Carbon Black IPA – ABV 6.8%

Light-bodied, herby and refreshing, this is a great example of a Black IPA a brewery that is growing in reputation.

Look: Fixed Wheel Carbon Black pours with a nice tan head.

Aroma: Big juicy scents of grapefruit and pine.

Taste: Roasted malt to balance out the pine and citrus, and a nice bitter finish with just a hint of herbs.

Food Pairing: This is a terrific beer for pairing with fatty meats. Try drinking it with a plate of sticky sweet BBQ ribs.

Verdict: Plant Earth needs carbon to survive. Say no more.

Ride it Like You Stole It DIPA – ABV 8.5%

This classic double IPA was made after Fixed Wheel “robbed a hop bank” and has stolen our heart: bitter orange and pine freshness ride on a bike of treacle.

Look: Ride it Like You Stole It pours dark orange with a small white head.

Aromas: Sweet notes of peach and mango combine with the bitterness of orange zest.

Taste: A lovely freshness with a big hit of pine and a twist of marmalade against a body of caramel. Totally delicious.

Food pairing: This beer pairs well with salty and fried foods. Try drinking it with a plate of gammon and chips.

Verdict: Fresh yet caramelly, hoppy and treacley – a world cycling champion.

Kraken Coffee Stout – ABV 7.4%

This monster is made with cold-brewed coffee, but features a subtle creaminess to add to warming roasted malts that makes it stand out other coffee stouts.

Look: Kraken Coffee Stout pours with a nice light brown head and subtle carbonation.

Aroma: Juts like a latte with three sugars in it.

Taste: There’s none of the suggested sweetness, just lots of roasted malt and coffee.

Food pairing: It works really well alongside the creaminess of an ice-cream or pannacotta. Feeling adventurous? Try pouring it over vanilla ice-cream like an affogato.

Verdict: This Kraken is a beast we would happily face again.

Root of All Evil Beetroot Hefeweizen – ABV 8%

Sweet and nicely spiced, with herbal earthy notes the yeast and beetroot, this bright pink Hefeweizen beer has to be tasted to be understood.

Look: Best served chilled, the beer pours pinkish in the glass with a big foamy head.

Aroma: It has massive aromas of beetroot (duh) with just a hint of forest fruit.

Taste: Sweet with the unmistakable earthiness of beetroot present but never overpowering, and nicely balanced with spiciness the yeast.

Food Pairing: Pair this beer with the salty sharpness of sheep or goat’s cheese. We think it’s the ideal beery accompaniment for a Greek salad.

Verdict: Beetroot. Love it or loathe it, you have to try this sweet, earthy unique brew Time & Tide. It’s like no beer you’ve tasted before.

Figgy Bastard Imperial Stout – ABV 10%

Beer made with figs aged in red wine barrels for an Amaretto tingle. You’ve got better willpower than us if you can wait until Christmas to drink this.

Look: Figgy Bastard pours jet black with a tan head.

Aroma: Dried fruit, chocolate and amaretto.

Taste: Sweetness of figs and dates, with a lovely contrasting sourness that prevents it becoming too cloying. Lovely stuff.

Food pairing: If you can keep your hands off it until Christmas Day it will go down a storm with your mince pies and Xmas pudding.

Salted Caramel Quadrupel – ABV 13%

Salted… Caramel… Quadrupel. The mere utterance of those three words in the same breath is enough to get us salivating in anticipation.

Look: The beer pours a slightly orange brown with a big frothy head.

Aroma: Unsurprisingly, this delivers lots of salted caramel on the nose.

Taste: Salty sweet caramel and toffee, with dried fruit the yeast and warmth the alcohol. Unique.

Food Pairing: This beer is practically a pudding in its own right. Try pairing it with the saltiness of an aged gouda like Raypenaer.

Amarillo DIPA-ish – ABV 9.3%

The way to Amarillo is lined with Saaz Hops reminiscent of a Pilsner, accompanied with orange, grapefruit pine and strong alcohol warmth.

Look: Clear in the bottle, it pours slightly hazy with a long lasting white head.

Aroma: The Saaz Hops initially put you in mind of a Czech Pilsner, but with an almost equal amount of citrus and pine; and these are the flavours that become more dominant in the taste.

Taste: Bursting with orange, grapefruit and the warmth of alcohol it becomes increasingly DIPA-like on the palette. It is everything a double IPA ought to be, and a little bit more besides.

Food pairing: This beer works really well with Indian food. Try it with the fresh green chillies of a Jalfrezi.

Bloed, Zweet & Tranen Smoked Stout – ABV 8.2%

Rich and luxurious, this De Molen stout’s smoky caramel sweetness immediately brings to mind the peat of a Laphroaig whisky.

Aroma: Malt and that peaty smoke, toffee and chocolate.

Taste: The smokey sweetness is nicely balanced with flavours of roasted malt, chocolate and caramel to give a beer that’s extremely drinkable.

Food Pairings: This beer is big on flavour, and demands strong flavours to match. Try it with a few squares of dark rich chocolate.

Verdict: De Molen love ageing beer in spirit barrels, and Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (Blood, Sweat & Tears) is a perfect example. You can taste the hard work and care that has gone into it to give it its name.

Fresh Prince of Norway DIPA – ABV 9%

Expect a fresh, floral, piney and progressive double IPA this award-winning brewery. Expect it to be very, very good.

Look: On the pour Fresh Prince of Norway Bandwagon Bier Member Berry DIPA v37 (to give it its full title) is clearly unfiltered and unfined – you can tell its natural haze.

Aroma: Smooth floral and citrus notes with pine and tropical fruit.

Taste: All the above fruitiness plus a subtle nuttiness, Naked Oats in the grain bill.

Food pairing: Pair this beer with the flavours of Vietnam. Try it alongside a green papaya salad with loads of chilli and lime.

Westport Extra Blonde Tripel – ABV 9%

Spicy and herbal with background notes of caramel and toffee and some alcohol warmth and sweet booziness – a Belgian Tripel at its best.

Look: Dark hazy amber with foamy white head and good lacing.

Aroma: Driven by candy sweetness with undertones of spice and herbal hops.

Taste: Bold and full-bodied, with medium carbonation. On the taste it’s bitter and drier with a juicier sweeter finish and some minimal booziness warmth.

Verdict: Everything a Belgian Tripel should be the folks in Westport, Ireland.