Beer Blog

Harbour Brewing ‘Little Rock IPA’ – Day 2 of Coldwell’s Advent calendar


The can doesn’t want to come out at first, but as I ease it out I see the initials ‘H B’. I just bought a few cans of this Cornish brewers beer from Morribog’s on special offer; four cans for £6. On a positive, I like their gear, on the downside it’s currently available for  £1.50 a tin from the Potato King! Mind you, I’ve never seen or tasted Little Rock IPA.

Can: IPA style: That can only mean a period of isolation in the fridge with the other eight Harbour Brewing Co. cans in there. Just out of interest, there’s also; three bottles of Elvis Juice – I’m not keen and they have been donated to Mrs C, and three dozen cans of Bud. There’s also half a dozen botts. of St Austell Proper Job in the pantry, also on special offer at Morrisons – not half as nice as the cask version I had in The Globe, Weymouth  in the summer, not enough condition for me in these bottles. I could go into the merits of cans here? I like cans, for lots of reasons. I digress … let’s go back to Day 2 of the Beer Hawk Advent calendar.

Looking on a map I couldn’t find a harbour in Bodmin, Cornwall, where Harbour Brewing Co. are based? I couldn’t find any mention of Little Rock on the Harbour Brewing Co. web site neither? A few core beers and a few others in the shop (£3 per can!), but no Little Rock? Is it a one off special brewed for my Advent calendar? I doubt it. I found several references online, Untappd etc. and it’s described as an East coast style IPA, full malt body with Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe and Mosaic, £2.50 per can was the cheapest I saw it at. I like Harbour Brewing Co. beers, especially in cask, they’ve had them on occasionally in a few of the Leeds Brewery, now Cameron’s, pubs in Leeds and they are pretty decent.


I poured my beer into a third glass today, leaving plenty of room to swirl it around. There’s no indication of when it was brewed on the can, only a best before date of July 2017 and the ABV  – 5.5%. The beer is quite dark amber almost brown, reddy brown, and bright. Initially there’s a head appearing as it pours which slowly disappears to leave a ring of foam around the periphery of the glass. The aromas are hops, hops and more hops, fruity hops. It’s dry, bitter, hoppy. There’s a malty taste of slightly burnt toffee, I guess some people might call that caramel? There’s some fruit flavours, but the overall impact is hops and a dark brown taste underlying it, not quite spicy cloves, more a woody barky feel.

Just checking out some of the tasting notes, from various sources I found online:

Caramelised hops – I get that, but thought it was the malt?

Thick peel orange marmalade – got the orange, wouldn’t go so far as marmalade?

Toasted white bread palate – not really.

Grassy green fresh pine needles – yeah, there’s some of that

Quick squeeze of lime zest – hint of, yes.

Strawberries – not really, but Mrs C detected strawberries on the nose and palate?

Pine, papaya, mango, Grapefruit, Red berries etc etc – Yeah, I got all the fruity, mainly grapefruity flavours you get from a mix of Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, Equinox and Amarillo hops.

It just shows again how widely tastes differ and there’s no real divergence from the Beer Hawk sommelier on their daily video. I hope she’s not wearing lip gloss today. Mind you, the flavours here would cut through any cosmetic grease.

I thought it was a bit like a bright version of Magic Rock Rapture. An American red style IPA. I like Rapture, I like Little Rock IPA, it’s everything you imagine a beer with all these hops in would taste like. You might not taste much else for a while afterwards! Overall? A nice drink. Acid test, would I buy it again? Definitely yes. I wished they had it in Morribog’s at four cans for £6.

Verdict – Advent calendar living up to expectations at the minute.


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