Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Crack Out The Pales!


I've been decorating during the last few weeks; a truly, truly heinous job that I genuinely loathe. Even worse is when the sun decides to come out as it has done in the last few weeks. The only thing that gets me through evenings of painting ceilings and glossing skirting is the thought of a throat-cooling Pale Ale chilling in the fridge to revive a flagging soul. Here's the pick of a bunch that I've been enjoying.

First up, Theakston's Lightfoot. Named after a Brewery in Masham that the family took over in 1919 (rather than Gordon), Lightfoot (4.1%abv) is sunshine in a bottle. Straw in colour and pleasingly smooth due to a good dollop of wheat in the Grain Bill, this Blonde has cereal and digestive biscuits in the body before mellowing out to a sweet, lemon-tinged finish. Lightfoot is stupidly easy drinking and a welcome departure for Theakston's. It's good to see one of Yorkshire's larger breweries bringing out new wares (it should start appearing on bars fairly soon, I am told) and I start the vote now for Lightfoot to remain a permanent brew. Try it.


Plumbing similar furrows is Wye Valley's HPA (Hereford Pale Ale). At 4%abv this is even easier-going that the Theakston's, and uses only Styrian Goldings. Lemon sherbert and a touch of tangerine round off the nose, but the body is as light as a feather. I really rued not saving this one for some Calamari or Barbecued Chicken - this is a perfect pale for subtle, sunshiny foods.

Titanic's Iceberg (4.1%abv) is advertised as a Wheat beer; although as with the other two, it's not Wheat as you'd expect. Pale Ale with a hefty touch of Wheat is much more accurate, but what sets Iceberg apart is the hoppiness - it's a bitter beer, no doubt about it. A smooth, vaguely almond-laced body just rises and rises with citrussy bitterness that gives it a long finish. It actually seems a great deal more aggressive than it's draught counterpart - but that could just be me. Clear glass being used in bottles is not something I like to see, though.


It's not all bottled action, though. Last week I got to try a good few of Liverpool Organic's beers. Again, perfect for this time of year, Rakau displayed a clean, firm body and a sweet, graperfuit/melon finish. Shipwreck IPA (6.5%abv) was golden in colour, with a lasting head, and masses of sweet malt in the body which offset the generous hop attack at the end of the sip - slightly peppery, slightly spicy, then finishing off with the familiar tropical fruit flavours. I really enjoyed this, and highly recommend it.

7 comments:

BeerReviewsAndy said...

Im a big fan of lightfoot, a few years ago at a brewery trip i bought a case, along with a 4 pint jug of their experimental beer (which is now their dark mild i think) not remembering I had a 2 mile walk home from where the bus dropped me off.

As you can imagine after an all you can drink session in the brewery I was rather worse for wear so it took an age to walk home. I thought nothing of it(apart from the rather sore arms the next day) until the following week when getting a taxi home from somewhere and the taxi driver asked if it was me that it took a couple of hours to stagger down the lane, apparently he had passed me at least 3 times while ferrying people around

BeerReviewsAndy said...

oh yeah forgot to add, my local morrisons has just started selling lightfoot too.

and if you are in the area the wonderful lion inn at blakey ridge usually has it on when its out (same goes for all the Theakston seasonals)

Ghost Drinker said...

I've heard of the Lightfoot from a friend. You make it sound very nice, I'll have to try seek some out. Is it gonna be a supermarket jobby?

Baron Orm said...

Your opening statement about decorating could have been about me as well! Having two baronites means that weekend decorating is out so evenings is the only option.

I saw that Lightfoot had sneaked onto the shelves in Morrisons the other week but was wary due to it's dull label and low ABV. Your review has made it go onto the 'to rate' list.

I picked up a bottle of ShipWreck IPA from Source Deli in Ormskirk today, I loved it on cask so will be interesting to see how it's transferred to bottled form.

Love the photos & the reviews, keep on drinking & blogging!

Leigh said...

Andy: doesn't surprise me! Loon! The Theakstons site says that it's being racked now so it's one beer I will be looking out for in my travels/rambles this spring. Baron; good to hear from you! Yes, give it a try, it's simplicity and clean flavours really refresh. Ghostie - see comments - it's in Morrisons at the moment. Give it a try!

Neil, Eating isn't Cheating said...

Nice reviews mate. I did a review of the Titanic as well recently and thought it was really nice. Like you mention it's got a real building bitterness and citrus flavour thats really nice, with just a little wheat note adding to the body.

I agree clear bottles are the devil as well.

arn said...

must agree with the lightfoot review, lovely liitle beer indeed. Also from morrisons though the Titanic Iceberg was off, terrible skunked taste