Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's all gone

Last night I sadly emptied the barrel of a golden ale I brewed on St. Stephen's Day. I have got in the habit of putting half a brew in a 10 litre pressure barrel, and bottling the remainder. This provides me with a nice sized barrel that sits in my beer fridge at a tasty 12 degrees C. I was particularly happy with this ale not only because it tasted great but also because it looked the business too. It is without doubt the best looking beer I have produced, and so happy am I with the way it looks I allow it to grace the left hand side of my blog.

When I put the recipe together for this beer I anticipated a golden colour having used only pale malt and cara pils. However I expected all my efforts to be scuppered by my choice of yeast. I opted for US 05 along with oodles of cascade in the hope of producing an American type pale ale, but was aware in the back of mind that US 05 really doesn't like flocculating all that much and it could be quite some time before the beer achieved the golden clarity I hoped for, if it achieved it at all, because chill haze was another concern. Anyway, everything came together and the result was a gloriously deep golden brew with zingy citrus notes and strong malt profile. It's gone now save for a few bottles, but I think I'll venture down the route of assertive golden ales again not only because they look so tasty, but also because the commercial offerings of golden ale are so damn listless.

During the summer I received delivery of the CAMRA Club's beer selection only to discover is was awash with bland and gassy golden ales. I imagine they were a reflection of British brewers attempting to grab some of the lager market with lighter beers. I don't want to be quick to criticise because getting a foothold in any beer market for microbreweries is tough, so they might have no choice in the matter. I can't say I won't buy another commercial golden ale because any new craft beer turning up on the Irish market is a wonderful thing, and if I see something interesting in the off license I will buy it just to have the exciting experience of tasting a new beer.

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