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  • Build A Rocket Boys! by Elbow & Robinsons

    October 26th, 2011FletchtheMonkeyBeer Reviews

    Elbow are the kings of soaring melancholy, masters of poetic northern introspection.  Let Elbow’s albums flow over you and you can be mesmerised by their beauty alone. Put in the time to listen, to soak up the poignancy, the humour, the extraordinary manifestations of the ordinary and their albums become life affirming tributes to the everyday.

    Conversely, it’s quite easy to stick an Elbow album on and realise thirty lethargic minutes later that time – and the music – has flown by virtually unnoticed, Guy Garvey’s drawl caressing one’s ears so gently it barely registers. He even swears with care for the ears, a remarkably sophisticated trait few can master.

    Nutty and fresh to smell, Build A Rocket Boys! is Elbow’s first foray into brewing, a collaboration with Frederic Robinson’s of their native Lancashire. It’s an unpompous beer, utterly enjoyable without ever shouting too loud. It’s underpinned by a coy bitterness spliced with fleeting glimpses of sweet fruit (freshly dried prunes?!) and a largely sweet barley finish. And much as Elbow can sometimes fade into the background, Build A Rocket Boys! can be knocked back with apathetic ease: it’s easy on the eye, quaffable; it’s a quiet no-fuss pleasure with which to lubricate conversation without becoming more than a footnote in the minutes of an evening at the pub.

    But on closer consideration – like many of Elbow’s songs – it’s also something greater, it pays homage to the art of everyday brewing in the UK. Poured slowly it’s a understated shrine to the allure of the pint, a glowing amber hearth topped with a soft cushioning foam; it’s subtle flavours and traditional malt-heavy backbone are typically British, designed to provide sustenance in the most typical of British settings.

    Build A Rocket Boys Elbow Beer Robinsons Real Ale

    Build A Rocket Boys!

    It’s a shame it’s limited edition and that my sample is in a bottle, but hey ho, modern life is rubbish, eh? Here’s to assuming that the live version is every bit as heightened experience as seeing the band get in the flesh. Oh and ours was sent to us, so we’ve donated a fiver to the Oxfam East Africa fund, for which Build A Rocket Boys! profits will be helping.


    Mark is better known as @fletchthemonkey and started writing about beer in 2009. When not content with spending all day on the internet working in digital for an multichannel retailer, Mark waxes lyrical at and types up match reports for Leeds Guide magazine.

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4 responses to “Build A Rocket Boys! by Elbow & Robinsons” RSS icon

  • This is one of the best beer reviews I have ever read. Lyric prose, lifting and transporting the reader. And making the reader wish he could savour the draught himself as well.

    Additionally, it is a great music review. Elbow had to be played whilst contemplating this beautiful piece of wordsmithery.



  • I managed to get one of these on draught in Kro Piccadilly in Manchester. I thought it was rather enjoyable! I was on the way to the football though so not really the right time for making notes, I did get a photie of the pump clip for nostalgia though…



  • Antonie – Thank you kindly. Now to try to do this everytime!

    Matthew – Good spot that, not familiar with Kro Piccadily. I think the album artwork translates to the bottle and pump clip with ease.



  • ‘build a rocket Boyd’s… seriously, I need to stop trusting my smartphone with spelling and grammar!

    The clip looked really good, first beer to use an exclamation mark in it’s name? I don’t think I’ve seen another beer with any kind of punctuation before this.



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