I have always been a big fan of the band Elbow. And so a year ago when they first released their own beer, with the help of Robinson’s, I couldn’t help but get a little bit excited. I went onto the website and tried to find where my nearest retailer was going to be. Turned out about two-hundred miles away. Well thank-you-very-much! I could have had a crate sent to me but, not knowing what it’s like, plus the cost, plus tax, plus p&p, plus this, plus that, plus that, plus the other, it wasn’t a goer.

Last week I was in Leighton Buzzard (much more local) and in the Morrison’s there I discovered they had Build! (as I believe it is more commonly abbreviated). Finally, more than a year after it came out I finally had my chance. In the year since it had built up quite a reputation, raising more than £25,000 for Oxfam’s East Africa Appeal in the process. I have since tried a bottle which I bought from Morrison’s, this is what I though of it.

Pour and colour: Dark straw, moving towards amber in colour. Not much head, thin and white. You can see a large amount of bubbles keeping the little bit of head in place. I haven’t even tried it yet and I’m guessing it’s going to be too carbonated for my taste.

Aroma: Very little at all, maybe a slight hint of biscuit, like shortbread, quite a sweet smell but nothing very bold.

Taste: Like its smell it was hard to point out at first, a slightly lagery taste but with more build. I was expecting a proper English bitter and so expecting more oompf. When you dig a little deeper there is a malty base to it all but has an overriding hoppy bitterness giving it that crisp back of the mouth feel that you expect from something like an inexpensive lager.

Mouth feel: As I thought, fairly thin, way too effervescent for my liking. It has a dry kick in the back of the throat.

Final Verdict:

6 / 10

I’d love to give Elbow’s beer a higher score as I really rate the band, unfortunately, not so much the beer. For me, although it is drinkable, the flavours are not very well pronounced and to be honest the carbonation is a little much for me. I can see exactly why it is so popular, it is perfectly drinkable and I could happily drink several of them without complaint, it’s just there isn’t much to praise either. Long may it continue to do well, just not for me.

Bought in Morrison’s Leighton Buzzard
www.elbowbeer.co.uk/