Pale Ale

Fundamentals #52 – DEYA Dust My Broom Pale Ale

52 DEYA Broom.jpg

Although my preferred taste for modern IPAs sits firmly in the West Coast camp, I am still a huge fan of the softer, juicier – and of course, hazier – iterations of the style with their origins in the north east of the United States. (Although, those who, like me, remember the days of “London Murky” back in 2012, could argue that their origins are equally rooted in Bermondsey, South London.)

Done well, a New England IPA is a thing of beauty. The mouthfeel should be pillowy and full, while the flavours should be bright and juicy, the tiniest smattering of pale malt making way for bold flavours of stone, citrus and/or tropical fruit. The finish should be dry, with perhaps the merest wisp of bitterness – the latter should never be the hallmark of this particular style, as it would clash with the juicy fruit flavours.

What they should not be is cloying, or laced with such a ferocious amount of hop particles that the beer leaves a burning sensation at the back of the throat. Sadly, many attempts I’ve tried have borne one or both of these characteristics. What I tend to find is that the ones that really capture my imagination (and have me ordering a second glass) are those which are more restrained.

This is probably why I’m such a huge fan of Steady Rolling Man, the core pale ale from Cheltenham’s DEYA Brewing Company. So much so, in fact, that it’s a must order for me whenever I see it on the bar, which, thankfully, is becoming more commonplace. Today, however, I’m faced with a can of something that ups the hop-ante somewhat. Dust My Broom is hazier, juicier and decidedly more intense than Steady.
I know this before I’ve even had a taste, as aromas of mango and orange peel jump from the glass towards my face as if they were a face-hugger from Alien searching for a host.

To taste this is as vibrant and intense as its aromas would suggest. It packs an immense punch of tropical fruit, white peach and a resinous, piney note that reminds me a little of my favoured West Coast IPAs. But this is for the most fleeting of moments, as I’m soon back in juicetown.

I’ve previously griped in this very column about how the sameyness of the New England style can get me down – there are only so many super-hazy, Citra and Mosaic-hopped beers I have time for. However, as similar as this effort from DEYA is to so many of those, I’ve all the time in the world for it, such is this hazy pale’s inherent quality.

Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Be first to read Matt’s columns when you sign up to our All Killer No Filler beer subscription box - along with Claire Bullen’s recipe and pairings, plus in-depth tasting notes, they’re included in every box…

#HBBAdvent Beer 5: Yeastie Boys Hot Space Extra Pale Ale (UK)

Yeastie Boys says: A medley of tropical and autumnal stonefruit, in both flavour and aroma, bursts from the very pale and delicate malt base of Hot Space. It all comes together to create an Extra Pale Ale that’s even more sessionable than Session IPA. 

We say: It’s nice to see Yeastie Boys’ UK specials back on our shelves. This beer only just scraped into the advent box due to a cock up with couriers - in fact, Yeastie founder Stu even had to bundle his home stash into a cab to get it over in time for our first night of advent packing, but it was well worth the effort. Checking in at just 3.2%, this is a triumph by YB’s new head brewer JK (with whom we brewed our famous Murk du Soleil DIPA last year during his tenure at Marble). It’s light but oh so tasty, and at such a low ABV you can have no qualms about cramming it down your throat on a school night.

#HBBAdvent Beer 4: Burnt Mill Pintle Pale Ale (Suffolk)

Burnt Mill says: Pale ale brewed with wheat, oats and flaked barley in the grist to smooth out the body. Whirlpooled and dry hopped with Australian Cascade and Citra. Its restrained bitterness and dry finish help maintain Pintle's all day crushability.

We say: We all loved Pintle straight out of the gate but the more the team at impressive young Suffolk brewery Burnt Mill brew it, the better it keeps on getting. Supremely full flavoured, easy-drinking with bags of character, this is surely one of the great modern British pale ales.

