Third Moon, Balance, Hudson Valley beers at Ghost Whale.


New week, new recs! New season? The sun seems to be poking through the clouds, so I’m getting as many weird beers in before it’s time for Lager, Radler, and Pale Ale season. We all know the eccentric Raycommendations will continue, but, my goodness am I excited for sunshine Session beers. The best of a trip to Liverpool’s finest outfit, a surprisingly fantastic fruited Wild Ale, and a blast from the past Imperial Stout headline this week. 


As spoken about in last week’s list of Raycommendations, a spontaneous trip to Manchester for the wicked beer scene they boast stands as the highlight of my April thus far. The inopportune, last minute timing of the trip saw us left with zero options for hostels in the city, forcing us to spend the night in neighbouring Liverpool. To make the most of our poor planning, we ended our Saturday at Azvex’s wonderful industrial estate taproom, as a ‘when-in-Rome’, ‘why-the-hell-not’ last ditch beer-y occasion. Employed in a gargantuan warehouse on the outskirts of the city, decorated with in-your-face graffiti art that references their beloved brands, lives the best brewery of the Scouse beer scene. When last orders were called, I noticed a DIPA hopped with Citra, Strata, and Nectaron, that was my eventual standout sipper of our late-night stop-off. ‘Dyson Sphere’ drinks like peach juice, boasting loads of residual sweetness post-fermentation, with a hint of pine. It’s so drinkable for the ABV. Seeing this on our list of incomings this week filled me with joy, as I’m so pleased everyone here at Ghost Whale gets to experience the same juicy hop bomb I was lucky enough to try straight from the source. 

TRIAL & ALE – 30,000 STEPS

Pineapple in a mixed fermentation Sour? Has that been done yet? If so, was it done well? It has been now. Edmonton, Canada’s Trial & Ale took a risk using the volatile, acidic fruit that is pineapple, but, through brewing wizardry, made this work a charm. ‘30,000 Steps’ is sharply tart up front, mouthcoating-ly so, with an abundance of fresh pineapple flavour shining through that offers relief to your taste buds. No hint of artificialness here. So fresh, tropical, and juicy, with an acidic bite to keep you in check. An absolute masterclass of a brewing performance, accomplishing what I had thought simply wouldn’t work. Worth mentioning, that sipping this beauty inspired a regular customer and I to try the rest of the Trial & Ale selection, all of which were just stunning. Hats off to these incredible talents. 


Reading about a beer described as a ‘liquid Bounty bar in a glass’ is enough for me to go mad over it. It took far longer than it should have for me to finally tuck into one of these beautiful little tins, but, boy was it worth the wait. As a child, my family took a holiday to Hawaii, Maui specifically, where we embarked on a day trip known as the ‘Road to Hana’, a 100+ kilometre drive along the coast of the island. I was unfortunately struck with the worst car sickness of my life on this 5 hour journey, during which all I could stomach was a coconut chip candy that we bought at a tiny hut stand we came across along the road, operated by a family of locals. This Imperial Stout from Leicestershire is raw, unadulterated coconut, completely redolent of those candied coconut crispies that saved my day way back in 2010. Far less sweet than the Bounty bar that was promised, with heaps of bittersweet dark chocolate and pure coconut coming through. Wholesome nostalgia in a glass for me personally.