When I visited Duration Brewing’s idyllic Norfolk home in West Acre last summer, head brewer and co-founder Derek Bates told me he wanted to brew “lots of lager”.
The brewery was still in its proto-stages of development then. The medieval barn that was being converted into the building that would eventually house the equipment which makes its beer still lacked a proper floor and drainage. However, it was no less breathtaking – the building and the surrounding fields, farms, forests and streams all added to the sense of place Duration was looking to foster in its permanent home. The brewery hit the mark almost instantly too, with the first beers coming off its canning line in December 2019 tasting excellent, and seemingly getting more delicious with each following batch.
Things have come full circle since that moment chatting to Bates in the field behind where his fully operational brewery now resides: I now have a can of his lager in my hand. OK, so things have maybe been derailed a little as the world locks itself down and lives through a global pandemic, but throughout it all, delicious beer is a constant, and still having “lots of lager” to look forward to eases the emotional burden a little.
Doses is Duration’s German-influenced pilsner. It’s a simple beer on the surface, one that is easily gulped and enjoyed in quick succession. Peek beneath the hood, however, and there’s delicious complexity to be revealed. Pilsner, wheat and chit malts combine to create soft, biscuity textures with just enough body and sweetness to get your mouth watering. This primes you for a herbaceous snap of Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Saphir (sometimes known as Sapphire) and Saaz hops.
I sometimes talk about how noble hops from Germany and the Czech Republic taste “green”, and this is a great example. Instead of being fruit led like North American, New Zealand or Australian hop varieties, those from central Europe snap, bite and, ultimately, refresh: cleaning up the palate as they fade away, priming you for yet another gulp, and another.
I’m glad Bates is making lots of lager, because he’s very good at it. This beer is a delight.
Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Pick up a can of Duration’s delicious Doses here. To be first to read articles from Matt and our food writer Claire Bullen every month, why not subscribe to our All Killer No Filler subscription box?