Sunday, 14 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
13. Pressure Drop - Wu Gang Chops The Tree 
Foraged Herb Hefeweisse 3.4%

The Euston Tap is a bit of a breeding ground for talent as it turns out. It is widely known that Masterchef winner Tim Anderson used to work behind the bar there, but so did, from what I can gather after some (reasonably) extensive online trawling, the two chaps behind Pressure Drop. There is no website (yet) but having heard some decent things about their beer I was anxious to try it. Based in Stoke Newington, the lables on their bottles are a wonderful mix of under-stated minimalism and home-made chic. I really like the pale green and cream colouring. I managed to pick up four different bottles from those excellent people at Ales By Mail who are located rather conveniently close to where I work and are incidentally where you can get quite a few of the beers featured in this series should you so wish. I shall endeavour to find out a bit more about Pressure Drop before I review another of their beers, however as I just couldn't wait to try one, and as a certain Slayer-loving friend of mine asked me about them I thought I'd open one now.
The name of this bottle-conditioned beer is a strange one however if you look it up you might find this entry which could give a clue to at least one of the herbs here. I don't recall ever having a beer that contains Bay leaves, if indeed they are in here. There's only one way to find out.
It pours a murky pale lemon colour with a bright white head, this beer has a steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface. Ginger is by far the biggest aroma here, but it's edges are slightly rounded with hints of Sweet Gale and Lemon Balm adding a more mellow depth. This beer slips over the tongue with barely a whisper, just tickling the edges slightly as it passes on its way. There's ginger here too, which isn't entirely unexpected. A little coriander seed, lemon and white pepper appear and maybe, just maybe, this is where the Bay is. There's a feeling of glossy leafiness which might just be imagined after the reading about the figure from Chinese folklore, and as I focus on the flavour it becomes a little more defined and definite. All the flavours here are muted, light and delicate save for the ginger which presides over everything wearing its spiky crown, smiling benevolently down. The finish is a little milky with ginger and straw under the surface and this lasts for a surprisingly long time considering its low abv.
This is quite unlike any hefeweisse that I've had. There's little of the grassiness that you might expect from this style but I guess that's the point. I'd love to know which foraged herbs were used in the brewing, and indeed where they were foraged from. As to whether I like this beer well I can't say that I'm entirely sure. Not quite.


  1. Cool name check! Thanks mate!! I might even like the odd beer too :D

    Not entirely sure I know whether you liked the beer either. It certainly sounds interesting, if only for the ginger ... Foraged herb suggests literally rooting for whatever is around. I'd really be excited if that's how it happened. Sad, aren't I!

    Cheers, Chris

    1. I thought the 'liking the odd beer' went without saying mate. Thinking back on this beer it probably would be ideal sitting in the garden on a warm summers evening. I can imagine lots of non-beer drinkers going for it too. If anyone can shed light on the foraging process for this beer it would be fantastic if they could let us know.