The last month has been a busy one, involving beer shop holiday cover, Westfest, flat hunting, and pub quizzes; I haven’t had time to put
pen to paper fingers to keyboard (that doesn’t quite work, does it?). I have, however, drunk some noteworthy beers, and feel that it would be remiss of me not to mention them.
Partizan Saison – Mango and Black Pepper.
The subtle black pepper lifts the mango in the same way it does a fresh strawberry. Juicy and delicate, there’s no overstated sweetness. Thirst quenching and compulsive; I want to swim in this.
Poppyland Smokehouse Porter.
What I love about Poppyland is how very down to earth it all seems. The brewery website is full of notes written by Martin, the brewer: honest, straight-forward information about how the beers were made, and Martin’s thoughts and hopes. It’s unusual to come across a brewery which feels so distinctly ‘un-marketed’.
The Smokehouse Porter is an interesting concept, with its malt AND New World hops smoked in a fish smokehouse just down the road from the brewery. The beer’s smouldering bonfire character is livened by a bitter, fresh, citrus note alongside a pleasant, almost oily element. Rather intriguing, and a very positive start to my exploration of the Poppyland beers. Next on my list to obtain is one of their Goses…
Siren Half Mast QIPA.
That a beer of 2.8% could be this full-flavoured and fresh, booming with grapefruit and mango, is a work of genius. I’ve always said that if brewers could make non-alcoholic beer with the same taste and variety as the real stuff, I’d very rarely touch alcohol; for me, the fact that beer gets you drunk is usually an annoyance. Of course, there’s a time and a place for a little pleasant fuzziness, but generally I’m drinking for flavour, with increasing wobbliness a frustrating side effect. Half Mast is an accomplished step towards my perfect world.