I went to meet Mike Wicks from the online beer store Left Field Beer and, to be fair, I couldn’t have picked a worse day! The “Beast from the East” had well and truly hit and it was like a blizzard outside. I stumbled into a local craft beer dig, Clink Beer, where there were plenty of fellow craft beer lovers with their woollies on, seeking sanctuary from the horrendous conditions, clutching some craft beer goodness to warm them up… The Imperial Stouts were really doing well that day!
A bloke walks in, looks at the board, doesn’t think twice and orders Cloudwater Wizard King at a whopping 12%… This was Mike from Left Field Beer! We took a pew, me in my Russian-style woolly hat, thermal jumper and coat, Mike in just his t-shirt!
Kicking back and enjoying his beer, Mike told me of his love for craft beer and how he started getting into it about 10 years ago; “I ordered from a few online shops, some of the service was good, some not so good. I had a few subscriptions on the go, but the service was pretty much hit and miss, with many pretty bang average beers. It made me think that I want something different…”
Working as a Civil Servant, two and a bit years ago, he decided to sit down at his computer and devise a plan on how to bring top notch craft beer to the masses at a decent price…
“My wife was eight and a half months pregnant, so it wasn’t the most suitable timing but with another round of voluntary redundancies coming I thought that it would provide the perfect platform to kick on from!”
It was a pretty good plan but it didn’t come without its challenges…
“It’s been a big learning curve for me but I’m continually looking at what everyone else is doing. The biggest challenge has been finding the right beers that appeal to the people, I had a clear concept in mind where everything is focused around what’s hard to get and is most wanted but from time to time you don’t always manage to get hold of certain brews with demand being so high. I lurk on some forums and on untapped but there is only so much you can do, a lot of it is down to intuition.”
“I think Left Field has become a nice way to get good beer out there, it’s not just a cog in the wheels to make some money, you put your life into it. I like to feel that I am creating a community, especially with our beer club. It’s a good time to be a beer drinker with different brewers rubbing off each other, collaborating and working together.”
Mike’s kindly offered 10% off to all BeerYeti readers until the 1st April 2018 – just use the code BEERYETI. But first, let’s see what he has on offer!
Founders Brewing Co. – MOSAIC PROMISE 5.5% abv
From the brewers that not long ago brought the legendary CBS to the UK!
Appearance: Hazy amber, with a white head that retains.
Aroma: Slightly floral, with a cracking mix of tangerine and sweet tropical notes.
Flavour: Sweet and citrusy, a fresh hit of slightly bitter grapefruit, followed by a hoppy/ pine finish.
Light and very easy to drink!
Staggeringly Good – VELOCIRAPTURE IPA 6.5% abv
From the brewery that are “all about quality real ale…and dinosaurs!”
Appearance: Deep amber, with a thick, frothy, slightly off-white head.
Aroma: A fresh mix of citrus and tropical fruit, mellowed by a dash of pine.
Flavour: Slightly bitter orange-peel, counteracted by a really juicy, super-sweet blast of citrus, finished off with a herbal bitter hoppiness.
A well-balanced, epic bitter-sweet mix!
Oskar Blues Brewery – Death By Coconut 6.5% abv
With St. Paddy’s Day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with this Irish-style Porter.
Appearance: Jet black, with a beige/brownish head that reduces quickly, leaving a slight bit of lacing on the surface.
Aroma: Sweet coconut, with a hint of coffee, complimented by a touch of vanilla.
Flavour: Chocolatey, with a hint of toasted malts, followed by a beautifully sweet splash of coconut.
Very creamy, almost like a liquid bounty bar!
Twisted Barrel Ale – Naido – 5.0% abv
From the boys really making some noise in Coventry, this brew will surely not disappoint!
Appearance: Deep amber, with a big white head.
Aroma: Fruity with plenty of citrus and fresh pine.
Flavour: VERY juicy, with a blast of tropical fruit and plenty of pineapple, mellowed down by a bitter hoppiness.
The perfect party starter! 🙂
Northern Monk Brew Co. – HIT & ROLL – PATRONS PROJECT 6.04 6% abv
These guys need no introduction, going from strength to strength, not only with their cutting edge brews, but their amazing peel and reveal labels too!
Appearance: Golden/ straw, with a slight haze and a touch of natural carbonation.
Aroma: Very hoppy, with a blast of fresh pine, followed by sweet tropics and a lush peach underlay.
Flavour: Sweet peaches, with a creamy vanilla feel and a bitter hoppy finish.
Love peaches, then you’ll love this!
So there you have it, get your teeth into these bad boys and check out what else is available on Left Field’s website. Don’t forget to use the code BEERYETI to receive 10% off your purchases with Left Field until the 1st April 2018!
This feature is a paid for promotion.