Fundmentals #82 – Burning Sky x Brasserie de la Senne New Alliance

I approach this beer with a deep sense of anticipation. And rightly so – it’s not often the giants of Sussex’s Burning Sky and the titans of Brussels’ Brasserie de la Senne come together, making them both seem normal size…

Mitchell and Webb references aside, I am genuinely thrilled to be able to review this beer. Those who follow me, either through my writing or on social media, will know that I’m a huge fan of both breweries, and before I dig into New Alliance – the beer they have come together to brew – I’m going to remind you all why that is.

There simply isn’t another brewery in the world like Brasserie de la Senne, nor is there a personality in the brewing world like its co-founder Yvan de Baets. He’s as passionate about brewing as he is knowledgeable. He’s also a romantic and refers to his house yeast as “she”. If you’ve ever enjoyed one of de la Senne’s iconic beers, such as Taras Boulba, Zinnebir or my personal favourite Jambe de Bois, you’ll know that unique fermentation character which permeates these beers, almost like a seal of approval from Yvan himself.

Burning Sky creates beers that are equally as stimulating. Headed up by brewer of more than two decades Mark Tranter (who spent 17 years at Dark Star Brewing before setting up Burning Sky in 2013),  the brewery quickly established itself as one of the most important breweries in the United Kingdom. Its hoppy cask and keg beers almost speak for themselves (I swear Plateau Pale Ale practically drinks itself), but its wild and mixed fermentation beers ushered a different kind of brewing into the UK drinkers’ lexicon. Tart, funky beers like Cuvée and Saison a la Provision blur the lines of what beer has the potential to be.

Naturally then, putting the two together is going to yield something special. And this is true, but instead of focussing on anything elaborate or complex, their efforts have yielded something accessible and very, very delicious. New Alliance combines the citrus-driven character of Burning Sky’s Arise pale ale, with the snap and second-to-none thirst quenching ability of Taras Boulba. It’s that simple. Buy a six-pack because, after one, you will undoubtedly be craving more.

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 every month plus more great writing from Matthew and our food writer Claire Bullen...