Fundamentals #31 — Half Acre Beer Co Tuna Extra Pale Ale

Turns out there are two kinds of Tuna available in a can. The first is an always-handy sandwich meat — perfect whipped up with an over-zealously lobbed ball of mayo, a crack of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon, before being liberally applied to thickly hewn white bread. All hail the tuna mayo sando. (OK, I admit I should probably leave the food writing to my colleague Claire Bullen.)

The other is, as you’ve probably suspected, a beer. Tuna Extra Pale Ale happens to be from one of my favourite Chicago-based breweries — Half Acre. If you haven’t heard of these folks, where’ve you been hiding? This Midwestern US brewery has been cooking up sublime beers since its inception in 2008. It’s perhaps best known for its Daisy Cutter Pale Ale — a beer that’s become a true staple amongst fine beverage appreciators in the Windy City. Half Acre’s mastery is one of creating clean, hop-forward beers just like you used to love, and Tuna is no exception to this rule.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the US, and Chicago has to be one of my favourite cities. It takes the culinary arts very seriously — this could be at a top restaurant, a local burger joint, or a brewery — whatever it makes, if you can eat or drink it, it’s gotta be world class. What I admire most about Chicago however, is how it’s able to apply to much effort to the creation of these consumables, but then present them in a laid-back, friendly way.

What I enjoyed most about the brewing scene here is how diverse it felt. There’s not as much bandwagon-hopping and imitation as I’ve seen in other beer destinations. Chicagoans do things their own way, and that often means a brewery will put a lot of effort into producing a unique take on things. This could be the hop gems of Half Acre, the crispy lagers at Dovetail, the tongue twisting mixed fermentation projects at Whiner, or the, well, whatever they want to call it at Off Color. If you love beer, you should visit Chicago as soon as you can.

Back to Tuna, though — this beer pours a bright shade of tangerine from its lovingly designed can, a head of off-white foam enticing you with aromas of barley sugar and navel orange. To taste, there is plenty more of both of these things: a touch of smooth malt sweetness to begin, and then plenty of zesty, citrus notes to clean all that up before leading to a not-too bitter finish. It’s perhaps a little one note, but at 4.7%, that’s kinda the point. Tuna is a beer to fill the fridge with and throw back when you need a hoppy hit that won’t touch the sides.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis as UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up a can of Half Acre Tuna while you can in store or online.

#HBBAdvent Beer 14: Kew Brewery Pagoda Pale Ale #5 (London)

Kew Brewery says: A numbered series of pale ales celebrating different English hops each time. Brewed using broadly the same full-bodied pale malt base each time, with small tweaks at the brewer’s whim, our Pagoda Pale series aims to show what English hops can really do! Pagoda #5 is brewed with new ‘tropical fruit’ hop Olicana, and just a little UK-grown Chinook for bittering. Expect lots of mango, grapefruit and passionfruit flavours and aroma.

We say: All of Kew's beers, but especially this one, really demonstrate the potential of "unfashionable" English hops. Brewer David Scott is as passionate about the environment as he is about great beer, so all of Kew's malts and hops are grown in England to reduce "food miles" (as well as because they taste great). David often gets his hands on new and experimental hops that no one else is showcasing, and in doing so gives them a fantastic platform from which to shine. A boring English pale this is most definitely not. - Glenn

Each night, we'll reveal the day's hand-picked beer from our Big Beery Advent Calendar. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter or Instagram (#HBBAdvent). Find Kew Pagoda Pale Ale #5 in store or via our online shop.

No More Heroes XXIII – The Five Points Brewing Company Pale Ale

We started No More Heroes in an effort to champion beers we considered to be underrated. Over the months since it started we may have strayed from that ethos a little, as some of the beers we’ve reviewed are ones that often receive critical acclaim. It would be small minded of us to take any of the credit for that, of course.

This week's beer, Pale Ale from Hackney’s The Five Points, is perhaps one that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, despite being one that sits and sells happily on taps and shelves all over London be it from cask, keg, bottle or can.

