At the end of work and marking I went into the local bottle shop, the Crafty One in Ilson, and made sure to take my credit card. I was after some very local ale indeed brewed by the rather delectable Urban Chicken Ale but that can wait until I am reviewing their beer! Whilst I was there I noted that they had in some ales from breweries I have heard a lot about but not often seen in the wild. Naturally I bought them all and nigh bankrupted myself in the process. One of the cans that I got in was this rather lovely looking one from Verdant Brewing Co. from down in Cornwall, who seem to produce a number of craft breweries, by the name of Some Fifty Summers. Well, I thought, that's a lovely looking can and I've heard good things. And I bought it.
That was a true story. It's almost like you were there with me, right? Anyway, this evening, after having friends round, getting into an unexpected but positive meeting at the bank and running around in the sun it started to rain, quite heavily, and I thought it the perfect moment to have a proper summer pale ale. Because I am contrary like that (I'm sure I've mentioned this before). Would you like to know more?
Straight away I realised that I had done a good job, for a change, in my choice of impulse buying. The aroma was pungent, flowery and strong, with a soft tropical edge. Definite citrus hung in the air but it was rounded and soft like the wall coverings at children's soft play areas if they smelt of Lilt and were actually appetising rather than just barely masking the musk of millions of small children's sweat. Equally rewarding was the pour, which despite being handled rather viciously, was without an ice-cream head and allowed the whole brew to fit neatly into the pint glass brought for the occasion. This agitated the aroma some more and the citra, mosaic and simcoe really came into their own, filling the kitchen with a pleasant smell akin to having lit a candle at Christmastime but without the horrors of spice in the summer. This smelt very much like a summer's meadow and, well, Lilt. Even Willow was appreciative of this though she felt that it would likely give way to grapefruit again (I think I really burned her with all those IPAs earlier in the year). I demurred.
Pineapple was the dominant part of the aroma, as Willow pointed out, and on the tongue it was full and round. It had a murky aspect, looking like some mango smoothie but with more of an orange sort of hue, though the photo does not really do that justice given the darkness outside caused by the sudden onset of heavy rain. That round, smooth mouthfeel was shot through with bubbles but not in a domineering way, these were very much like the trees providing shade in the aftermath of a summer rainfall. Sure enough, the pineapple came back, buzzing at the start and then progressively stronger, with a mango backing vocal, as it reached the middle of the taste. No sign of the 4.6% ABV in this at all, nor as it went back through the glade and to the watering hole of the back of the throat. Padding softly like a tiger through the underbrush, this was a dangerous brew. It's not like it is hugely strong but it is on the high side for a sessionable ale and this tastes too good to just be having sips.
Sure enough, I was getting through it at a rate of knots for my normal pace and it was a good accompaniment to the cooking of an evening meal for all the family. It was this that stopped me just knocking it all back in double quick time, as it happens, as I had to keep breaking off to check on things. Soft and tropical with a flowery overtone that I happen to rather like. Very much akin to the Cloudwater Session IPA (click this bit) earlier in the year in that it was light and airy and full of flavour as well as being kind on the nose. There was citrus here, certainly, but nothing so stringent and tart as you might expect. For reference, I very nearly had to wrestle the glass back from Willow as she had a taste, not one of my better moments as I leaned in and tried to peer pressure her into taking only a very small sip, and that is no mean feat at the moment.
I had heard good things, and I am very pleased to report that most, if not all indeed, of the hype is real and true. This is a magnificent brew and it tastes like a good summer beer ought to taste. Continuing my heathen journey I had not chilled this, just kept it in the dark and cool under the stairs, and it responded beautifully. I imagine that it would stand being chilled on a warm day and that you would welcome it for being cold. Personally I rather liked it at room temperature given the rain and it set up my meal of Mexican rice and salmon fishcake very nicely indeed! Oh, and for reference again, the can retains that lovely aroma from the beginning after the beer is gone. I can rate that!