Friday 11 December 2009


Three weeks of no caffeine, either tea or coffee (a regular purge to aid sleep and the adrenal system) and a liking for herbal teas established, it’s back to old habits and entirely in keeping with a glass of Insomniac from a brewery up north, whose name escapes me, a bottle of which was given to me by Zak Avery. It’s 12% (gulp, help, run away, it’s ‘extreme’; is it beer, is it liquid, is it responsible? who cares) and has an assertive nose of bitter chocolate and half crushed coffee beans before you put them into the caffetiere; there’s also a wafty floral undercurrent that tempers the gritty cop nightstick nature of the coffee beans and chocolate. The palate is roasted with more coffee and bitter chocolate, reminiscent of a stern espresso wake-up call; some sweetness but no bright citrus notes; just an unforgiving black coffee bean darkness before its dry finish.I like it. I took it as a nightcap, somewhat foolishly and paradoxically, but slept well. It’s a one-off Zak tells me but when I recall the name of the brewery (perhaps someone up in Yorkshire can tell me) I will be interested to see what else they’re doing. If you want a session beer you will have a session beer, and if you want a coffee beer you will have a coffee beer — that’s the beauty of brewing all across the world and Europe at the moment there’s a beer for every moment of the day. And why not…
PS I’m now told it’s Saints & Sinners


  1. Sounds like Saints & Sinners Insomniac to me?

  2. Mark
    that’s sounds familiar, I must discover some more of their beers, from a quick read sounds like they might be a bit of a rovers’ company of brewers.

  3. I hope it wasn't a one off. I thought it particularly delicious.

    The culprits keep threatening to visit me.....not seen them yet though, whoever they are.

  4. Dave
    I was under the impression from Zak it was a one-off but it is a regular on their website so who knows, very impressed though.

  5. Great beer. I had a bottle as a nightcap and couldn't sleep for hours! They have a West Coast IPA now. And a Belgian with honey, I think. Not Northern though - they couldn't be much further South East if they were in the actual channel.

  6. Hi Mark, I reckon I got the wrong end of the stick when Zak handed it me and I think I was on some Imperial IPA at the Rake at the time and places got lost in translation…from their website, they seem a bit like De Struise Brouwers, people who rent others’ breweries for their beers. Wherever they lay their hats (or cravats) I need to get more of their stuff.