“Normcore” is the phrase used by The Five Points Marketing Manager, Doreen Joy Barber, when she describes how some people view their brewery. Instead of working on a myriad of expressive beer styles like many of its peers, The Five Points have focused on producing a solid, reliable and consistent core range.

But I think there’s more to it than just that. The magic of Five Points’ beers is not just that they taste great, but they do so while allowing you to switch off and enjoy. They can be uncomplicated and drinkable like the Pale Ale or brand new Pils or deep and complex like their American style IPA, Hook Island Red or London Smoke.

The Five Points manage to straddle the slowly widening gap between the UK’s traditional beer culture and its bleeding edge of craft beer. This makes them an important brewery because not only does it make them a gateway to more interesting beer styles but it also gives both the craft and traditional worlds something to enjoy. Few other breweries manage to share this common ground.

Music Pairing: Steely Dan – Do It Again (1973)
Steely Dan gets a pick here because, like Five Points Pale, ‘Do It Again’ manages to effortlessly straddle the line between skillful musicianship and seriously easy drinking. It’s also the perfect vibe for these hazy summer evenings, as the cool breeze and shorter nights of autumn gradually still roll in.

We’ll be back with our next No More Heroes Live Event at Hop Burns &; Black on Thursday September 29th. We’re excited to be hosting James Kemp from Manchester’s Marble Brewery and spinning a whole host of Manchester tunes. Full event and ticket info is coming soon, so stick it in your diaries now.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter @totalcurtis. And why not get Five Points Pale Ale delivered to your door via our online shop?

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 15: Stone & Wood Pacific Pale Ale,

StoneWoodPacificAle.jpg

Each night, we'll post a blog about the day's hand-picked beer in our Big Beery Advent Calendar - why we love the brewery, why we've chosen the beer, why we think you'll love it too. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter.

Stone & Wood says: "Inspired by our home on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and brewed using all Australian barley, wheat and Galaxy hops, Pacific Ale is cloudy and golden with a big fruity aroma and a refreshing finish. After being dry hopped at the end of fermentation, our Pacific Ale is then drawn straight from the storage tank at the brewery into kegs and bottles. Drawing it from the tank and straight into a keg or bottle without filtering means that the beer can be enjoyed at the pub or at home in the same condition as it is when we try it from the tank at the brewery … simply fresh."

We say: This is the taste of Australia in a bottle. The good bits, that is - the beach, the sunshine, the big blue skies, not the snakes, spiders and yobbos drinking dodgy lager. Just kidding, Australia. A great escape on this wet and nasty London evening.

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 12: Tuatara Sauvinova Single Hop Pale Ale, 5.2% (New Zealand)

Each night at 8pm, we'll post a blog about the day's hand-picked beer in our Big Beery Advent Calendar - why we love the brewery, why we've chosen the beer, why we think you'll love it too. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter.

Tuatara says: "Kiwis are notorious for developing an enthusiasm for local commodities only after a thumbs up from the more discerning parts of the world. In the case of Nelson Sauvin hops we think that’s a little unfair. Tuatara and Sauvin were released into the world at about the same time so we knew them back in the day. We’re celebrating with Sauvinova, a single hop pale ale exploding with the distinctive tropical gooseberry notes that made its Sauvignon Blanc namesake famous. Tasting Notes: Full malt body copiously hopped with Nelson Sauvin displaying mouthwatering gooseberry, pineapple and grapefruit flavours. Balanced bitterness."

We say: Another stunner from the Tuatara crowd. Tuatara is one of the five breweries that make up the NZ Beer Collective, and with their stablemates they've helped us build our much-treasured reputation for the best NZ beer selection in the UK. This is a fabulous showcase for the mighty Nelson Sauvin hop, hailing from Jen's Kiwi hometown and lauded all over the world. Dankly resinous, this pale positively bursts with flavour and - along with the "air-hopped" Conehead IPA, is our favourite Tuatara brew.