For regular readers of this column, that name may sound familiar, and that’s because I’ve reviewed Beak before, way back in July 2018. Back then owner Daniel Tapper was contract brewing to get his tasty beer out into the world, and that’s true in this case as well, as this beer was made by his friends at Burning Sky (you might have heard of them) based in the Sussex Village of Firle.
That’s a temporary fix, however, as Tapper has now secured a permanent home in the neighbouring town of Lewes, famous for being home to the cathedral of brewing that is Harvey’s Brewery.
Parade is an excellent IPA that will tick the boxes of many a beer fan. Yes, it’s opaquely hazy, juicy and pillow-soft, but it leans towards the side of citrus, rather than tropical or stone fruit. This beer is packed with grapefruit, tangerine and blood orange aromas, but the enjoyment doesn’t end there. There’s also
a tart bitterness and dry finish, adding a cornered edge to its inherent softness. It’s got me excited about what’s to come once this brewery begins brewing at its own site later this year.
Aside from the beer, something else I’ve been considering of late is how I choose to describe beers like this, and whether that means anything to you. By saying it tastes of grapefruit and tangerine. I’m presuming you know what those things taste like as well. If I was to say kumquat or lychee, I’d hope you’d understand that too, because I’ve eaten those things. But then, not everyone has, and in that moment those descriptions suddenly have no value.
I’m always thinking of how I describe beers, and how representative that is of another person's experience. I do see value to it though, as if I was to tell you it was hoppy, soft and dry, that doesn’t really tell you a great deal. I’m merely trying to convey an example of my own perception. The great thing when it comes to tasting beer that it then becomes relative to your own experience. You might taste orange Chewits, or alcoholic Fanta loaded with pop rocks, or anything really. Tasting beer is a Choose Your Own Adventure of the best kind.
One universal piece of language we can understand is that this beer is delicious, and however you choose to describe it, deliciousness is one thing that will never change. Until I figure out a better way to convey that, I’ll remain, steadfastly, in my fruit basket.
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 The Beak's Parade IPA while you can. And 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?