Many people will disagree with this, but I don’t think Tiny Rebel are a craft brewer. Definitely a very, very good brewer, whose products I very much enjoy, but not craft beer. More a British (Welsh, to be specific) brewer with a host of accolades, brewing in a post modernist style. Okay, they may have been inspired by American IPA’s, it says so on their web site, beyond that the only reference to ‘craft’ I could see was in relation to their Urban Tap House (Mk I). I mean, if they are a craft brewer how come their Welsh red ale Cwtch won the Champion Beer of Britain 2015, in the Best Bitter category? Best Bitter isn’t craft beer is it? Cwtch is however a lovely drink that I could drink all day and everyday.
Opening my calendar today revealed a bottle of FUBAR. I like FUBAR. I like the name. I like the cheeky way they have just spun it round to ‘Funked Up By A Rebel’. I like the label art, I like the little bear, I love the bottle cap. I love it that you usually see it on cask, in fact we’ve had it on twice at our little local beer festival, by popular request! I like the fact that Tiny Rebel continue to produce all their core beers in cask and I’d love to see them follow up FUBAR with a family of similarly named beers; SNAFU, SUSFU, TARFU and maybe even BOHICA for something with a bit of a chipotle kick?
I did get a little confused the other week when I saw FUBAR chalked on a fermenter/conditioning tank in a brewery at Cropton, near Pickering, North Yorkshire. Surely The Great Yorkshire Brewery haven’t nicked Tiny Rebel’s idea?
I rang Tiny Rebel to find out. They explained they are going to be opening their new brewery in January 2017 and are currently working flat to get everything right. The new brewhouse is exactly the same as the The Great Yorkshire Brewery one at Cropton, so they went up and did a trial brew on it to see how things worked out. The new brewery will increase Tiny Rebel‘s capacity from 12 to 30 Barrels.
Getting back to FUBAR, a 4.4% Pale ale, Unfiltered and Vegan friendly, so the very pale amber beer is a little hazy in the glass. The foamy head you get on pouring soon disappears. I don’t know if it’s the bottles/cans or my glasses, but none of the beers I’ve had so far have retained their head? Aroma; hops and a hint of citrus flavours. Taste; dry, citrussy, flowery, bitter, a touch of biscuity maltiness that leaves a nice honey, lemon and straw after taste. I could drink lots of this. I wish they had it on draught in my local.
Still no more tasting notes on the Beer Hawk web site (1100 – 051216), since Day 2. I was enjoying those little videos too, a bit of added interest to the experience.
Verdict – I’m enjoying the beers I’m getting. Very well curated so far. And Tiny Rebel aren’t a Craft Brewer, they’re just excellent modern British brewers. I can feel a weekend trip to Cardiff coming on in the new year!