If you’ve been around the Oxford beer scene for a while, you’d be hard pushed not to know Loose Cannon Brewery. Either that or you’ve been living under an Abingdon Bridge (did you see what I did there??). Terrible jokes aside, Loose Cannon Brewery has been on the Oxfordshire beer scene for over a decade now. I’ve personally enjoyed a pint of Gunners Gold or Abingdon Bridge in many a pub around Oxfordshire.
Today I’m taking a look at Loose Cannon and its beer offering over lockdown; I’ve been trying some of their core favourites and recent specials and will discuss how you can explore drinking local.
What can I expect?
Loose Cannon had a great setup pre-lockdown with their taproom, brewery shop and delivery options. I’ve been to a number of their ‘brewery nights’ over the years, which give you an opportunity to sample a number of beers, learn more about the brewery, and have a bite to eat.
Given pandemic times, Loose Cannon quickly shifted their model to keep up supply for both regular customers and new ones. This was in the form of a weekly delivery service, delivering to differing parts of Oxfordshire on certain days of the week.
You can order 440ml cans, 500ml, 1 or 3-litre bottles, a 5-litre mini keg, 10 or 20-litre polypin, plus a 72-pint firkin. I think there should be a size there for just about every occasion. If ordering for delivery, you’ll need to order by the case, in the form of one beer choice or mixed case option, of which they have 2 types. Cases range from £24.50 – £34.00.
Looking at the larger bottles, the 1 litre starts at £3.70, the 5-litre mini-kegs start at £19.50 with the 20-litre polypins starting at £35. Probably one of the best size selections I’ve seen on offer, not just for a local brewery but countrywide!
Something new they’ve brought in is their 1-litre reusable flip-top bottles. The 1-litre bottles have always been popular; so to aid in reducing waste Loose Cannon have invested in a bottle washing machine. The machines mean they can take these bottles back and give you a fresh one full of your favourite beer. A small deposit is required, given back on return or just keen swapping out for more beer!
Loose Cannon beers…
Now we have the sizes and £££ out of the way lets talk about the beers, starting with their ‘specials’.
There is a competition that started in January that’s all about beer variety, not quantity – The Loose Cannon Challenge. Each year these 12 beers have a common theme that links each beer. This year it’s a film title puns, so January was ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Pint’, February was ‘From Russia with Trub’. I hope you get the idea by now! Each beer has a different style and flavour profile, and I can say from trying many over the years, they vary and have great depths of flavour.
The core range I am sure many of you recognise. Abingdon Bridge, Gunners Gold are two Loose Cannon staples, coupled with a host of seasonal beers such as Detonator or Recoil, you are hard pushed not to find something you can sink a few pints of. Check out the full range on their website.
How can I order?
Ordering is easy with their online webshop. You have the option of Store Pickup, much like a click and collect service or delivery.
You can get free local delivery if you spend over £10 and live within a certain radius of the brewery – see full details in the local delivery map – and you can get hold of all items on the shop page. Delivery is next working day if you are in close proximity to Abingdon or split Tuesday/ Thursday for the West or Wednesday/ Friday for the East of Southern Oxfordshire.
National delivery is available for those further afield, but only beer cases and 5-litre mini-kegs are available.
What do the beers taste like?
I was lucky enough to have some of their range supplied for me to sample. Here are a few of my favourites:
Random Words IPA – 5%
A golden beer with a slight haze that gave off a fresh zesty aroma. It provides a refreshing hoppy hit that lingers with a slightly sweet finish. For me, it sits between that of a traditional IPA and a more ‘new world’ one. It’s very easy to drink and edges more towards a session IPA flavour but a touch higher on the ABV at 5%.
676 Lager – 4%
Straw like in colour with a sweet almost caramel aroma. Light crisp and refreshing on drinking and would be a perfect beer for the summer days I hope are on the horizon.
Bombshell – 4.2%
This light golden beer is one of my favourites from Loose Cannon. It has a great balance of hoppy, citrus and slightly malty flavours. It’s very drinkable and light meaning at 4.2% it’s a cracking session beer.
The January special ‘Eternal Session of the Spotless Pint’ was also a great beer with stone fruit aromas, a fresh hoppyness with a slight malt finish, but I don’t want to go on about that as you can’t get it anymore 🙂
Unit 6 Suffolk Way, Abingdon, OX14 5JX
I was gifted beers to try – all views remain our own.