A slightly rebellious brew here at The Brew Club, as part of English Ale month.
Counterculture seems to be getting very big here in the UK, thriving in the chill winds of the recession; you might have read reports recently about a counterculture revolt driven through Facebook that promoted an old ‘Rage Against the Machine’ track to the prestigious Christmas Number One in the singles charts, against the might of Simon Cowell’s massive media machine.
I have written in the past for The Brew Club about the Brewdog Brewery in Scotland; Brewdog is very much a ‘punk’ or ‘counterculture’ brewery, and another brewery ‘Wickwar’ is introducing a range of counterculture brews.
The Wickwar Brewery in the Gloucestershire village of Wickwar was founded in 1990, but the village has a brewing heritage that can be traced back to the 1860’s. Since 1990, the brewery has been producing a number of well respected local ales including a well regarded 4% ABV ‘session’ beer called Brand Oak Bitter (also known as ‘BOB’ – I like the sound of that) – and ‘Station Porter’ a 6.1% ABV ruby porter that won an award as “Supreme champion winter beer of 2008″.
Alongside Wickwar’s ‘heritage’ range of beers, they’re starting a new range of ‘counterculture’ beers that promise “all the flavour of real ale with a controversial new attitude“. The first beer in this range is “Banker’s Draft” – described as “pale and malty with a citrus kick” – and bearing the question “could you murder a bankers?”
Banker’s Draft pours a bright russet colour, something between amber and auburn, with a rich head that takes a while to disperse, leaving a healthy lacing. The nose is fruity, I can detect toffee apples hiding behind the hops.
First impressions? Well it’s reasonably well bodied, at 4% ABV it’s slightly strong for a ‘session beer’ but I don’t think that would stop me.
Flavour wise, the hops are to the fore, light and citrussy, there’s a light maltiness in there, almost like malted milk flavoured biscuits (that’s cookies to you Americans) then the final kick is the citrussy hops coming back… with a hint of elderflower.
This is well balanced, the citrus isn’t in your face like some brews I’ve tasted with Amarillo hops, it’s light and refreshing. As I’ve said on other occasions, this beer does what it sets out to do. It won’t set the world on fire, but I’d drink it again, so I’ll give it three stars.
As the brewery so aptly puts it… “Unlike the behaviour of our bankers at the moment this beer is very easily swallowed!”
Could I murder a Bankers? Guilty as charged!