Sunday, June 06, 2010

Burton Bridge's Stairway To Heaven

...Or a beer of the week, if you will. Seeing Burton Bridge's beers on tap in Leeds is great, and I try not to miss out wherever possible. Stairway To Heaven, sampled at Foley's on Friday was a brilliant case in point.

Light copper in colour, with a floral, almost juicy-fruit aroma hitting the nose, the first thing that strikes me after tasting it is just how well-balanced the whole thing is. At 5% abv it's not entirely sessionable, but the firm, biscuity, almondy body more than compensates for the mouthwatering, tongue-tingling bitter hop-hit at the end. For sheer flavour in a glass, it takes some beating, but it is a big, big beer.

In many ways it's an ideal representation of what I think of when I think of Burton Bridge in general; a brewer that courts tradition, with old-school pump-clips and history, yet often produces quite off-kilter beers. Off kilter in a good way. Take this example, for instance. My drinking buddy remarked it was like 'A regular amber bitter but amped up', and I have to agree. In a stroke in serendipity, I had a bottle of Empire Ale in the cellar, and enjoyed it in the baking sun yesterday afternoon. Crisp, dry as hell, strong and relentlessly citrussy, it's a classy IPA for all intents and purposes and a bloody good one at that. Extreme...but not, if you know what I mean. Wonderful.


Ale Louse said...

Just got word that Stairway is in the cellar at the Rat so thanks for the review. Will really look forward to sampling this. Cheers, hope you are well!

Leigh said...

Now then Will - i'm good thanks - just gearing up for the WC!! LEt us know what you think, I'll keep an eye out for your review!!

Paul Garrard said...

My limited experience of Burton Bridge would lead me to describe their offerings as a curat's egg. I've had some I've enjoyed but a couple that I've found challenging.

Leigh said...

Paul - I can see where you're coming from. Big beers can divide opinion/tastes, for sure.