Critics are often quick to tell me that as a culture, craft beer is often restricted to the UK’s big cities. These folks doubt that many of the UK’s young, exciting breweries will ever penetrate beyond the city limits. That “Middle England” just isn’t ready for craft beer.
They’re completely wrong, of course. Some of the most delicious and vibrantly juicy beer I’ve tasted recently has come from Verdant Brewing Co. Unlike many of its peers, Verdant aren’t based in a big brewing city like London, Manchester or Bristol. Verdant have chosen to make there home in Falmouth, Cornwall, a small town with a population of just over 26,000 people.
Despite their location near the tip of the West Country, this hasn’t stopped them from pushing their beer further afield. My first experience of Verdant’s beer was in Belfast at the annual ABV beer festival. It was there that I first tasted Light Bulb, a Session IPA that’s dripping with bright, citrusy flavours. Its clean, dry and slightly herbaceous finish makes this a beer that loves to be slurped, not sipped.
Verdant is a prime example that the UK’s craft beer movement is no longer restricted to the big cities. With beers like Light Bulb and its IPA, Bloom, along with some cracking branding, I’m certain this is a brewery that will win fans both locally and nationally. The only thing I ask is that the locals don’t drink it all and save some for the rest of us.
Music Pairing: Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
I’ve recently become obsessed with the new HBO series, Westworld. I’m a fan of the original movie, which was written and directed by Michael Crichton and this series majestically brings this story into the modern age. I’m not sure what I love more, the costumes, Anthony Hopkins playing a character like only he can, or Evan Rachael Wood’s scintillating heroine, Dolores.
One of my favourite Easter Eggs from the show is the modern songs that play softly in the background on an automated upright piano during the bar scenes. These have included lots of Radiohead (because of the paranoid androids I assume) and, in the debut episode, Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun. I found myself enjoying the latter so much I immediately dug out my copy of Superunknown and found it to be just as scintillating as I remembered. Black Hole Sun being the laid back centerpiece of that record, and an ideal accompaniment to this beer.
Find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. You can find Verdant Light Bulb and the rest of their terrific range in store or at our online shop to get it delivered to your door.