Thursday, 11 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
10. Rocky Head Brewery - Pale Ale 6.5%

Of all of the beers produced by London's slew of new brews, possibly the single most discussed, recommended, tweeted about and reviewed is Rocky Head Brewery's Pale Ale. If you've followed me through this series so far, and if you've had around half of the beers I've reviewed already, then the chances are you'll already had at least one bottle of this beer, quite possibly more. Founded in 2012 the first Rocky Head Brewery beer appeared around August that year. They have so far released two beers. The one I've not had is an all-English IPA brewed exclusively for Selfridges in London and based on a 1909 recipe. The other, and the one that's caused all the buzz, is this big bold American-style Pale Ale, packed to the gunwales with New World hops.
Set up by a group of friends inspired by the US craft brewing scene, the brewery is in the London borough Wandsworth, once home to Young's but now more famous for Sambrook's beers - at least one of which is coming later in this series. 
Despite this being a much celebrated beer it would have been remiss of me to ignore it, plus I get the chance to have another bottle.
It pours a warm amber with a thin off-white head, and the wonderful aroma of honeyed crunchy peanut brittle, pine and grapefruit. Smooth over the tongue initially, those alpha acids really kick in and kick off at the back of the mouth in a riot of citrus bitterness. A mellow honeyed pine flavour is first to appear, sharp and a little biting, married to some grapefruit peel flopping and slapping around, throwing out a confetti of zesty lemon and lime with the merest hint of pineapple. The finish has a delicious sharp tropical fruit dryness, fading long into the memory.
This a marvellous beer, and if they set out they set out to make a beer along the lines of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo or Oscar Blues Dale's Pale Ale in unfiltered, bottle conditioned form then they have succeeded in spades. If you haven't had this then get some. You won't regret it.

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