Can you imagine my unconfined joy when a colleague at work informed me that the local garden centre had a new concession shop that sold beer? Not just any old beer mind, but several hundred different sorts of GOOD beer.
He sent me pictures too – of burgeoning shelves with Belgians and Lambics, and US craft IPAs and Wheats, oh and everything.
So I finished work a few minutes early that day and drove the five minutes (five minutes!) to Yarnton Nurseries.
Avoiding all of the other garden centrey guff they have there (pretty much none of it to do with gardening), I headed straight to the Wine Rack “shop” contained within (http://www.winerack.co.uk/yarnton)
Giddy with excitement, I reeled around: Brewdog “Sink the Bismarck” at £53 a bottle! Boon Gueze! Weihenstephan Wheats! (A couple of varieties) and all sorts of other exotic stuff – plus loads and loads of good-looking English beers…
Wine Rack had a good selection of Magic Rock beers, so I took the liberty of buying a couple of cans. God knows I’ve enjoyed Magic Rock’s beer in the past (https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/07/magic-rock-dark-arts/) so I knew I was probably in for a treat…
An attractive-looking helping of beer, it was hazy and cut-cornfield straw-coloured. A nice little head hung about prettily, the aroma was hoppy and, how can I say this? “nicely-meshed”, yes that’s it: all the hops were delicately and expertly matched and woven together.
A tight and solid aroma profile; nothing poked out at weird angles, it wasn’t too piney, and not too resiny either. Lovely.
The carbonation was pleasant and appropriate, and the taste was big, hoppy and dangerously drinkable. A light but firm bitterness came after with some ethereal long-lasting citrus.
At the swallow a prickly, prickly, bitterness paired up with the hops and just DANCED on the tongue.Bloody bloody excellent.
Buy it on sight.
See it here: http://www.magicrockbrewing.com/beer/cannonball/
Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose
This is my first experience of the Gose style, traditionally made with a water profile that is ever so slightly salty, Gose is one of those trendy styles that probably aren’t made that much where they originate from, but the new-wave of craft brewers have taken it to their bosom as one of their own.
Worried about a salty beer? Don’t be. It’s divine. And if you need proof get a glass of room temperature water and grind a little black pepper into it. Mix well and taste. Doesn’t taste of much does it? Now add a small pinch of salt and stir again. Then taste. That’s the difference…
Salty Kiss was was a lighter straw colour than the Cannonball, with an aroma profile that’s almost lagery-malty – so I’d imagine that there’s pilsener malt in there*. Not a lot of hops in the nose, but that’s not what we’re after.
The taste is a revelation: light and floaty with a delicate, delicate, tartness. The salt is like the brine on your lips on a windy winters’ day at the beach.
This beer is refreshing and the gooseberries and white summer-fruit theme appears half-way through – like Victorian phantasmagoria.
Truly delightful. If you’ve never tried it, you must…
See it here: http://www.magicrockbrewing.com/beer/salty-kiss/
(* I looked and there isn’t!)
Well worth a look. I’ve been looking in the Yarnton outlet after work every Friday since I found it. They even let you taste the odd thing too. Fancy that!