Sunday, July 20, 2008
Cold Real Ale? Surely Not.
The good people at Ridgeway Brewing suggest that their Blue beer is chilled cooler than your average bottle conditioned ale as it has been brewed specifically to be enjoyed cold on hot summer days. This brewery has previously served me well with a wonderful IPA brewed entirley with whole leave aroma hops, so I followed their suggestion and chilled this bottle to cooler than my preferred real ale serving temperature. I am not altogether sure what they have done with this beer to make it more drinkable at colder temperatures, but it is a flavour packed ale with lip smacking bitterness and a long, long English hop finish. Perhaps their attempts at making this beer cold friendly extended little beyond packing it with flavour so that it still satisfied at the lower temperatures where many ales lose their character. Upon warming other flavours present themselves, a slightly lemon note creeps in and the malt starts to speak giving a better balance. I'm very happy with this beer not only because it taste great but it also reverses the trend in bland golden ales that I have experienced over the last while. This is clearly a golden ale that is attempting to penetrate the lager market, but in this instance it really is a genuine alternative to the more tasty lagers available.