Magic Rock & Lervig Farmhouse IPA


This is the second farmhouse IPA we’ve had this year, so we’re going to start referring to ‘FIPAs’ as if they’re a ‘thing’.

Mag­ic Rock are on our list of trust­ed sup­pli­ers, and their Salty Kiss was our favourite beer of 2013. That, com­bined with rap­tur­ous com­ments from Con­nor Mur­phy and oth­ers, made us keen to track down a bot­tle of the FIPA they brewed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nor­we­gian brew­ery Lervig dur­ing our time in Sheffield last week.

We found it just as we were leav­ing town, at the Sheffield Tap, which remains one of our favourite places to drink in the entire coun­try. One 330ml bot­tle cost £5.25 which made us wince, but was soon for­got­ten when we tast­ed it.

It was star­tling­ly good, and fan­tas­ti­cal­ly excit­ing.

Magic Rock & Lervig Farmhouse IPA.It remind­ed us of the first time we tast­ed Duv­el Triple Hop, or per­haps even of our reac­tion to our first bot­tles of Goose Island IPA going on for a decade ago: some­how brighter, shinier and loud­er than every­thing else around. It was more com­plex then a stan­dard hop-focused IPA, and less fusty than a stan­dard sai­son. Greater than the sum of its parts.

With a train to catch and one eye on the clock, we could­n’t real­ly give it the atten­tion we want­ed to, but kept say­ing ‘Wow!’ and ‘Cor!’ and, final­ly, dash­ing for our plat­form, ‘We need to get some more of that.’

Back home, we ordered four more bot­tles from Ales by Mail at £2.99 each, plus P&P. On Wednes­day night, we opened one and found it… very good indeed, but not rev­e­la­to­ry. Last night, we tried anoth­er, this time a lit­tle less chilled, and had the same reac­tion: it was deli­cious, but it did­n’t make us faint in ecsta­sy.

Over the course of a few bot­tles, we found sim­i­lar­i­ties with the Schnei­der Hopfen­weisse, with tons of ripe straw­ber­ry, banana, and can­died orange. Some­thing in the aro­ma remind­ed us of Thai food, and we even­tu­al­ly decid­ed on lemon­grass and (per­haps unsur­pris­ing­ly) corian­der. We’re sort of done with ‘pair­ing’, but it cer­tain­ly stood up to a sweaty soft-rind French cheese, with the beer gen­tly dou­bling the funk. The final impres­sion was of a long bit­ter­ness, which rides right on through all the cameo appear­ances by mem­bers of the fruit sal­ad ensem­ble.

It’s also worth not­ing that we have yet to pour it any­thing oth­er than cloudy. To us, this only made it look juici­er and more appetis­ing, but we realise not every­one has the same tol­er­ance for heavy fog.

Mag­ic Rock Lervig Farm­house IPA, on bal­ance, helps to make the case for spe­cials and one-offs, which some dis­miss as a dis­trac­tion: a beer like this can only take you by sur­prise once, but, boy, is it fun while it lasts.

3 thoughts on “Magic Rock & Lervig Farmhouse IPA

  1. Your review very much reminds me of the Wild Beer Co. Evolver bret­ted IPA I had at The Hang­ing Bat in Edin­burgh last month. The land­lord’s name was Chris.

  2. Brew­dog Sheps Bush had both this and the Har­bour FIPA on draught dur­ing its Mag­ic Rock tap take-over last week­end, mak­ing for an inter­est­ing com­par­i­son which I real­ly need to get writ­ten up…

    By the by, talk­ing of Hopfen­weisse, also on tap there were Mgic Rock­’s Slap­stick “India Wit” and a Tequi­la bar­rel-aged ver­sion of the same, and the lat­ter in par­tic­u­lar remind­ed me very much of Hopfen­weisse.

    Oh well, if we can have Black IPA and India Pale Lager, why not India Weizen?

  3. Fun­ni­ly enough, “juicy” is always the word that springs to my mind when I see a pint of hazy/cloudy beer. Its just a learnt asso­ci­a­tion. Clear beer = GKIPA at worst, Tim­o­thy Tay­lor at best. A bit of hop or chill haze, maybe a touch of wheaty cloudi­ness is nor­mal­ly a sig­ni­fi­er of some­thing spe­cial.

    The worst visu­al sig­ni­fi­er is a big thick creamy head. If it looks like John Smiths, it will prob­a­bly taste like John Smiths in my expe­ri­ence.

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