At the time I questioned whether beer is indeed the new Rock & Roll, or as Meatloaf put it ‘Rock & Roll and Brew’.
Well, the latest band to throw their hats into the brewing ring are ‘Madness’ a ska band from North London who have teamed up with London’s nearby Portobello Brewery to produce a range of beers, of which today’s brew ‘Gladness’ is the first I’ve found.
For the initiated (I don’t think they unduly troubled the US charts) Madness are an eccentric British band that have been around (on and off) since 1979, I saw them live in 1981. They split for a few years in the eighties, but their first reunion concert – Madstock – registered 4.5 on the Richter Scale!
If you’re unfamiliar with their catalogue, I suggest you check their cheap and cheerful videos on YouTube.
Like this one:
In digress, as it says of the top of this site “It’s about the Beer” – so let’s have a look at Gladness, a 4.2% ABV craft lager.
Portobello brewing were founded in December 2012, by Rob Jenkins, a former Sales Director at Charles Wells, later “Wells and Young’s”, along with Farooq Khalid the head brewer. The idea for ‘Madness’ beers was born – it is said – at the Dublin Castle pub in London’s Camden Town. It’s a real Rock & Roll pub, Madness played their first gig there, and Amy Winehouse used to be a regular.
There’s no surprise in the pour, a nice pale Amber with a light, not too dense, head that fades quickly.
The there are a few hops in the nose, although not many, ‘craft’ hops, not too citrus, but not classic Czech Saaz ‘lager’ hops either.
Flavour wise, it’s pleasantly hoppy, but won’t set the world alight either, it’s light to medium bodied, nothing special.
Unfortunately this won’t stick in my memory for as long of some of Madness’ singles, there’s just not enough… anything to make it memorable – either positively or negatively.
Using our patented Beer Rating system, I figure this doesn’t quite merit two Brewclub Stars. I really wanted to like this beer, but there just wasn’t enough to like.