Hello. Leah here. I have the taste buds of an American. I’m not really quite sure what makes me dislike so much British beer, but it’s rare I find one I like. David is in his element here with all of his stouts and Old Speckled Hens. I’m hoping to update this with notable beers here that I really like. This is for my friends, obviously, but also for me–to remind myself that there is beautiful beer here. Cheers!
Beer favorites in order of preference…
Meantime’s Yakima Red
May 12, 2016
British & German malts with five varieties of hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State, USA
Elisabeth (David’s sister), being the astounding human that she is, got us a brewery tour at Meantime as a gift for David’s March birthday. As you may suspect, we have been on many, many brewery tours; but this was by far the most fun.
Meantime is located in Greenwich (where they keep all the time! Greenwich Meantime! Get it?!) Their brewmaster is the only non-German person to receive a masters from the Weihenstephan Brewery, the oldest brewery in the world. He then went to the good ol’ US of A to learn more about beer in southern California. The beauty of all of these beer cultures emerges perfectly in this Yakima Red, a true contender for my new favorite beer. (Predictably my favorite is another red pale ale, Deschutes’ Red Chair.) Yakima Red’s maltiness balances perfectly with the hops, being neither too hopped nor too alcoholic–a common issue with a lot of American beer. (Please imagine me saying that as an 80-year-old woman, shaking her fist at the young’uns.) Also, they don’t pasteurize their beers, letting them ferment more naturally, and perhaps that lets more of the gentle flavors remain. I had it early in our move at the Brewery & Kitchen here in Islington, but I wanted to wait until I was properly introduced at the brewery to write about it. I agreed wholeheartedly with Al, our tour guide, who thinks that everyone’s tastes are different but if you don’t like this beer there’s “something ****** up with your taste buds.”
During the tour we also had their London Lager, London Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Pilsner, London Stout, and a bit of their Raspberry Wheat Beer. I can honestly say it is some of the best beer I’ve had so far made here in London. When I say “made in London,” that’s what the “London” beers truly mean. Everything is sourced from within a few hundred miles of the city.
The “tour” was an hour and a half with Big Al, who had you rolling on the floor with laughter while he narrated our half pints. He has a kind heart mixed with a huge personality, inappropriate comments, and a love for beer. He even checked in to see if his accent was too thick for us Americans. Then there was half an hour looking at stainless steel, mills, and big bags of malt. It was awesome.
Camden Town Brewery’s Gentleman’s Wit
1 May 2016
SO crisp. Worth our entire trip to Kentish Town. First tasted on our first visit to the area where David will work. My “favourite” so far.
Hammerton Brewery’s Pentonville Oyster Stout
29 April 2016
5.3% ABV | Oats with Maldon oysters
Leah acquainted herself with this beer at the Almeida Theatre. Extremely smooth and complex with a good malty backbone. No sharp bitterness in the least. She’s not a big fan of stouts on account of their bitterness and secretly believes that they don’t taste like coffee–they just taste like burning. She’s found that she is generally a fan of oyster stouts. Weird, right?
Camden Town Brewery’s Pale Ale
30 April 2016
4.0% ABV | 38 IBU | Pilsner, crystal, wheat, & Munich malts | Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, & Citra hops
A really great and bright American-style pale ale. While the British in their colonial zeal did invent the IPA, Americans have doubled down on both of those. This pale ale, however, is balanced and crisp, or it was when Leah tried one at Piebury, Islington.