Staggeringly Good Dawn Stealer (500ml, 5.2% ABV)
Some breweries trade on their sense of history, proud of their heritage and respectful of tradition. Some breweries plaster their bottles with dinosaurs wearing top hats and monocles. Staggeringly Good of Portsmouth are one of the latter.
They’ve made a big commitment not to use finings such as isinglass to clarify the beer. So, despite the flesh-ripping dinosaur imagery, all of their beers are vegan.
Dawn Stealer comes out of the bottle frothy, and hissing like an angry velociraptor. The head is big and foamy, the beer itself a shade or two shy of black. The dominant aroma is spicy pink grapefruit, but further sniffing unearths a backbone of chocolatey malt.
A whole spectrum of flavours bursts on the tongue: plenty of orange and grapefruit, with peach, chocolate and black coffee all in the mix. A very smooth mouthfeel acts as counterpoint to all that toothy citrus, and the finish is dry. It’s a beer that aims to tick a whole lot of boxes, and pretty much succeeds at all of them.
If you fancy a trip to a Southsea industrial estate (and who doesn’t?) you can sample Staggeringly Good’s beers in their shop and taproom. It’s a dino-themed corner of the brewery (even the fermenting vessels are embellished with dinosaur skeletons) where you can watch beer being made and savour some of the Quaternary period’s most convoluted dinosaur puns. Check their website for opening times.
Written by Richard Salsbury