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10 craft beers you should be drinking this weekend (2-4 Feb)

Pro-picked brewski perfection for your days of rest

10 craft beers you should be drinking this weekend (2-4 Feb)

If ticking the Friday-Sunday ‘fun’ box this weekend involves you hiking up a treacherous mountain with your pals, scoring some sweet new trainers, escaping from the city with your other half or doing abso-lute-ly nothing but goggling at a new Netflix series and wiping Pringles dust from your chin, one thing’s for sure: if you’re doing your weekend right, you’re doing it with a slew of gloriously good beers within reach, much like those from our best craft beers guide.

And reader, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to ensure that happens. Not just this weekend, but next weekend, and every weekend until the end of days. Every Friday, we’ll be leaning on our learned booze-pro buds to recommend the powerhouse suds you should be reaching for as soon as 6.01pm swings around.

So, with the help of Jen Ferguson, founder of ridiculously good craft bottle shop Hop Burns & Black, these are the finest craft beers you could possibly skull this February weekend…

The one to crack open at 6.01pm on Friday

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Salopian - Kashmir (IPA, 5.5%)

“Come Friday, you want something that’s exploding with flavour, but not so high in alcohol that you’re wobbly after one. Kashmir, from criminally underrated Shrewsbury brewery Salopian, checks in at a reasonable 5.5% and will instantly be your new favourite beer.”

The one you won’t have tried before

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Burnt Mill - Ties That Bine (DIPA, 8.2%)

“Burnt Mill is an exciting new brewery from Suffolk - it just won Best New UK Brewery in the Ratebeer Best Awards and deservedly so. Their Ties That Bine is brand new DIPA is a ridiculously tasty juice bomb crammed full of Ella and El Dorado hops - yet another winner from these guys.”

The one for a Saturday afternoon on the sofa

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Lost and Grounded - Keller Pils (Lager, 4.8%)

“Probably the UK’s best lager, from the good folk of Lost and Grounded in Bristol. Whether you’re watching F1, churning through a boxset, or just lying there groaning with a wet facecloth over your eyes, Keller Pils is your perfect sofa pal.”

The old faithful one to always have within reach

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Orval - Trappist Ale (Pale Ale, 6.2%)

“I once read that Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy relies on Orval as his hangover cure and since then, I’ve always kept an emergency Orval in the fridge. You don’t need to be hungover to enjoy this Belgian classic though - it’s a beer for every occasion, not just breakfast.”

The one that’s dark as hell

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Westbrook Brewing Co. - Siberian Black Magic Panther (Imperial Stout, 12%)

“This beer pours like treacle and tastes like molasses. Loads of big roasty malts and dark candi syrup make for a belter of a beer - think sumptuous dark chocolate, liquorice and coffee. One to put hairs on your chest.”

The one to stock your fridge with for your mates

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Gipsy Hill - Hepcat (Session IPA, 4.6%)

“Hepcat never disappoints. It’s a beer we fall back in love with every time we try it, and its simple charms somehow manage to impress all drinkers across the beer spectrum - from lager louts to beer geeks, even real ale aficionados. Get ready to win friends under its influence.”

The one you can smash plenty of

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Small Beer - Lager (2.1%)

“Small Beer Brew Co. is a new South London brewery specialising in low-alcohol beers that don’t skimp on taste. This lager is just 2.1% and it’s bloody delicious. Smash away and don’t spare the horses.”

The one that’s a wild flavour bomb

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Brasserie de la Senne - Bruxellensis (Amber, 6.5%)

“This is literally wild flavour. Brewed with wild brettanomyces yeast unique to Brussels, this sour beer is not for the faint-hearted or novice drinker, but once you acquire a taste for its funky splendour, you’ll never look back.”

The hedonistically heavyweight one

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Manchester Marble Brewery - Barley Wine 2017 (Barley Wine, 12.4%)

“It’s not a Session (capital S) until it ends with a stupidly strong barley wine, after which it’s definitely time for bed. Weighing in at 12.4%, this is big, boozy and crammed with flavour - think apricots, marmalade, raisins and toffee. If you were sensible, you’d probably age this for a while longer - but it’s 3am, and sense went home hours ago…”

The one to alleviate the Sunday night pre-work worry

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Kew Brewery - Midnight Kew (Stout, 7.5%)

“Allaying that returning-to-work fear is a lot to ask of a humble beverage, but this stout from West London’s Kew Brewery confidently steps up to the challenge. It’s a hug in a bottle - smooth, full bodied, beautifully balanced - and at 7.5% you don’t need to feel too guilty about indulging on a school night, either.”