeds, on a dark winters afternoon in early 2011 – Tom Fozzard
Since that news, I understand that the Fozzards have been working alongside the Franklins to ensure a smooth transition for all concerned, not least the beer! Having only chatted a little to Oliver (Ol) on Twitter and maybe just the once to Tom, it was of little surprise when the call didn’t come to join the select band of blogging brothers to attend a get together back in August. Those who attended came away with full stomachs, hop fuelled endorphins and a lovely 750ml bottle of Tom’s BFA, brewed at Roosters this time so I’m guessing that on this occasion he wasn’t sitting on the toilet while he sparged.
A few weeks later I went for a couple of beers with Ol and to my absolute delight he brought a bottle along with him. I had in fact gone out and bought a bottle already, from the very limited stock at Beer Ritz. Rather than hog both bottles I passed a bottle on to a young chap who lives in a cave somewhere over the North Channel. He seemed appreciative until he received the bill. Anyway, we decided to drink them on the same evening. You can read my tasting notes over on Beers I’ve Known, and here is Steve’s (@BeersIveKnown) take on the booze:
We started drinking at 8pm. Its a 750ml bottle, I wonder how long it will last? Dave and I are drinking at the moment and James will join us later. Mine is bottle 20/70. It pours with a big fluffy white head and is a hazy amber in colour.
On the nose is lychee, kiwi and mango, a veritable tropical fruit salad of aromas. On to the flavours and we are treated to grapefruit bitterness and tangerine pith with increasing mango as the beer warms up. Very drinkable for its ABV (6.1%). Finishes fairly bitter but with a moreish sweetness that prompts you to drink the rest of the bottle. I hope this becomes a regular in the coming years because its a very drinkable beer that desrves to be tasted by more than just a privileged few.
As for this joint blogging/tweeting effort it seems to have done pretty well. We’ve had comments from various others during the process and @Jamesbwxm even opened his bottle to join the tasting. Perhaps if we find something more ubiquitous next time we could have mass twitter tasting….who knows?
Cheers Steve and as you say, it would be great do this again with a few more people involved. You can read more about this beer on the following blogs: The Beer Prole, The Good Stuff, The Bottled Beer Year and The Beer Boy.