Pleasure is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental things about beer, and why we drink it.
In fact, I explore this topic as much in my book, Modern British Beer, in which I pose that experiencing joy through drinking delicious beer is largely the reason why we crack these cans during our downtime, enhancing that feeling of warmth and contentment that relaxing brings us.
Pleasure is also something we experience through great music. (In fact, in the earliest days of this column I used to recommend some listening to accompany the beer I was reviewing. Perhaps this should make a return in the new year? Let us know!) Music can be more explicit than beer in demanding that our response is a pleasurable one. Take Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 1984 debut album, Welcome to the Pleasure Dome. For over an hour, this Trevor Horn-produced epic (featuring his patented “wall of sound” studio method) takes you to searing highs with bangers such as Relax and Two Tribes, before bringing you back down with The Power of Love. It is pleasure personified.
Everyone’s favourite electro/goth/punk (well, mine, anyway) Gary Numan has form here too. In 1979, he released one of my all-time favourite albums, The Pleasure Principle, which took elements of his influences and forged it into some-thing unique. While Cars is a go-to classic, some of the record's heavier tracks will have you wondering how the hell he got those tones out of a Minimoog.
This link is tenuous, but hear me out. Previously in this column I’ve theorised that New England IPA is the post-punk of beer; an attempt to be jarring and different, while giving members deep inside the subculture something to embrace. But like a lot of post punk, to many of today’s drinkers NEIPA now feels familiar and normal. It’s no longer the subculture, it’s the culture. And much like the fact that a great many music lovers undoubtedly have Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures in their vinyl collection, beer fans will (or should) have Pleasure Theory V2 from newcomer Floc in their fridges.
But not for too long. This is a beer best drunk fresh, to take advantage of the tropical hop combo the huge amounts of Citra, Strata and El Dorado in this beer delivers. Expect lychee, mango and passion fruit delivered in a body as thick as it is lusciously creamy. And I’d recommend you pair it with one of this year’s best albums, Self Esteem’s Prioritise Pleasure, which is exactly what you are doing when taking a moment to enjoy this particular beer.
Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Sign up to our All Killer No Filler subscription box and you'll find incredible beers like this one every month, plus more great writing from Matthew and our food writer Claire Bullen.