One of Bridge Road's most popular annual releases is back in its fourth incarnation. The B2 Bomber first took to the skies to mark the brewery's birthday back in 2010. Ever since then (barring one exception) it has been the birthday brew, evolving (well, being beefed up is probably more accurate) each year. It's a melding of styles that takes in black IPA and Belgium, with the former meaning plenty of dark malts and punchy hops, the latter providing a fruity, herbal yeast character. Last year saw the hopping regime stepped up significantly, allowing the hops to take centre stage - a distinctly resinous centre stage - for the first time. This time around, the brewers upped the hops again - and the malt - and the result is probably the version that integrates all the various elements best, even at this early stage. The hops lead off, but are matched every step of the way by sumptuous chocolate and slightly roasty malt flavours. The Belgian characteristics seem subdued by comparison, but presumably contribute to the black and tan-coloured beer's voluminous body and will likely nudge their way into the picture over time as the hops fade. At this rate, Bridge Road will never need to come up with another beer for their birthday; just keep knocking out more and more of this delicious monster and we'll all be happy.
Bonus Mrs Pint review: "It's big!"