High Fives 2017 – The Hallows’ Dave Pugh’s Top 5 craft beers



The Boxing Day edition of High Fives comes courtesy of The Hallows. We’ve seen them a couple of times in 2017 and they’re absolutely stunning live; get out and watch them if you can. If you want a lazy description (it’s Boxing Day and we’ve been hitting the superlager here at Riot Towers) just imagine if Kate Bush joined Muse as singer; you won’t be too far off the mark. And now we have multiple levels of introduction, first from the band, then from bass player Dave Pugh.

The Hallows are fond of a tipple and enjoy nothing more than good beer and wine shared with splendid company…however there is always one who likes to take it a bit further and embraces the world of alcohol in a way that many will never understand…we hand you over to Dave Pugh, Bass player for The Hallows and all around Craft Beer connoisseur to give you a rundown of his top five beverages. Take it away Dave…

So, I like beer. Always have. Well not quite always obviously… but since about 2013-14 I have become somewhat of an enthusiast rather than just someone who enjoyed a pint (or many…) down the pub. The craft beer scene worldwide is huge now, and seems to have grown even more so in Britain in 2017, with loads of really very good stuff available in all major supermarkets and even corner shops. These five below are my favourites that I’ve drunk this year. Spoiler alert, I’m an IPA fan… as my favourite T-Shirt reads “Give me hops or give me death.”

Psychokinesis – Magic Rock Brewery

This beer is amazing. Magic Rock have become probably my favourite brewery and this was the finest example of their limited edition IPAs this year. This is a west coast style IPA using an experimental new hop called HBC438 (along with some others). It’s got big aromas of tropical fruits as many IPAs do but this new hop gives almost bubblegum or lime type notes. Back when I could get my hands on this beer you could probably have seen me cradling the glass like Gollum would The One Ring…


DIPA v11 – Cloudwater Brewery

Cloudwater have been winning awards all over the place, and had you asked me to put this list together last year they could easily have had 4 or even five places on the list with their run of double IPA versions. This one was my favourite this year. Big flavours. Complex, full bodied, strong, resinous, fruity, dank. Awesome.



Fantasma – Magic Rock Brewery

Another from Magic Rock. This beer is very interesting in that it was designed along the same lines as the others in their Canned IPA series but it is actually gluten-free and is even safe for coeliacs to drink. It’s tropical, hazy, dank and slightly bitter – all the things I look for these days! This one has been kept in production rather than disappearing as you would expect a limited edition to do. Go get some.

Jackhammer – Brewdog

Slightly cheating here as this is not a beer that was created or brought to market in 2017, but it remains one of my all-time favourites and go to beers. Brewdog were the company that caught me up in the craft beer movement when I discovered how much I loved their Punk IPA (I still drink far too much of the stuff, far too regularly…) Jackhammer is like Punk IPA turned up to 11, hops everywhere and just about the most bitter finish available. With Brewdog’s expansion after their amazing success and growth as a company you can now get hold of it in major supermarkets as well as specialist shops and Brewdog bars. Do it.

Brewdog vs Cloudwater New England IPA v 2 – Brewdog & Cloudwater

A collaboration between two of my favourite breweries? In a style I really like? Yes please. Loads of hops, hazy, juicy, spicy and a real note of pine in the aroma. It’s a very complex tasting beer which at points makes you think you’re drinking a fruit juice and at times smacks you in the head and reminds you it’s 8.5%… really, really good.

So that’s my list. Obviously I’ve drunk more this year than IPAs, but this is my list… there’s so much good stuff out there now, definitely something for everyone.

I have to give a big shout out to Sean and Mollie at Warwick Real Ale. I’m really lucky to have such a great craft beer shop right on my doorstep in Warwick. You really couldn’t wish for more knowledgeable or friendly business owners and the service is always spot on. Please find them on Facebook and support local business.