Harper’s Wild Bill’s
Brewed by Harpers Brewing Company (Marston’s Brewery)
Style: American IPA
Marston’s is a British brewery, pub and hotel operator, running over 1500 pubs in the UK. It was known as Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries plc until 2007 when it rebranded as Marston’s.
Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, itself, was a fusion of three breweries, Banks and Company, George Thompson and Sons of The Dudley and Victoria Breweries, and Charles Colonel Smith’s brewery at the Fox Brewery, Wolverhampton.
Listed on the London Stock Exchange, this enabled Marstons to get a steady cash flow which allowed it to invest in and take over other breweries and pub chains, such as Banks’s, Jennings, Ringwood, Brakspear, Wychwood, Courage, McEwans, Wainwright, Shipyard and Bombardier. These takeovers gave Marstons a vast amount of popular beers and pub chains under its control. Employing over 14,000 people and with an annual income of £174.5 million (2017 Wikipedia) it is fair to say the company is a major player on the British beer scene.
Review: 500ml bottle of Harper’s Wild Bill’s IPA (Filtered): 5.0% vol.
Brewed specifically for Aldi by Marston’s brewery using the name “Harper’s”. Bought in Aldi! Calls itself “an unashamed American style IPA”. The logo is well cool, showing a buffalo skull, cacti and five-point ranger stars all pointing to an American Wild West feel about this beer.
On pour get a stunning amber coloured beer with a decent white head that looks very deep and soulful, waiting to be devoured, looks great. Head does die a little but still looks pretty decent overall.
Lovely frothy white head and nice amber colour with a hint of red shining through, a fantastic looking beer.
The nose is a typical IPA aroma, nice on the nose but light. Fruity and citrusy aromas, spicy, malty and hoppy. Ok.
On the taste, getting hit with the spices right off the bat, and it has the feel of an English bitter rather than a regular IPA, but nothing to excite me. Bit bland in the taste and I am searching for something to set it apart from any of the more regular IPA’s you can buy.
Strong in the hops for sure, but not really going down too well, a bit “urgh”.
Hopped to the hilt, not liked, the spices and the bitter aftertaste not doing it for me at all, “yuck!”. Was a struggle to finish the two bottles truth be told! Disappointing considering how well it looks on the pour.