Friday, November 2, 2007

Weekend Brews! Week Two

Praise be to Friday!

Yes, it's the second edition of Weekend Brews, your guide to fine crafted brews to please the palette and get your weekend fired up.

I have to say, I've been addicted to American craft brews as of late, but this weekend I'm starting with a fine English Ale. What beer could it be you ask? Well, it's a tasty blonde ale from across the pond my friend.

It's Wychcraft! A spooky little beer from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxofordshire, England. Ah, yes, the same folks that brought us the famed Hobgobline Ale (known as the "Mark Knopfler" to those of us here in Gainesville, Fla.).

Hooray! Okay you bloody fools, here's what you're in for when you crack open one of these finely designed bottles of ale...

... Well it says, "Golden" and "Blonde" on the label, but this beer pours a slightly darker shade. It's not exactly an amber, but if that's gold, it's what I would call a dirty gold, or filthy blonde. ha ha. Okay, that's a ridiculous description fit only for a cheap Vegas hooker, but you get the idea.

The head on this beast was substantial, but fell apart in a hurry. I find that a bit disappointing, but then again, it's Friday and why the hell do I want the head to get in the way of all that tasty liquid? Moving on...

...The aroma is fruity and floral. Considering I'm a hop head and addicted to that piney, citrus blast that comes from American Pale Ales, especially those featuring the classic haze of Cascade hops, this English Ale is a nice change of pace. It's actually a very gently, I would say, soft-scented ale. The hops are apparent, but do not overpower the brew.

And the taste? Drum roll... is good! The flavor is also gentle compared to the American Ales I've been downing the past year. I believe that is something to appreciate from an English Ale. It's not a hop lover's delight, but rather a nice mix of creamy malt character with a slight touch of bitterness.

As the folks at Wychwood mention, this is a great summertime beer. Granted I would recommend several wheat brews for a hot Florida day before I'd tell you to pick up a Wychcraft, but I can see where they are going with their thoughts. Then again, Summer in the U.K. can't possibly compare to the brutal nonsense we deal with in FLA. Not even close.

Regardless of all that, this English Ale is a tasty one. It is incredibly smooth and goes down quickly, and has got to go well with fish and chips! Sorry, I had to say it. I haven't tried it with those tasty fried fish wrapped in newspaper, but I'm pretty damn sure it would make my day to have both in front of me on a Saturday afternoon.

As far as English Ales go, I'd give this a solid score: 3.75 out 5.0

If you've been hangin' in the American craft brew scene, go ahead and take a weekend off and try a few from overseas to change it up a bit. Support brewers from all over the world, and they will in turn keep making these creative elixirs that make our work weeks bearable.


1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you mentioned Mark Knopfler.

    I'm also happy to see you exploring brews from outside the hoptacular realm.