BREWER: Cocksure Brewing Company, Bristol


ABV: 5.2%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle

TWITTER: @CocksureBrewing @palmerstbottle

INSTAGRAM: cocksurebrewingco    palmerstbottle 



To say the testing of this IPA has been eventful is an understatement…

It all began back on the thirteenth day of December last year when my infinitely better half returned from Bath Christmas market with a couple of Bear Cubs in tow for Sammy and I to review. What a lovely thing thought I (my wife, the gesture and the look of the beer in equal measure). Little was I to know at the time the events that would unfold when it came to testing this bear of a beer.

Fast forward to last week and I received a message from Sammy..

“Have you tested Bear Cub yet”?

“No man, got it locked in to do in a couple of days, why’s that”?

“Just be careful when opening her, shes lively”!

“Thanks for the warning son, what you up to this weekend”? ….hang on , you don’t need know the whole convo do you.

So, a couple of days later after evacuating the kitchen of family and pets, I donned my snorkel, chest mounted vertical umbrella and marigolds and went to crack open the bottle…

Nothing, not even a pssst, let alone the amber tsunami I was warned of . Curious I thought, most curious.
I then noticed that there was quite a lot of sludgy peat inside the bottle cap. Most, most curious.

Unperturbed, I poured my Bear Cub IPA into a glass and went about my testing business. Now, this is where things began to get difficult, I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT. My thoughts then turned to whether this was a bad bottle. I continued with the test and it didn’t necessarily taste like it had gone bad, just a taste that was not for me. But one thing was for sure, I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT, and scored it accordingly.

The next day the ol’ brain started spluttering into action like starting a diesel engine in subzero temperatures. I thought to myself, “what if it was a wrongun, what if this is actually a genuinely good IPA that I’m about to crucify because it had gone bad for whatever reason”?

I had to give this Bear Cub a second chance.

Now, with this not being a beer that you can just grab off a supermarket shelf it meant I had to do some work to get my hands on another bottle. My first stop was to contact New Bristol Brewery. I was informed by them that they no longer brewed this beer and had in fact sold the recipe to Cocksure Brewing Company. Curious I thought, most curious. Next stop was a call to Cocksure to request a bottle. I was informed by them that they currently had none in stock and that all the bottles they had had gone off to Palmer Street Bottle whom the beer had been exclusively brewed for in the first place. So, the next stop was to contact PSB via the frankly neolithic form of TEXT. After some toing and froing eventually a fresh bottle of Bear Cub was on it’s way to MOBHQ.

And once I had returned from work in the early hours of this morning, I again donned my snorkel, umbrella and gloves and got ready to open BCIPA once more.


Well… was it?

Yes, yes it was! As soon as I lifted the lid on this second attempt I instantly knew things were different. Though there wasn’t the explosion I was expecting (leaving me feeling slightly foolish in my get up) there was certainly action from the beer. The nose was sublime, full of spicy floral waves with a good hoppy undertone. And the taste was crazy refreshing with spicy yet floral notes up front (as promised by the bottle) and a light hoppy citrus finish. Good. GOOOOD.

I’m so glad I went back for a second try at this IPA. The beer nose knew something was up with bottle one and I knew to trust that hooter. Thanks has to go out to Palmer Street Bottle for getting the replacement bottle to me in good time as well.

Here endeth the tale of Jymi and the Bear Cub.

Jymi’s Rating: 76%



There’s no dressing up that the packaging on Bear Cub is…simple. But I like that. It has appeal and it works. It’s much better to keep it clear and clean, than to over complicate it and make it look cheap. From the outset, it’s obvious what this beer is and, before trying, I have a strong idea of what this IPA will be like. For me, it has a strong draw.
Bear Cub has great colour, but it’s a live wire when let loose from the bottle and forms a large head, even with a careful pour. The liveliness translates into the first sip but doesn’t in any way hinder the mouthfeel. In fact, the initial fizz hit adds to the texture of this beer and makes for a refreshing and light drinking experience.
The flavour isn’t as in your face as some IPAs can be. It’s short lived but it’s undoubtedly a craft IPA as the trademark citrus finish is ever present. The first flavour impact is quite fruity and to be fair, as is described on the bottle with floral undertones. All of this adds to its incredibly refreshing nature.
Bear Cub is a hit. It’s light and refreshing to drink but certainly doesn’t lack distinctiveness. It’s well constructed and the brewing has intention. The whole product from inception to digestion is well thought out and the result is a well finished IPA.


Sammy’s Rating: 83%




MOB review next weekend: DAVO IPA by DAVO BIEREN






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