Carving out a niche in the beer writing landscape is no easy job. For me focusing on accessibility has been my USP (because reading about a beer or bar should make you want to go out and try/visit it. And if you can’t, well that’s just really unfulfilling).
Like anyone wanting to make their mark, I’ve been running the numbers, and it looks like this strategy is working. The Raising the Bar series is getting a lot of hits (which considering the localised nature of the content is even more encouraging). However, the Focal Point series of beer reviews isn’t getting the same sort of traction. So to still adhere to the blog strategy of ensuring great beer is being highlighted alongside great venues to drink them in – I’ve decided to tweak the format.
At the start of each month I’m going to succinctly review four of the best beers I’ve had over the previous month (think Tasting Notes in Original Gravity) always ensuring the main thread of them being easily accessible still rings true.
And please, if you do try any of these beers off the back of this – let me know, people finding new beers they enjoy off the back of my recommendation is what makes my heart sing.
Table Beer – The Kernel – 3.1% Session Pale Ale
The story of David and Goliath demonstrates that strength doesn’t necessarily equal success. And whilst the bigger, the better might also apply as conventional wisdom for beer, occasionally an outlier comes along that turns a school of thought on its head. Our slingshot-wielding hero in this instance comes from Bermondsey and weighs in at a featherweight circa 3%. When a beer of this ABV fires off as much pine and tropical flavour as this one (as well as still maintaining that unmistakeable Kernel malt backbone), you’ve found yourself a champion of the style to dispel the myth that low-ABV must mean watery and bland.
Get it from – Eebria
Green Path – Burnt Mill Brewery – 6% IPA
Cast your mind back to the heady times of 2014, when names like Stone – IPA and Ballast Point – Sculpin were what UK craft beer drinkers desperately craved in their fridges. Remember that time when IPAs weren’t hazy? Burnt Mill remembers. And their 6% IPA, Green Path, is possibly the closest thing this country is currently producing to one of those West Coast IPAs of yesteryear that you so deeply used to long for. Burnt Mill have come out of nowhere this year, and if they keep producing treasures like this – they’ll be the name on everyone’s lips before long.
Get it from – Eebria
Liquid Mistress – Siren Craft Brew – 5.8% Red IPA
In Greek mythology, the Siren’s call made the Tyrrhenian Sea run red. In 2013; Siren did the same with the beer glasses of the UK’s craft scene. Liquid Mistress strikes the balance between the toast and caramel malt characteristics of a red and the resin and pine notes of West Coast IPA inspired hops. And in doing so delivers much less demise and much more deliciousness to the Siren’s call. This is one of the shining examples of the style and an underrated beer we’re lucky to have on these shores.
Get it from – Siren Online Shop
Pale Fire – Pressure Drop – 4.8% American Pale Ale
A beer that drinkers of London will wax lyrical about until they’re blue in the face yet a relative unknown to those outside of the M25 – Pale Fire is Pressure Drop’s flagship beer that’s omnipresent in many of the city’s craft beer bars. Although the hops used may vary, Pale Fire is always going to give you what you want in a pale ale – that oh so exciting juicyness that you’ve been chasing ever since you cast aside the macro lager. When this beer is on-point, it’s probably the best pale ale in London and even when the stars haven’t perfectly aligned you’re still in for one of the capital’s most enjoyable pales.
Get it from – Beer Merchants