Mad Dog Brewing co is a micro brewery based out of Penperlleni, Monmouthshire and run by Alexis Jones.
Alexis, an eager home brewer back in the day, kicked things off at a young age. Showing a keen eye and passion for beer.
Despite a break from brewing, his love for the craft kicked back in after watching brewing videos on YouTube.
This spark pushed Alexis to earning a role at Celt Experience in Caerphilly and building up his career in a 40BBL brewery.
Arming himself with a microbiology course from Brewlab, Alexis has since moved from his kitchen based brewery at home where he produced four key beers including Afternoon Sunshine, Bark like a Bird, Dirty Dog and Now in a Minute to a 6BBL brewery of his own.
Making use of local and unique ingredients is a key factor and unique selling point to the production of Mad Dog’s current beers.
Wye Valley Granola can be found in the popular All Day Granola Breakfast Stout and dried ancho chillies from Chilli of the Valley are loaded into their recent Chilli Chocolate Cheesecake offering.
Furthermore, from June onwards, Mad Dog have lined up a number of small local producers as part of a ‘Meet the Producer’ theme.
It will be great to see what else Mad Dog Brewing Co. come up with.
We recently popped into Cardiff and visited Wally’s Delicatessen for the first time in what feels like an age. We were pleased to see that they have a great selection of local Welsh beers from the likes of Glamorgan Brewing Company, Otley Brewing, Tomos a Lilford and of course Mad Dog Brewing.
I even came across two original bottles of Celt Experience’s La Tene.
I picked up three bottles of Mad Dog Brewing Co’s beers including their classic red ale Now in a Minute, Granola Stout and the latest ‘Meet the Producer’ offering, Ancho Chocolate Cheesecake.
Let’s take a closer look at these Mad Dogs and give them a tasting shall we?
Mad Dog Brewing Co • Now in a Minute • 4.2 % ABV • Monmouthshire, Wales
Described as a traditional Welsh red ale with sweet chocolate and citrus.
Chocolate and Munich malts stand alongside Cascade and Chinook hops to offer a full on chocolate and citrus hit.
|Appearance||Deep amber to amber brown in colour and perfectly clear. Produces a lively off white head which lasts for ages.
Looks really clean and inviting.
|Aroma||Mellow in aroma but still offering citrus & stone fruit at the front with a little toffee coming in shortly afterwards.
I’m not sure that I was able to pick up chocolate but definitely got a balance of biscuit and sweet toffee.
|Flavour||Big hops get the ball rolling at the front with citrus and stone fruit. The grains move in to offer sweet biscuit and toasted notes.
A light and dry bitterness comes in at the end which lasts and lasts.
|Mouthfeel||A medium bodied red ale with a low-level of carbonation though still a little seltzer to offer some dryness. Zesty on the tongue.|
|Overall||A great red beer that balances the variety of fruits with the sweet malts. There was a nice strong bitterness but this didn’t overpower the traditional red ale elements.
Still one of our favourite beer styles.
Mad Dog Brewing Co • Granola Stout • 6.8 % ABV • Monmouthshire, Wales
Making use of chocolate malt along with handmade granola breakfast cereal to produce a flavoursome and thick bodied stout.
|Appearance||Dark Brown to black in colour and produces a light tan head which persists for some time after pouring.
The light that we are able to make out is shows clarity in the stout.
|Aroma||Subtle coffee notes from the dark malts along with some sweetness as well as a light grainy or nuttiness from the granola.|
|Flavour||The flavour and mouth feel really surprised us.
A mixture of roasted notes paired with a caramel like sweetness and a hint of tobacco. There was a light bitterness at the end but this is all about the dark stout flavours.
The way that the sweet elements mixed with the roasted elements, made way for a smooth and sweet/milk stout flavour without actually containing lactose.
|Mouthfeel||Medium to full-bodied with a creamy texture and a medium level of carbonation which tingles the tongue. A smooth stout.|
|Overall||This stout was somewhere between a classic stout and a sweet stout which I think it’s all the more clever for.
Beautiful roast flavours paired with the sweet and nutty elements to create a tasty stout.
Mad Dog Brewing Co • Ancho Chocolate Cheesecake• 6.7 % ABV • Monmouthshire, Wales
Described as being chocolate all the way, with flavours of dark stone fruit and a cheeky tickle at the finish line from the dried ancho chilli.
Ancho Chocolate Cheesecake is brewed in collaboration with Chilli of the valley and contains plenty of cocao nibs and Belgian yeast to add further complexities to the flavour.
|Appearance||Deep brown to black in colour with a small head of light tan. With a light shone through the beer, you can just make out clear ruby highlights.|
|Aroma||At the front is a mixture of cocoa, coffee and roasted malts.
A subtle heat forms from the chilli which tickles the back of the throat and offers a touch of smokiness.
Agitation releases the spicy elements of Belgian yeast used including a little banana and plenty of cloves.
|Flavour||A smooth and silky cocoa flavour mixes with hints of roast malt and coffee. A sweetness comes in and offers a smooth milkshake flavour and texture.|
|Mouthfeel||Medium to full body with a light level of carbonation. A smooth body that gives a subtle chilli warmth at the back of the throat and the tongue. There is the slightest amount of astringency through the dark malts but this is perfectly acceptable.|
|Overall||A great dark beer that showcases the spicy chilli well, balancing with the sweet and the darker elements of the beer.
A smooth and milky texture that cleverly combines the fruit and spice of the Belgian yeast with the warmth of the chilli and everything in between.
There is some clever biscuit use hidden in here too, so we’re told!
What a great selection of beers from a great local brewery.
Now in a Minute was always going to be tasty number with our love of the red ale style.
The granola stout was a tasty little number that almost that offered the sweetness and creaminess of a milk stout with the roasted notes of a stout.
Finally, the Ancho Chilli Cheesecake mixed a wedge of ingredients which created complexity, depth and texture. The subtlety to the warmth will make it perfectly accessible to a wide range of drinkers looking for something dark with an edge.
You can get involved at the brewery and help out from time to time by visiting Mad Dog Brewing Co’s Facebook page and keeping an eye on the posts.
If you have had an opportunity a Mad Dog Brew then visit @biertaster and let me know what you thought of their range