Friday, 19 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
18. Redchurch Brewery - Great Eastern India Pale Ale 7.4%

I first reviewed a Redchurch Brewery beer back in September 2012 when I compared their Hoxton Stout with Magic Rock's Dark Arts. This has been my single most viewed post with over 600 views, which will probably have un-surprisingly increased as you read this as I've linked to it in the previous sentence. Founded in 2011 this is another brewery situated underneath railway arches, not too far from London Fields, just off Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green not far from Bethnal Green tube station. You can buy their beer, all of which have associations with the East end of London in their names, directly from their website and from many of the excellent beer shops in London.
Their Great Eastern India Pale is brewed with chinook, columbus and nugget hops by the bucket load and I'm assuming (I hope to be corrected if I'm wrong) that it's named after the Great Eastern Hotel that lies immediately east of Liverpool Street station, terminus of most of the East end's overground lines (the Great Eastern Railway), and not the SS Great Eastern which was built at Millwall. You can have a drink in the former ball-room of the Great Eastern hotel today if you wish as it's now a J D Wetherspoon pub called Hamilton Hall, named after Lord Claud Hamilton, chairman of the Great Eastern Railway Company from 1893 to 1923. Thinking about it, it's probably named after the railway, but either way the history of an area I know well is an interesting diversion.
Back to the beer.
It pours a translucent golden orange that almost glows, with a tight cream coloured head perched on top. The aroma has lots of wood sap, orange zest and grapefruit, but there's also some peppery damp leaves and a touch of sweatiness here, but this isn't in the least unpleasant, in fact its rather exciting in a perverse kind of way. It scratches the edges of the tongue as it goes down, sharp and with a little acrid bitterness at the back of the throat. The taste has grapefruit peel, pineapple, orange and lemon zest, mango and peach, all bound up in a sticky caramel sauce. It's lip-smackingly delicious. The finish is tongue-tiglingly dry at first , but then there's wave after wave of sweet and juicy tropical fruits bursting in perfect little pockets all over the tongue. I'm finding the back end of this beer much more flavoursome and yummy than the front but, like the origin of the name of this beer, either way it's all good.

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