Another night of me drinking ale and another beer bought for me by my students. Tonight it is the turn of St Peter's Best Bitter in a specially created bottle that is modelled on one presented to some fella as he crossed the Delaware in the War of Independence and was produced in Suffolk. I confess to being a little bemused by that particular reference, but there it is.
First impressions of this were good, there was minimal carbonation and the bottle was in fact pleasing to hold and pour from. The colour was pleasant and chestnut with a frothy head that soon disappeared after pouring. It is a warm colour with a good aroma to it of spices and citrus from the hops. At 3.7% ABV it is on the weaker end of the spectrum of ales that I review but it is not harmed by that. First taste is an assault by hops and very bitter but with a fresh aftertaste that means you feel ready for a second sip rather quickly. Not a downing beer by any stretch of the imagination, this is one to be savoured and enjoyed. Little malt to this, though enough to stop it being thin and cruddy, and it is dominated by those bitter hops. Not sure of variety but they are less smoky than I would expect of Fuggles, perhaps close to Cascade or Pearl. Very enjoyable on the tongue and weak enough that I don't have to be too wary with it.
This was had after my evening meal and so doesn't have to compete with my food for flavour, but I get the impression that it would work well with salad or summery foods generally. Probably not going to work with fish or strong red meat in gravy but a friend of anything vegetarian methinks. I wouldn't pit it against a curry or a chinese but that's not a criticism as I really like this ale. It's simple, uncomplicated and gets straight to the point at a level of strength that means I don't fall asleep or fall over.
Enjoy this on a bright evening or a dark winter night with either a fine summery meal outside or the crackling fire of a campsite. Get a few in if you can because you'll want to repeat the experience a few times!