Based in Finchampstead in Berkshire, Andy Parker has taken a popular route from being a competition-winning home brewer, quitting his career and leveling up to found Elusive Brewing. I love the theme of this brewery with all the beers being named after games Andy used to play when he was younger, complete with the classic 8-bit artwork.
As well as a number of specials, the brewery has four beers in their core range, with each iteration using different hops marked on the bottle, in typical 80’s gaming style – levels, laps and stages.
This beer is their American Red called “Level Up”, and is the 12th iteration called “Level 12” – this version uses Cashmere and Simcoe hops.
The beer poured a deep copper/light brown colour, with a reasonable size, fluffy, tan/off-white head which stuck around nicely. The beer was quite murky with a reasonable amount of sediment at the bottom, and was quite dull so unfortunately not the best looking beer.
As expected from the style, the aroma was hoppy, primarily citrus with some other sweet fruits such melon and peach, there was also a light backbone of sweet caramel maltiness from the darker malts giving the ale it’s red colouring.
The flavour had a strong hoppy bitterness with strong pine from the Simcoe hops, and once again that light malty sweetness -althought overall the flavour was very different to the aroma.
This beer had a mid-length, dry finish starting with the familiar light sweet caramel malts and leading to bitter hoppy earthiness – once again those Simcoe hops showing through. The mouth-feel was medium and quite drying, with a mid-high carbonation.
Although not the best looking beer, it had a good complex depth with a lot of bitterness, although I could almost feel hangover after one so I imagine not great for a session.
Not the best looking beer, but good depth of flavour – potentially headache inducing!