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Larkin's value range of sub-€4 cans has seen an expansion. I have four new ones for you today.

You don't see many American-style wheat beers these days -- Lidl's Rye River one has the local market pretty much sewn up -- but now here comes Immortal Game. This is 5% ABV and hazy in the glass, like a weissbier. It's very much not one, however, having a clean and crisp flavour. Dry grain husk is balanced by a sweeter orange-cordial effect. It is, above all, thirst-quenching and refreshing, even though it's strictly speaking a bit strong for that purpose. That said, I took my time with it and still enjoyed it: though simple, there's enough complexity to keep things interesting. Kudos to Larkins for making a wheat beer instead of just another pale ale. Style diversity is an objectively good thing.

New England IPAs, conversely, are commonplace. What can Bravo Zulu offer us that we haven't had before, other than that €3.25 price tag? It's a foamy beast, taking a while to get under control in the glass. Beneath the head it's pale and translucent, somewhere between the full-on beaten egg of the big-hitters and casual NEIPA's orangey mist. The aroma gets the juicy in early: peach and apricot (hello Mosaic!) with a faint and worrying garlic twang behind. The flavour goes more for vanilla than either of those, and there's an orange cordial accompaniment, for the Super Split effect prized by Irish NEIPA fans. It's pretty decent. Sweet but not cloying, with a nice level of fruit and no interruptions: a settled and cosy sort of hazy IPA, or a gateway to the more intense stuff, perhaps. Personally I would prefer some level of bitterness, but I can't really criticise it for that if it's not meant to be there.

As a '90s kid I appreciated the shout-out in the name of Atlantic 353. Happy longwave days. This is a west coast IPA, albeit a modest one at 5.5% ABV. It's clear and amber in the glass, so full marks for appearances, though there's not much of an aroma, just a faint tang of grapefruit. I liked the full texture and low carbonation, giving the impression of a much more American strength. In the flavour it's a beer of contrasts: sweet first, with caramel and toffee, and then a hard bitterness: grapefruit is the gentlest aspect, but there's also aspirin, zinc and candlewax. The two sides don't really gel together, fighting with each other the whole way along. Thankfully they're not long about it, and the finish is quick and clean. Still, I found this rather harsh for my tastes. It's very retro and reminds me of the time when high-IBU American beers were too much for me to take. I'm aware I was in the minority then, so modern-day haze dodgers will likely find this just the ticket.

The latest addition to the range is Night Tide, a coffee stout of 5% ABV. I can't remember the last time I had a stout with coffee that wasn't either pumped up with alcohol or full-on pastrified with a load of other stuff. Immediate points for retro value again. Mind you, I can see why brewers do now put lactose in these, because it's inescapably thin with a sharp and pointy fizz. Thankfully the intensity of the cold-brew coffee rescues it. The aroma is a straightforward crowd-pleaser, all rich and roasty. In the flavour there's a dash of dark chocolate and a wafery crispness to add complexity, but the coffee is bold and worn prominently. Also prominent is the bitter finish, blending vegetal old-world hops with yet more coffee. This is delightfully old fashioned and a refreshing contrast to what stout-with-coffee tends to be these days. It brought back fond memories of homebrew days before coffee stouts existed commercially.

I confess I was sceptical going into these. Larkin's is on record saying the Curious Society range is pitched at the mass market and designed to be accessible. Too often that's a euphemism for boring. These are far from that and are perfect for dipping one's toe in the world of beer diversity, with change back from a fiver.