Name: Crafty Dan Micro Brewery 13 Guns

Style: IPA

Country: England

ABV: 5.5%

Beer description: Crafty Dan Micro Brewery is a microbrewery in Lancashire, England. They have a small selection of beers, but a larger selection through their parent brewer, Thwaites. The 13 Guns is an American style IPA. It’s full of American hops like Centennial, Citra, Amarillo, and Chinook, just to name a few.

On first impressions though, it’s hard to tell whether this will stack up as an American IPA. Sure it has the hops it’s supposed to have, but it’s only at 5.5% alcohol… It’s not a strong beer, it’s not a light beer, but American IPAs usually push the alcohol a little further…

There’s not a lot of head in the pour, the beer just “is” as it comes out of the bottle. It’s only a small amount of head, but it’s retained well. The head is thick and robust, more akin to a creamy ale than an IPA. There’s a small amount of red and orange in the beer, but it’s all in all a caramel colour. The ingredients listed on the beer say there is some rye in here and some caramel malt, so there you go!

The smell of this beer is quite a bit of fun. Being packed full of American hops, this beer smells like the Pacific North West. The aroma is full of pine and grapefruit. It’s good to have the malt coming out in the aroma here too, as so many American IPAs just push the hops so much these days. The malt smells of vanilla and biscuit. There’s also a little bit of spice coming from the rye and the hops. While the hops comes out at first, it’s really the malt that comes through in the aroma after awhile.

The maltiness and the creaminess is what is really first noticed when drinking this beer: it’s very much on the sweet side. It’s a smooth beer that feels nice and British, with the mouth feel of a decent ESB. This is followed up by some fruitiness and a dry bitter finish. Is the bitterness as dry and bitter as what would be expected from an American IPA? No.

However, the beer really feels like a traditional IPA rather than an American IPA. There’s nothing wrong with this. Traditional IPA’s can be really good, but they’re not American IPA’s. With all this though, the body of this beer is quite good, but it feels a little thin on the end. It’s creamy and thick at first, but ends watery. There’s not big bitter hop kick at the end to work with this.

It’s a great beer, but it’s simply not an American IPA.

Check out more IPA reviews.

See reviews of beers by Crafty Dan Micro Brewery.

And for those not in the know, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. Find out why it’s called IPA.