What I have to say about this beer is largely irrelevant. How many pubs in London can you walk into and order a decent pint that was brewed within ten metres of where you stand? Not many, that's how many! For this reason alone, Brew Wharf is worth a visit, and your support. The fact that the beer is not only good but also heavily inspired by modern classics from the USA, that you simply cannot get hold of in this country, adds further weight to the argument.
Hopfather takes its inspiration from Blind Pig IPA, a well known beer brewed by Russian River in California. It's pale, golden and 6.1 per cent. The aroma bursts forth with masses of citrus-laden US hops. Amarillo, Chinook, Centennial. Grapefruit, orange, lemon. On the palate it's surprisingly light. The hops envelope your whole mouth, delivering the citrus hit you expect and a real pithiness too. In the finish a biscuity, grainy malt character briefly surfaces before being beaten into submission by a dry, intense, building bitterness.
Being hypercritical, I don't think this style of beer suits cask dispense. The extra chill and fizz of a keg would help lift this beer, making it easier to drink and more refreshing. You could argue that the body is slightly thin, the finish slightly dry and the bitterness right on the bounds of 'too much'. You'd be nitpicking though; minor points which far from distract from the overall enjoyment of the beer.
From Brew Wharf I hit a couple more local pubs. All had cask ale, all had 4 per cent brown beer, all had seasonal blondes. Boring. Hopfather is big, bold, punchy and full of flavour. It's exactly the type of beer I want to be drinking and I wish there were more like it.
It won't last long; your best bet is to get down there and check it out! Oh yeah ... and drink it with the Pomme Frites that they serve with Ketchup and Mayonnaise. Delicious.