Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
9. Hackney Brewery - American Pale Ale 4.5%

2011 was the magic year for Hackney Brewery. That was the year that two friends and former barmen, Jon Swain and Peter Hills, decided to turn their love of good beer into a brewing business. This is another brewery that has set up in a unit under railway arches, currently de rigeur it seems, and nothing wrong with that when you think about what is being produced in similar venues all over the capital at the moment. Their core range incorporates a 4.4% Best Bitter - available in cask only, a 4.0% Golden Ale - cask and bottle, and a 4.5% American Pale Ale - also available in both cask and bottle. It's this American Pale Ale that I'm having today. First produced in July 2012, this interpretation of the American style uses US hops for aroma and is described as having a richer malt base than some in this style.
It pours a clear polished cherrywood colour with a thin off-white head. The aroma is sweet with ripe mango, the smeel of the bloom you find on fresh peaches and juicy yellow plums. Popping and fizzing in the mouth, the hops here taste all green and leafy, chewy and juicy. Plum, apricot, lemon and lime Opal fruit sweets are all slightly subdued and overlayed with a thin streak of liquid caramel. The fruitiness swells in the finish. Pineapple becomes apparent, drenched in a gooey caramel sauce and some zesty lemon citrus right at the end. This beer is certainly a slightly different take on the style with the malts really coming to the fore, but not so much as to completely overpower those gorgeous fruity flavours. I really like this, there's something about its chewy sugary sweetness that appeals to my palate so I will endeavour to seek out the rest of the range and give those a try. They could be onto something good here.

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