It’s important to remember that this column was originally started in order to champion great beers from breweries we thought were underrated. There are perhaps few more underrated breweries in the country than Shropshire’s Salopian Brewery, which has been quietly putting out some of the UK’s best pale ales and IPAs without so much of a sniff of hyperbole.
One of the greatest problems with being a beer geek is that the merest scent of a newly hyped release is enough to send our senses into overdrive. The most sought after Double IPAs and Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts somehow manage to induce a deep sense of FoMO before bottles and cans even hit the shelf. Salopian aren’t one of the UK breweries that have this effect on beer lovers, but perhaps the peace of mind the reliability of its great beers bring is something to be appreciated in itself.
Kashmir, as the name suggests, is an India Pale Ale that clocks in at 5.5% ABV. You might think that by today’s standards that’s pretty low, but thankfully Salopian provide you with 500mls of drinking enjoyment to curb any negative feeling. It’s also worth noting that this beer drinks easy and one bottle is likely not going to be enough.
The flavour is typically hop forward, with aromas of lemon rind and pine hitting the nose even before you’ve taken your first sip. The taste is altogether softer than the aroma, with zesty lemon mingling with notes of peach and nectarine. The carbonation is gentle, giving the beer a pillowy, almost cask-ale feel in the mouth. These combining factors make it very easy and enjoyable to drink, which is why I previously warned that you might need more than one bottle to hand.
Take my advice and check out Salopian, but make sure it’s a long gaze and not a passing glance.
Music Pairing: Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up
As you might have guessed from the last few columns, I’m on a bit of a 90s rock tip at the moment. As a politically charged schoolboy I used to listen to Rage Against the Machine while furiously penning letters to politicians and generally getting angry about the world. To be honest, very little has changed since then.
I’ve picked this track not just because its one of Rage’s very best songs, or that it was aptly used by the Wachowski’s at the end of The Matrix. No, I’ve picked Wake Up because that pulsing beat and searing riff ably emulates the melody of Led Zepplin’s Kashmir, which shares it’s name with this weeks beer. I’d have picked Led Zep, of course, but another brewery already has dibs on them...
Find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. You can find Salopian Kashmir and the rest of Salopian's range in store or at our online shop to get it delivered to your door.